Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Annual Fund:
What does the Annual Fund support?
- Teachers’ salaries and professional development
- Media Center resources
- Fine Arts supplies
- Extracurricular Activities
- School safety
Contributions go toward bettering the SMHS experience for students, teachers, and parents. Improvement in academic and extracurricular pursuits of the school allow SMHS to maintain its excellence in education.
Does my gift make a difference?
Yes! Every donor, every gift, and every dollar takes a good education and makes it outstanding through gifts to the Annual Fund.
From a $10 gift to a $25,000 gift, every gift makes a difference!
When Will I Be Solicited?
The Annual Fund begins a new campaign each fiscal year to our alumni, parents of current students and alumni, grand parents of current students, faculty, staff, friends of the school, and the Signal Mountain community. The Annual Fund operates on a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. Once you have made a gift, we try to ensure that you will not be solicited again during the rest of the fiscal year. Once you have pledged your support to the Annual Fund, you should not receive further solicitations. However, pledge reminders are sent regularly to those who have an unpaid pledge.
When do I need to send my gift?
SMHS needs your support every year. The dollars provided through the Annual Fund are used for the immediate operations of the school. We hope that all prior donors will renew their support of the Annual Fund before the close of the fiscal year on June 30. New donors are welcome to make a gift at any time during SMHS’ fiscal year which runs July 1 through June 30. Donations can also be made on the MEF’s secure website.
As an alumnus, I’d like to know why SMHS asks me to make a yearly contribution to the Annual Fund.
Your own SMHS education was supported by families and friends who helped “build” the school, and we hope that you will show the same generosity in preserving traditions and promoting excellence for future generations of students. We encourage all of our alumni to stay involved in the school – by attending athletic events and theatrical productions, by participating in our alumni events, and by make financial gifts. Your continued involvement, both personal and financial, strengthens the SMHS community.
Is it unusual that SMHS asks parents, alumni, and other donors to contribute to the Annual Fund?
No, it is not. The Annual Fund compensates for the difference in funding from Hamilton County and the actual operating budget of SMHS. Virtually every school and university in the nation relies on its constituents to provide charitable donations to its operating fund. Without the Annual Fund, we would not be able to provide college counseling, tutoring services, technology, and many other items each year.
Why is participation in the Annual Fund so important?
Participation numbers, especially among our alumni and parents, indicate the success of a SMHS education. Many foundations request participation numbers among alumni and parents when faculty and the Mountain Education Foundation apply for grants, as it reflects the strengths of a SMHS education.
Do you also ask businesses and foundations for support?
We do. Several businesses and foundations have contributed to the Annual Fund. Often these donors wants evidence of strong internal support before they are willing to make a gift. For this reason, it is especially important that we can rely on alumni, parents, faculty, and staff in proving that those most closely tied to the school are enthusiastic supporters.
Is my gift tax-deductible?
YES! Your gifts to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible under the applicable sections of the Internal Revenue Code. A receipt of your gift will be sent shortly after your contribution is received and processed.
Where do I send my gift?
The easiest way to make a gift or pledge from the website is to use our secure online form. You can use your credit card or debit card securely online. You can also make a gift by check (payable to MEF with a reference to SMHS Alumni Society in the memo line) by sending it to:
SMHS Alumni Society
PO Box 81
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Click to complete a pledge.
How much should I give?
You should give as much as you feel comfortable with. We welcome the continued involvement of our alumni, parents, and friends in the school, and giving is a great way to maintain that tie. Any size gift is greatly appreciated, and each gift has a direct impact on the quality of the school experience for the students and our teachers. View the Annual Fund giving levels.
Can I set up monthly donations?
Yes, you can indicate monthly donation online when setting up pledge and donation at “Make a Gift”.
Who can take advantage of Matching gifts?
More than 1,000 parent companies and corporate foundations currently match employees’ gifts to nonprofits organizations. If you or your spouse work for a company with a matching gift program, you could double your contribution to the SMHS Annual Fund! Many companies will match donations made by employees, retired employees, and spouses. Contact your Human Resources Office to determine if your company has a matching gift program.
Can I make a non-cash contribution to the Annual Fund?
You may. Gifts in-kind are welcome and appreciated by SMHS. These include real estate, personal property, equipment, other in-kind items. We also gladly accept gift of appreciated securities. Please contact us.
What is the difference in the Annual Fund and Capital Campaigns?
Annual Fund donations are given and spent annually. Capital campaigns are not conducted on a regular basis and are funds strictly used to help purchase property, construct buildings, and pay for major projects.
Can I make my gift in honor or in memory of another person? Will that person and/or family know I’ve made the gift?
You may designate your contribution in honor or in memory of another person or persons. The Alumni Office will send an acknowledgement notifying the honoree of your gift or family (though not the specific amount). Your gift will also be noted in the Annual Report.
Can I make gifts anonymously?
Of course. SMHS and MEF are happy to honor the discretion that some donors may wish to use in making their contributions.