Annual Giving FAQs

Q:  What is Annual Giving?


A:  Annual Giving is a yearly campaign seeking financial gifts from family, friends and community members.  The 2020-2021 campaign year begins on December 6, 2021, and ends June 30, 2022. Funds raised can be directed to teacher salaries, technology, enriched classroom experiences, extracurricular activities, or the areas of greatest need.  Unrestricted funds are greatly encouraged because they allow the school flexibility in addressing unforeseen financial needs.


Q:  How does Annual Giving benefit my child?


A:  A gift to the AMS Annual Giving Campaign has the power to help us continue to provide an excellent Catholic education and to sustain our competitive edge today as an academic leader. Every child at American Martyrs School benefits from enhanced programming as a product of fundraising.  Monies raised through this year’s Annual Giving Campaign go directly into the current fiscal year’s budget and will support the following:


  • Campus environment enhancements including air conditioning in classrooms
  • Security improvements identified in campus assessment
  • Recruitment and retention of faculty


Q: How do my donations to the Parish Fair auction and weekly giving help the school?


A: American Martyrs School is very blessed to have such an active and strong parish and community to support our school. Our parents are required to work two shifts at the parish fair and many choose to make donations to the parish fair auction. AMS receives $30,000 from the fair. In addition, American Martyrs Church, along with donations, provides the funding for major capital improvements as well as maintains the AMS campus.


Q: Who is leading the Advancement Department?


A: Our Principal, Kris Knowles is leading the Advancement effort with support from our School Board and committee members. He is the sole manager of the donation software and therefore sees the donation amounts.


Q: If I am already paying tuition, why am I also expected to give to the Annual Giving Campaign?


A:  As a tax deductible expense, a donation to the AMS Annual Giving Campaign keeps tuition and fees in line with other Catholic schools.  It is an important source of revenue to keep the academic setting and programs here at AMS current and competitive.


Q: I volunteer above and beyond my expected levels at AMS.  How does my volunteer effort benefit the Campaign?


A: Time, talent and treasure are all necessary ingredients in a successful, enriching, Catholic education.  American Martyrs School greatly appreciates all forms of donation to our community, knowing that without just one of these options, our success would be limited.


Q: I thought AMPA raised money for the school.  How is this different from AMPA’s fundraisers?        


A: AMPA does, in fact, raise funds for American Martyrs School.  The difference between AMPA’s fundraisers and the Annual Giving Campaign is that AMPA’s fundraisers are community building activities in which the AMS community participates.  These include the Mustang Main Event, Scrip, 5K, and dine-out fundraisers.


Q:  How much should I give?


A:  No matter how much you decide to give to the AMS Annual Giving Campaign, know that it is your participation that matters.  Each family is different, and should examine their individual circumstances and their goals for our school family.  The Annual Giving Campaign helps bridge the gap between the tuition charged and the actual cost to educate a student at AMS. The gap last year was $915. We would like to encourage each family to consider a gift of $1000 per child. An investment in the facilities and staff at AMS is an investment in the future of our children. 


Q: Why doesn’t the school charge a tuition amount that covers the total needed to fulfill the annual budget rather than ask for gifts through an Annual Giving Campaign?


A: If tuition were raised to the actual cost of educating each student, it would place too large of a burden on many families, thereby making it difficult for their children to attend AMS. The school is committed to serving our Parish families, and this necessitates containing tuition costs and making available financial aid to those who have demonstrated need. In addition, donations to AMS through the Annual Giving Campaign are 100% tax deductible, and many donations to the Annual Giving Campaign can be matched through employer Matching Gift Programs.


Q: Why is 100% participation so important?


A: School-wide participation in the Annual Giving Campaign is a testament to the community’s strong commitment to the mission of the school and to the goals of a Catholic education.  Achieving 100% participation builds community, identifies solidarity, and often inspires significant additional gifts.  All Annual Giving Campaign gifts, large or small, make a collective impact which benefits each and every student.


Q: I cannot give a gift that will make a significant impact on the campaign.  Why should I give if my gift is small?


A: Annual Giving is not only about reaching our monetary goal, but also about the participation of our entire community.  A strong Annual Giving Campaign with participation from the entire community is a testament to the school’s past, present and future. Each gift truly does make a difference to our monetary total and also offers a positive statement to the overall health of the school. Strong Annual Giving participation also affects American Martyrs School’s ability to seek grants from area foundations and corporations.


Q: How do I make a gift to the Annual Giving Campaign?



  1. Click here to make a secure credit card donation.
  1. Send a check made out to “American Martyrs School” to

                        American Martyrs School

                        ℅ Advancement

                        1701 Laurel Avenue

                        Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

  1. Click here to use our matching gift lookup program or check with your employer to determine whether they are a Matching Gift participant. 
  1. Provide a gift of Stock or Securities.


For more details about matching gifts or giving a gift of stock or securities, please email the Advancement Department at [email protected] or call the school office at (310) 545-8559.


Q: Is my gift tax-deductible?


A: Yes, unlike tuition payments, your gift to the Annual Giving Campaign is 100% tax deductible. A letter will arrive shortly after your donation is received acknowledging your gift and providing a receipt for tax purposes.  American Martyrs School is a 501©(3) non-profit organization - Tax ID#:  95-2276946