Frequently Asked Questions
Common Questions about the Menlo Annual Fund
Menlo’s Annual Fund directly impacts every aspect of the School, and is the “margin of excellence” in all that we do. The School depends on the Annual Fund to contribute approximately 10% of the annual operating budget, which translates to $4.9 million this school year. The Annual Fund is also a tangible representation of Menlo’s powerful community culture of philanthropy. In 2022-2023, 96% of our current parents and 92% of faculty and staff supported the Annual Fund, showing that they believe in the School and want to make a difference in each student’s Menlo experience.
Gifts to the Annual Fund ensure that Menlo can:
- Develop new academic initiatives
- Expand offerings in academics, arts, and athletics
- Equip students, faculty, and coaches with the resources they need
- Enhance professional development opportunities for faculty and staff
- Fund technological innovations
- Attract and enroll the best students regardless of their financial means
The Annual Fund, like our operating budget, primarily supports our faculty and our programs. 75% of Menlo’s operating budget goes to salary and benefits. This is in line with the national average. The Annual Fund supports all the operations of the School including the financial aid program. Menlo has awarded aid in the amount of $7.3 million in 2022-2023. About 21% of the students are receiving financial aid this year.
Menlo’s athletics and arts programs are fully funded by the operating budget at a level, which allows them to be excellent without need for additional fundraising. The Annual Fund is critical to that.
The “gap” is the amount of the operating budget that is funded by the Annual Fund. That amount is approximately $6,000 per student.
A gift of $5,000 and above ensures financial sustainability and flexibility for Menlo in the future. This year, the portion of the operating budget contributed by the Annual Fund is approximately $6,000 per student. In order to be part of the Blue & Gold Circle, we ask that you show leadership by giving at the $5,000 or above level, and we encourage a donation at or above the per-student contribution.
You can see all of our giving levels here.
Absolutely! Every gift matters. The participation of our entire community is critical to the success of our work. Every student benefits from the Annual Fund. Community support for the Annual Fund reflects the strong culture of philanthropy at our school. Participation is a metric which is used nationally and most easily signifies confidence in the school. Strong parent participation can be an indicator for foundations and other organizations, who are considering a gift to Menlo. Our goal is to reach 100% every year!
Menlo would not be the same School without the incredible gift of time and talent from our parent community. The School relies on parent support of the Annual Fund to achieve our goals and keep tuition as low as possible and competitive with our peer schools. A participatory gift of any amount is appreciated.
Extra funds raised give the School flexibility to offer more financial aid or take advantage of a programmatic opportunity that may present itself over the course of the year.
There are three primary ways that the Development Office asks for support from the Menlo community:
- Annual Giving (Annual Fund) to support the operating budget each year.
- Live and Online Auctions to support the financial aid program.
- Endowment and capital projects.
Menlo relies on the Annual Fund to support the operating budget each and every year. We ask that all families participate in the Annual Fund and hope that each family will make Menlo their top philanthropic priority.
The Annual Fund and the ASF are both critical annual fundraising efforts. The Annual Fund is a current use fund that supports the operating budget each year. The ASF is a permanently endowed scholarship fund, funded through annual gifts each year. While we ask current parents to make the Annual Fund their top giving priority at Menlo, we also ask that parents who are also alumni consider allocating a portion of their gift to the ASF.
You can make your gift online at www.menloschool.org/supportmenlo, or you can send a personal check, donor-advised fund grant, wire transfer, or stock gift. We accept and value matching gifts as well! We encourage you to inquire about your employer’s matching gift program. All Annual Fund gifts are tax-deductible.
We also accept pledges to the Annual Fund. Please make your pledge online using our pledge page, or email your pledge to Katrina Sitter, Associate Director of Development, Annual Giving at email@example.com. Pledges must be paid by May 31, 2024.