Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Nightingale Fund and why is it necessary?

The Nightingale Fund is the cornerstone of our fundraising efforts, supported annually by our community of parents, alumnae, trustees, faculty, staff, grandparents, and friends. Funds raised flow directly into the current year’s operating budget and are put to use immediately. Each gift has a direct impact on every aspect of Nightingale—from classroom enrichment and arts, to field trips and professional development. 

The Nightingale Fund runs from July 1 through June 30 each year. Early participation is encouraged, as it generates enthusiasm and allows us additional flexibility in creating and enhancing academic and extracurricular programs. Our goal every year is to reach 100% participation for trustees, faculty, and parents.

Where does the money go?

Your 100% tax-deductible contribution to the Nightingale Fund supports the very best things about our school. Below are examples of the many enhancements and opportunities made possible by the Nightingale Fund: 

Expanded Academic Programs and Classroom Innovation

  • Middle and Upper School debate programs
  • Reimagined music program
  • STEAM initiatives
  • Materials for the makerspace
  • Training faculty on how to effectively use technology as a teaching tool

Faculty Support

  • Continuing education and graduate programs
  • Travel grants
  • Faculty wellness programs
  • Classroom materials
  • Professional development (click here to view the conferences and workshops our faculty and staff attended in the 2016–2017 school year)
  • Books, subscriptions, and museum memberships

Financial Aid

  • Financial aid needed for extraordinary circumstances that occur in our community, such as economic hardship due to loss of a job or death of a family member.
  • Need-based scholarships for such programs as Hobbyhorse (afterschool program), Sunny Days (June day camp), Debate Institute, and Training in Biotechnology
  • Need-based assistance for prom tickets and graduation dresses
  • Need-based assistance for international trips, including spending money

Experiences Beyond the Blue Doors

  • Student Diversity Leadership Conference
  • Overnight and day trips (i.e., Greenkill, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and London)
  • NAIS People of Color Conference
  • Regional Alumnae Reunions 

Wellness and Athletics

  • Fields and practice facilities (Randall’s Island and the 92nd Street Y)
  • Uniforms and transportation
  • Health and wellness initiatives
  • Advisory program

Arts, Music, and Theater

  • Strings program: rent and purchase of instruments
  • Art supplies
  • Middle and Upper School student publications (Out of Uniform, Philomel, Time Regained, andThe Spectator)

Community Events

  • Homecoming
  • Fair
  • Alumnae Reunions 

I already pay tuition. Why am I being asked to support the Nightingale Fund?

Tuition does not cover the full cost of a Nightingale education. Like all independent schools, we rely on the generosity of our community to support enhancements that provide unique opportunities for our students and enrich our school’s program.

Where does the money for the operating budget come from?

  • Tuition: 81%
  • The Nightingale Fund: 10%
  • Scholarship Fund: 7%
  • Other income: 2%

The Nightingale Fund accounts for 10% of the school’s annual operating budget. Funds raised directly support the programs that set Nightingale apart, allowing our students and teachers to flourish. 

How does the Nightingale Fund benefit my daughter(s)?

The Nightingale Fund directly impacts the educational experience of every student from Kindergarten through Class XII. Through classroom enrichment opportunities, world-class field trips, innovative technology, extracurricular activities, the finest faculty, and much more, the Nightingale Fund allows us to deliver on our mission in a way that meets the individual needs of our students. 

Why does participation matter?

Your gift—at any level—demonstrates your commitment to Nightingale and its continued success. Your support of the Nightingale Fund sends a powerful message that you believe in our mission, our programs, and our people. High participation is also a key factor in determining foundation grant eligibility.

How much should I give?

The first gift you make to the school should be to the Nightingale Fund. We ask that you make your commitment to the fund your first priority because we count on the money raised to help meet our annual operating expenses. 

A gift that is meaningful to your family is meaningful to Nightingale. While the amount varies for each family, a gift at any level makes a difference.

Giving Levels

Head’s Society
$50,000 and up

Nightingale Society

Bamford Society

Robillard Society 

Woodbridge Society 

McMenamin Society

Blue Doors Society

1920 Society

Nighthawk Society
Up to $499

Leadership giving levels begin at $2,500

How do I make a gift?

Gifts may be made online at any time. For other ways to give, click here

What are matching gifts?

Many companies offer matching gift programs—a simple way to double or triple your contribution to Nightingale. If your company is eligible, please request a matching gift form from your employer, send the completed form together with your gift, and we will do the rest. Your matching gift will be counted toward your total contribution to the Nightingale Fund. To find out if your company has a matching gift program, click here.

Who should I call if I have a question about the Nightingale Fund?

If you have additional questions not addressed here, please contact Director of Annual Giving and Constituent Relations Erica Lee at or 212-933-6503.