What is Saint Matthew's Fund?
Saint Matthew's Fund (SMF) is a yearly fundraising initiative that provides vital support to the Saint Matthew's Episcopal School operating budget. We are an independent school that relies on the generosity of its constituents. Thanks to the support of our school community, SMES has been able to shape and expand our excellent academic programs, recruit and retain quality faculty and staff, stay ahead of the curve on technology in education, and develop a unique learning environment. 

How can you help?
Any size gift is appreciated. Gifts to SMF allow the school to start new programs and strengthen current ones. Your gift also helps assure that we can maintain or exceed our enrichment programs, professional development, technology improvements, and purchase new curriculum. Participation by the entire SMES Family is key to our continued success. We invite you to get involved and share with your family members. Gifts can be a one-time donation or a monthly pledge. All gifts to the school are deductible for federal income tax purposes. 

The impact of a gift: No matter how small the donation, it makes an impact. Below are examples of how your donation can help our budget.
  • A $10 gift will cover a Reading Eggs subscription for one student.
  • A $20 gift will cover the fuel needed for the grass to be cut.
  • A $100 gift will cover a Moby Max (math) subscription for one class. 
  • A $500 gift will cover one month of Kentwood Water that is provided throughout our campus.
Cost to run the school: Running a school comes with many expenses. These expenses include:
  • Average electricity bill per month: $3,089.89
  • Internet expense per year: $2,280
  • Trash removal per year: Approximately $6,800
Excellence Gap: What is the Excellence Gap?
The Excellence Gap is defined as the amount of budgeted expenses that are not covered by tuition, fees, and “other income.” Other income is defined as income from our auxiliary programs such as hot lunch and extended care. All other operating expenses are covered by our Fundraising Initiatives. Why is it important to cover the Excellence Gap? This year, the school expects to spend approximately $1,500 more educating each student than a family pays in tuition. Covering the excellence gap is the best way to prevent increases in tuition, while continuing to educate our children by nurturing the mind, heart, and soul in a Christian Environment.

A Letter from Dr. Elena Mann, Saint Matthew's Fund Donor


Saint Matthew's Fund FAQ

The information on this page attempts to answer the most commonly asked questions about the Saint Matthew's Fund. For further questions please contact us at 985-872-5573 or by e-mail

1. What is the Saint Matthew’s Fund?
The Saint Matthew’s Fund is a yearly fundraising initiative that provides vital support to St. Matthew’s current operating budget. An independent school relies upon the generosity of its constituents to provide an exceptional program and environment for its students. Many of the enhancements and "extras" provided at our school are a result of each year's fund.

2. How are contributions used?
Gifts to the Saint Matthew’s Fund are unrestricted, so they can be used where they are needed the most. Every dollar given to the Saint Matthew’s Fund is used immediately to maintain excellence, by meeting the school's most important needs and opportunities, including new and ongoing programs in the classroom, and other initiatives. Your gift directly impacts our students today!
• Optimal class size
• Curriculum upgrades
• Faculty salaries and professional development
• Technology in every classroom
• Upgrades and maintenance of our campus

3. Why is it important to participate?
A robust Saint Matthew’s Fund ensures the best possible programs, facility, and faculty for the students.  The Saint Matthew’s Fund is the foundation of all fundraising at SMES, and the level of participation by parents is an important factor in expanding learning opportunities for students. Each family who gives takes ownership in Saint Matthew's and is doing its part in realizing the vision of SMES. Full participation makes a powerful statement to the larger community – including individual donors and charitable foundations who look for strong support within the schools they choose to support.

4. Do all SMES families participate?
100% of the Faculty, Staff, and Board of Trustees pledged support or made contributions before the official kick-off of the campaign. Many of our faculty did so by means of payroll deduction, which speaks volumes about their deep commitment to our children and the mission of SMES.  The school relies on the generosity of its alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends to ensure that students receive the quality academic experiences they deserve.

5. How much should I give?
Gifts to the Saint Matthew’s Fund can range from fifteen dollars to thousands of dollars. Large gifts are wonderful, but smaller gifts add up.  A high percentage of parent participation is also critical.  We encourage every family to participate, and we hope you will participate at a level that is personally meaningful to you. Remember that your gift, along with others, directly enhances your child's education. Please prayerfully consider your financial support of the Saint Matthew’s Fund. The only gift that is too small is no gift at all.

6. Why not just set tuition high enough to cover expenses?
As an independent school, Saint Matthew’s meets our budgetary needs from tuition, gifts, and fundraising. Charitable gifts supplement our operating budget and help provide financial stability and the resources necessary for an optimal educational environment. Gifts to the Saint Matthew’s Fund are unrestricted and allow the school to use the funds in the area of most need during the school year. In fact, this year, the school will spend about $1,400 more educating each student than that family pays in tuition. The Saint Matthew’s Fund helps us bridge that “Excellence Gap.” Tuition and fees cover about 75% of the cost of educating a student for one school year; this means that 25% of the school budget must be made up each year through the Saint Matthew’s Fund and other fundraising efforts. Saint Matthew’s is a non-profit organization, and while the School is associated with the Church, the two are separate financial entities.  Funds are not shared.
We have chosen not to set tuition high enough to cover all expenses for three reasons:
  • Higher tuition might exclude some students. Diversity is important, and we want to make SMES available to as many families as possible, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
  • Each family is asked to give at a level at which they are comfortable.
  • Contributions to the Saint Matthew’s Fund are tax-deductible.

7. Should I give a larger gift if I have more than one child at SMES?
The Saint Matthew’s Fund helps us bridge that “Excellence Gap.”  Tuition and fees cover only about 75% of the cost of educating a student for one school year. If your second child were not at SMES, his/her place would be occupied by a child whose parents presumably would make a contribution equal to yours for their one child, providing the financial support needed for each child.

8. Are there tax benefits available when I give to SMES?
Yes, there are! Saint Matthew’s Episcopal School is a registered 501(c)3 organization and charitable gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

9. How long do I have to pay my pledge to the Saint Matthew’s Fund?
Families are encouraged to make their pledges as soon as possible, but we prefer to receive all payments by May 1st.  When you make your contribution, you will be sent an official receipt that you may use for your tax deduction calculations in the tax year your payment was made.

10. I would like to keep my donation confidential. Is that possible?
Yes, simply let us know. We also welcome donations in honor or memory of others.

11. What about matching gifts?
Many companies match employee contributions to non-profit organizations such as Saint Matthew’s Episcopal School. We encourage donors to check with their employers to see if this plan is available for them. The Matching Gift Form, available through your employer, should accompany your donation to SMES. The SMES EIN number is 72-0571489.


Happy feet
Our Annual Fund kicks off in November. This year we again will include an opportunity for our students to participate.   The goal for the student contributions is that the children will find ways to earn change to donate rather than just ask for it. Last year, our students donated over $600! Thank you to our wonderful students for your support!