Our Annual Fund is now The Norwood Fund!

The cornerstone of fundraising at any independent school is the Annual Fund. We’ve renamed ours The Norwood Fund to remind you that your contribution will provide direct and immediate support to everything exceptionally notable about Norwood School.
 
The Norwood Fund supports the daily life of the School on every level, from faculty salaries to classroom materials and technology to the consistent addition of the resources, programs, and opportunities that create a student-centered Norwood experience just right for every child.
 
In other words, The Norwood Fund, and your contribution to it, allow us to be … Notably Norwood.

What is Notably Norwood?

Our Program, Our Students, and Our Community.
 
The broad reach of assistance provided by contributions to The Norwood Fund is in many ways immeasurable: classroom, lab, and art supplies; athletic uniforms and equipment; innovative media resources that develop the strong information literacy and technology skills necessary in today’s world. The Norwood Fund also provides support to the foundational character education and service learning programs that teach our students to create a life filled with kindness and respect.
 
Norwood is a community that draws strength from inclusion. Celebration and support of one another is who we are. Day after day this is part of our culture and curriculum, and year after year it is evident through the strong support of our fundraising efforts. Last year, 759 donors contributed to our annual giving program, now called The Norwood Fund. These donors include:
 
89% of parents
100% of trustees
100% of faculty and staff
Alumni, grandparents, past parents, friends, foundations, matching gift corporations, and former trustees, faculty, and staff
 
The Norwood Fund has two important goals each year – the total dollar amount raised and the percentage of participation. Strong participation represents our community’s confidence in the Norwood experience.
 
Participation in The Norwood Fund is important and meaningful. It counts. Be counted!

How & When to Give

Each gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. We ask every family to give as their means allow – donations range in size from $25 to $25,000 and above. Your participation is a valuable sign of your belief in our mission and a signal of your pride in your Norwood experience.
 
Payments are accepted through the end of our fiscal year on June 30, although we encourage all families to make their gift or pledge by December 31. All donations to The Norwood Fund are fully tax-deductible. 

110% CLUB

Sustained growth of The Norwood Fund is an indicator of the health of the School. Donors who increase their last contribution by at least 10% help drive this essential growth. Members of the 110% Club are acknowledged in the Annual Report each year.

TRUE BLUE

Norwood is so grateful for our growing base of faithful donors that we have established a special “True Blue” designation in their honor. True Blue supporters have given a gift every year, of any amount, for five years or longer, and by doing so allow us to build a legacy of excellence and success as a whole community. 

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 Norwood 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 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 The Norwood 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. Gifts to The Norwood Fund 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 pre-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 contribution, 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! Be counted!
  • SHOULD I GIVE IF I RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID?

    Yes. 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 Norwood Fund at some level.
  • WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: THE NORWOOD FUND OR THE AUCTION?

    They are both important, and they serve different purposes. The Norwood Fund supports the general operating budget while the Auction proceeds are specifically designated to need-based financial aid. The Auction 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 GIFT OR PLEDGE TO THE NORWOOD FUND?

    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 pre-K-12 schools. This is a great way to double and sometimes triple your gift to Norwood.
  • HOW IS THE NORWOOD FUND DIFFERENT FROM THE ENDOWMENT?

    The Norwood 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 $9 million.

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 GIVING

Contributions to The Norwood Fund of $5,000 or more are recognized as leadership-level gifts and accounted for 60% of donations last year, totaling over $517,000. Leadership contributions signal an invaluable level of confidence in our mission and ensure the School’s ability to fulfill that mission for each child, every day. It is our honor to celebrate our Leadership Donors at a special spring reception.
Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-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.