SAINT MATTHEW'S FUND

The Saint Matthew's Fund, formerly called the Annual Fund, is an opportunity for our family and friends to show support and gratitude for what Saint Matthew's offers its students. This yearly initiative is an appeal for funds that provide vital resources to the school's mission of  "nurturing mind, heart, and soul in a Christian environment."  There are many ways to donate:
-credit card
-check
-cash
-FACTS (SMES families)
-Venmo
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A Letter from Dr. Elena Mann, Saint Matthew's Fund Chairperson

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A Letter from the Saint Matthew's Fund Chairperson

Children are among the most precious of God’s gifts to us. As parents, we have the honor of choosing their educational experience in a way that acknowledges and cultivates our priceless gifts.  The way in which Saint Matthew’s Episcopal School embraces all of its students and families is like no other.  Saint Matthew’s is much more than a school for us.  Saint Matthew’s is our family and our home.  From our very first visit here, my husband Damon and I knew this was where we must send our children.  Seven years later, our decision remains the same.  Our children, Aiden, Ashton, and Austin have grown in so many ways.  They have achieved amazing personal and academic successes that I can only attribute to the outstanding faculty and staff here.  We had the experience of having the children attend a private Catholic school in another state for three weeks after Hurricane Ida.  All three were able to easily assimilate into that school system and curriculum without any difficulty.  They had already mastered most of the concepts that were being taught there, and they continued to excel academically. 

Aiden has medaled two years in a row in both the regional and state Social Studies fair.  We were so excited when he won both the regional and state competitions!  Ashton, who was initially a quiet, shy child, has now become a social magnet who has friends at nearly every elementary school in the parish.  Austin is quickly becoming a very confident hands-on learner due to Saint Matthew’s comprehensive STEM program. They have all developed a strong spiritual and academic foundation here and have created what I am sure will be lifelong friendships.

Saint Matthew’s Episcopal School has far exceeded its mission for our family in “nurturing mind, heart, and soul in a Christian environment.”  It has served as the place where I know my children are safe every day.  I know they are getting a world class education in a nurturing, supportive atmosphere. Saint Matthew’s encourages and celebrates every child with an individualized approach to ensure success at every level. 

The Saint Matthew’s Fund is an opportunity for friends and families of Saint Matthew’s to become a part of the immersive Saint Matthew’s experience by giving a meaningful gift to support its mission and to close the “excellence gap.”  This is the difference between the tuition and the actual cost of the education.  This funding allows for Saint Matthew’s to continue to be an academic and technological leader in elementary education.  It also allows for enhanced professional development and retention of staff.  Additionally, the Saint Matthew’s Fund helps to facilitate campus improvement projects that directly benefit the students including newly enhanced, state-of-the-art safety features. The caliber of the education that every child receives at Saint Matthew’s Episcopal School is truly priceless.  Investing in our children today will enrich our community year after year.  Your gift, regardless of size, will make a difference in the lives of each and every student who is blessed to call Saint Matthew’s home. 

Sincerely,
Elena Mann
Parent and SMES Board of Trustees Member
Brochure front
Pledge card 2021

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 smes_info@stmattshouma.org.

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 $1,300 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

Happy feet
Our Annual Fund kicked off in November. This year we again included 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. Thank you to our wonderful students for your support!