The Cobb Fund is our annual financial goal to help us close the gap between tuition and the cost of operating the school. We reach our goal each year through gifts from current parents and grandparents, faculty and staff, friends, former parents and grandparents, alumni and foundations. These contributions immediately benefit current and future students, enabling us to:
- Enhance academics and extracurriculars, allowing children to thrive in a rich and varied environment
- Provide scholarships to ensure that Cobb is accessible to bright young minds from all backgrounds
- Train, support, and retain our amazing teachers and assistants
- Maintain and upgrade facilities and classroom materials
- Ensure the financial stability of Cobb School Montessori for our next 50 years
Like other private schools and colleges, Cobb School Montessori is a non-profit. Tuition payments alone do not cover the cost of operating the school for the year. We rely on the generous donations of our community to close this gap. Each year, we must raise the 10% different via fundraising.
We strive to keep tuition as affordable as possible to preserve the diversity and inclusivity that enrich our community. Relying solely on tuition increases would limit access to our Montessori education for many, which is counter to our commitment to a varied student body.
By keeping tuition rates accessible, we’re able to open our doors wider to students from a great diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and financial means. This diversity benefits all our students.
The Annual Fund enables us to enhance our programs and facilities beyond what tuition covers, ensuring our students benefit from the highest quality education and resources without compromising our inclusive values.
Furthermore, contributions to the Annual Fund are often tax-deductible, offering a potential financial benefit to our donors. This approach supports the school’s financial health and allows us to maintain excellence in our educational offerings, ensuring we continue to nurture the potential of every student at Cobb School Montessori.
Contributions are used to close the gap in our operating costs, but also,
- Program enhancements – these have included visits for Primary children from conservation organizations bringing animals into the classroom; field trips to places like the Institute for Native American Studies, the Noah Webster House, Roaring Brook Nature Center, Project Oceanography, and more; program enhancements like Model United Nations, the hatching of salmon eggs or chickens, workshops on global music, Hartford Stage instruction, capoeira dancing, and more.
- Specialists – Elementary students receive regular lessons from specialists in Spanish, Art, Physical Education, Science, and Outdoor Education. These enhancements to the program offer our students growth opportunities.
- Classroom Materials – Montessori classrooms are equipped with specially designed materials – from items for lessons to child-sized furniture. These materials must be updated regularly due to frequent use.
- Facilities & Grounds – We take great pride in our beautiful facilities and our 6-acre campus. Each year we use funds for upkeep and improvements – from painting to replacing windows, to adding items to our playground.
- Staff Training & Retention – we strive to attract and retain the highest quality educators who hold a deep belief in the Montessori pedagogy and provide your children with a loving, throughtful education.
We appreciate donations in all sizes and understand that the capacity to give varies from family to family, and often from year to year. No matter the size of your donation, the value of your generosity remains immeasurably. Whether a small contribution or a grand gesture, each gift is cherished and cumulatively transforms our shared vision into tangible grace.
The average family gift is between $100-$500 each year.
We strive for 100% giving participation from our current parent body, staff and Board of Trustees. Donations at any level counts as participation. By showing high rates of participation, we create strong signal to outside givers and foundations that our current population believes in us enough that they’re willing to give to the school.
So even if your family can only contribute a small amount, your participation is vital to Cobb School.
Even when fundraising goals are not met, we strive to maintain the integrity of authentic Montessori classroom experiences. When we do not meet our goals, we must make hard decisions about what to curtail or reduce, typically forestalling improvements or additions to our facilities or grounds, or reducing enrichment activities like goings out, comings in or auxiliary experiences. Plans to address shortfalls are decided by administrative staff with input from teachers and specialists.
We have been fortunate in recent years to exceed our annual fundraising goals so that we might continue to offer academic enhancements and enrichment opportunities for our children, and community events for our families.
Cobb School runs on the generosity of our community and a Culture of Giving that has existed since its founding in 1974. This Culture of Giving takes many forms, including:
- Financial donations
- In-kind donations needed at school or used to raise money in the auction (donating goods or services from your businesses)
- Expertise (offering your professional services in support of the school)
- Volunteering your time – helping with fundraising events like the Country Fair, the Arts Festival, and the Auction; or community events like Trunk-or-Treat, the Winter Concert or the Heritage potluck.
We truly appreciate participation in our Culture of Giving when you are able.
We have auxiliary income from a variety of sources including after school care and summer camp programs. However, as a non-profit, most of our income revenue must align to our primary purpose (child education) or come via donations.
We host several fundraisers throughout the year which are designed to add value to the families in our community with fun events, activities, and desirable auction items.
Our fundraising efforts are designed to benefit all the children in our school community, including hiring and supporting amazing teachers and staff, caring for our beautiful facilities, updating our playgrounds, and offering culturally enriching experiences. While some of our programming is only available at certain levels, we are weaving a tapestry of enrichment that all students will eventually benefit from.
Cobb School maintains several Endowment Funds that have specific use purposes. For example, the annual interest derived from the Mary Lou Cobb Fund is used to support staff professional development. These funds are also important for the school’s long-term financial health, but cannot typically be used for operations.