Every day at Norwood School, we witness the impact a single action can have on our entire school community. One gesture of kindness that inspires the generosity of spirit from many. One question during class that engages a lively and meaningful conversation. One experience that sparks a lifetime passion. One smile that creates a new friendship.  One teacher that imprints on your heart and mind forever.  The Power of One: The Impact of Many.

The same holds true for the Annual Fund, the cornerstone of Norwood’s fundraising efforts that allows us to invest added resources and provide new opportunities for our exceptional child-centered program. Your single contribution has the power to impact the educational experience of all Norwood students as well as the remarkable work of all Norwood teachers. It signals your confidence in our mission to inspire confident, compassionate, independent, and creative thinkers who embrace lifelong learning.


Give to the Annual Fund because you believe in the work of our school, the dedication of our teachers, and the impact a Norwood education will have on a child’s future.
Your contribution to the Annual Fund will be put to work right away to help pay for budgeted expenses – from classroom materials to technology to science lab consumables – just to name a few. The largest portion of our budget goes toward teacher salaries and compensation, because nothing is more important than ensuring that our students are taught by the very highest quality educators.
Why do we ask for your generous donation, in addition to tuition?  In today’s complex and competitive world, children need more than just a solid education – they need an extraordinary one.  If we relied on tuition alone to pay for everything that makes Norwood distinct and special, tuition costs would skyrocket.


As much as you can!  Whether your contribution is $5 or $50,000, it’s an affirmative statement of your passionate belief and pride in your family’s Norwood experience.  The Power of One: The Impact of Many.
The earlier we receive your donation, the earlier we can put it to work for all our students.  We encourage all families to make their pledges by December 31, though payments are accepted until June 30.

110% CLUB

Norwod’s faculty and staff give 110% of themselves every day, and we challenge our donors to match this same commitment by increasing their last contribution by at least 10%.  Membership in the 110% Club is one important way to guarantee sustained growth of the Annual Fund.  Members are acknowledged in the Annual Report.


Norwood is fortunate to have a faithful base of supporters who have helped to sustain the Annual Fund over the years. Consistent giving of 5 years and longer is so important that Norwood has established special “True Blue” recognition to honor its most loyal Annual Fund donors.

By making a gift every year, in any amount, our True Blue members build upon our legacy of academic excellence and directly impact the success of our students.  The Power of One: The Impact of Many.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • My family is already paying tuition . . . What does my child get when we make financial contributions to Norwood?

    Your financial contribution to the Annual Fund supports the people and programs that make Norwood the great school that it is: talented teachers, small classes, library and instructional resources, technology advancements, enriching arts and athletics programs. Each year, approximately 6% of the operating budget comes from Annual Fund contributions that directly support every aspect of school life. Norwood relies on a combination of tuition income, charitable donations, income from auxiliary programs, and interest income to balance its annual budget. 

    Could Norwood operate on tuition alone? Not without looking significantly different. The School would be less innovative in our approach to education. Essentials like low student-to-teacher ratios, faculty and curriculum development, state-of-the-art technology, a rich arts program, and athletic equipment – all integral components to our rich and robust program would be compromised. Charitable gifts are a necessary part of every independent school’s healthy financial profile. 
  • If independent schools were run more like big business, couldn’t they charge the full cost and avoid having to ask for gifts?

    Norwood School is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit institution. Unlike a for-profit business, which aims to make money, Norwood aims to provide our students with the very best education. By nature, high-quality schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented. In order to provide the best programs and competitive compensation to our outstanding faculty and staff, we continually evaluate and assess tuition increases, auxiliary programs like camp, and effective fundraising initiatives.

    And unlike tuition, contributions to Annual Fund are fully tax-deductible and allow each family to give at a meaningful level to which they are able.
  • How much should I give to the Annual Fund and how much of a difference can my gift really make?

    Ideally, current parents identify Norwood School as one of their top philanthropic priorities and recognize that their contributions make a significant impact. Annual Fund gifts range from $20 to over $20,000. We encourage families to consider giving at the Leadership Gift Level (Hilltop Circle) of $5,000 or more, if they are able. Leadership gifts ensure that we raise the necessary additional funds for our students above and beyond what tuition covers to support our program, faculty, and facilities.

    Our K-8 school has fewer supporters than larger K-12 independent schools or universities, and therefore it is even more critical to have a higher percentage of supporters. Your gift, when added to those of hundreds of other supporters, can have a large impact. Your participation encourages others to give and sends a message to our community that Norwood makes a difference. Every gift counts! Every gift matters!
  • Should I give if I receive Financial Aid?

    Even though many families make financial sacrifices to pay their tuition, it is still important for every member of our community to participate in the Annual Fund at some level.
  • Which is more important: the Annual Fund or the Norwood Annual Benefit?

    They are both important, and they serve different purposes. The Annual Fund supports the general operating budget while the Annual Benefit proceeds are specifically designated to need-based financial aid. The Annual Benefit helps extend our ability to service a wide range of students and families and makes us a better school and stronger community. Norwood hopes everyone will consider supporting both of these important initiatives each year.
  • When should I make my Annual Fund gift or pledge?

    The earlier we receive your gift, the earlier we can put it to work for all our students. We encourage all families to make their pledges by December 31, though payments are accepted until June 30.
  • Is Norwood eligible for Employer Matching Gifts?

    Yes! Norwood is grateful to the many corporations that support the School through generous matching gift programs. Please ask your employer about Matching Gift Programs that support K–12 schools. This is a great way to double and sometimes triple your gift to Norwood.
  • How is the Annual Fund different from the endowment?

    The Annual Fund enhances the current year’s operating budget, while a school’s endowment is its long-term savings account. A large endowment, well invested, can provide financial stability and a source of income beyond tuition and annual gifts. At present, Norwood has an endowment of approximately $6.6m.

Annual Fund Gift Clubs

Frances Marsh Circle $50,000 and above
1952 Circle $25,000 - $49,999
Anniversary Circle $15,000 - $24,999
Oak Tree Circle $10,000 - $14,999
Hilltop Circle** $  5,000 - $  9,999
Scholar's Circle $  2,500 - $  4,999 
Head's Circle $  1,000 – $ 2,499 
Friends' Circle $         1 -  $  999

**Contributions of $5,000 or more are considered leadership-level gifts.


Leadership contributions of $5,000 or more accounted for over 61% of donations last year, totaling over $496,000.  Leadership gifts create the foundation of growth within the Annual Fund and ensure that we are able to realize the opportunities to provide an exceptional educational experience for all our students.  Leadership donors are recognized at a special spring reception.
Located in Bethesda MD, Norwood School develops students in grades K-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.