Support our School

Why Give to Cottonwood School?

The tuition that our families pay only covers, on average, 80% of our annual budget needs. We rely on private donations to make up the remaining 20% from members of the community like you. Your gifts support the people and programs that make Cottonwood School so special. They allow us to offer:

  • Small Classes
  • Talented Instructors
  • Exceptional arts, music and culture programs
  • Unique learning tools and educational experiences

We understand that everyone in our community has a different capacity for giving. Whether it’s gifts of time, talent or treasure, every contribution has a significant impact on our school. Take a look below for ideas and discover the many ways you can help! 

Cottonwood School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Private School. Your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent provided by the law. Our federal tax identification number is 85-0430238.

Click here to download a printable version of the Donation Form

Gifts of cash are the most popular way to make a charitable contribution and may be in the form of cash, checks, money orders, bank drafts, publicly traded securities* (stock), or currency.

Capitol One No Hassle Giving Funds

Donate to your favorite charity with the Capital One No Hassle Giving Site.


Support the Annual Fund
Gifts to the annual fund support the school’s current-year operating budget.  The annual fund offsets the gap between what tuition covers and the actual cost of running the school.  Gifts to the annual fund are unrestricted and help pay for things like salaries and benefits, teaching tools, technology and equipment, overhead, supplies and necessities, and continuing education for staff.

Endowment Gifts
The endowment fund has the potential to significantly impact Cottonwood School's annual operating budget by providing an annual source of income from investment earnings.  Gifts to the Endowment Fund serve as investment principle, which remain intact and are invested in accordance with Cottonwood School's investment policy.  A percentage of investment income can then be used by the school to help with annual operating costs or special projects.

Capital Gifts
When Cottonwood School needs to raise significant funds for a specific project, we will conduct a capital campaign.  Capital projects include the acquisition, construction, or renovation of a building, funding an extraordinary expenditure such as a new van or property improvements, or creating an endowment for the future.  Capital campaigns have a beginning and an end, but usually span several years. Capital gifts are often made in the form of multi-year pledges.

Major Gifts
Any gift to Cottonwood over $5,000 is considered a major gift.  Major gifts can be made as one-time gifts, or in the form of multi-year pledges.  They can be designated towards the annual fund, endowment, a capital campaign, or special project.

Pledges are gifts that are paid incrementally over a specified period of time.  For instance, a $10,000 gift to the endowment can be paid over five years in annual installments of $2,000.  Pledges are recognized at the promised level and can be designated towards the annual fund, endowment, a capital campaign, or special project.

Matching/Corporate Gifts
Many employers offer Matching Gift Programs.  For example, if an employee makes a contribution of $1,000, their Company could donate an additional $1,000 to Cottonwood. What a deal!  Find out if your employer matches charitable contributions to independent schools, or if they have any other support opportunities available (volunteer programs, grants, sponsorships, donations of goods or services, etc.).

United Way Designation
Cottonwood School is eligible to receive United Way designated funds.  If your company participates in a United Way Campaign, please consider making a contribution and designating the funds to go to Cottonwood!  All you need to do is name “Cottonwood School” and include our address “3896 Corrales Rd., Corrales, NM  87048.”

Monthly or Recurring Gifts
These are gifts scheduled to occur on a regular basis, such as monthly or quarterly.  Recurring gifts can easily be set up as payroll deductions through United Way or your company’s giving foundation.  You can also set up a recurring gift when you donate online or by filling out the printable donation form. Recurring gifts are different from pledges because they are ongoing, can be increased or decreased at any time, and do not have a specific total value.  Unless otherwise indicated, recurring gifts benefit the Annual Fund.

Monthly giving is a great way to give in smaller amounts that can really add up over time.  For example, donating $25 from a bi-weekly paycheck adds up to a $1,300 annual donation.  And if your company offers a matching gift program, that amount can double!

Planned Giving & Bequests
Planned Giving is a set of ways a donor can leave money or assets to Cottonwood School upon their death.  It can also be a way to invest money so that the donor receives benefits during their life and then bequeaths the remaining funds to Cottonwood School.  Planned Giving can be adapted to each donor's needs, and can be made via various financial instruments, including trusts, annuities, insurance policies, bequests, etc.

If you are interested in making a planned gift, please speak with Trish Nickerson, Executive Director, to discuss the planned giving method that is right for you.  Cottonwood School may also enlist professional help to assist with your planned giving needs.

Memorials & Honorariums
Gifts made to Cottonwood School can be made in Honor of or in Memory of an individual or group.  Memorials and Honorariums are a great way to recognize a loved one or celebrate a special occasion (anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, holidays, etc.).  When making a memorial or honorary gift, please be sure to include the name and address for who you wish to notify.  Along with a notification letter, we can also include a special card that fits the occasion!

Restricted vs. Unrestricted Gifts
Restricted gifts can be spent only for a specific purpose that is designated by you, the donor (i.e. a special program, financial aid, etc.).  Unrestricted gifts give the school the freedom to spend the funds where the need is greatest and where it will serve the best purpose.

Make an IN-KIND Donation

Donations of goods and services can have a significant impact on our bottom line.  This includes items such as computer equipment, vehicles, and general supplies, as well as professional services like printing, IT and web support, payroll, accounting, marketing, landscaping, maintenance, cleaning, etc.

In addition,the teachers have all created wish lists for the school year at From board games to sweepers to Montessori materials, there are many opportunities for giving at all price levels.

Please note that while we appreciate every donation made to our school, me may turn down or donate to other organizations those items that we cannot make good use of or that would cost too much to maintain or store.  If you have a question about a possible in-kind gift, please contact Trish Nickerson


Special Events and Fundraisers

Throughout the year, Cottonwood hosts several opportunities for the community to mix, mingle, and support our school!  These include:

Cottonwood Nights – monthly get-togethers hosted by local restaurants with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Cottonwood.  Mix and mingle with staff, families, friends and alumnae of Cottonwood, while supporting local business.  Perfect for networking, girls’ night out, date night, or a family outing!

Annual Auction - Held each Spring, the annual auction is our largest fundraising event of the year.  You can participate by becoming a sponsor, donating auction items, purchasing tickets, or serving on the planning committee!    For Annual Auction information please contact Trish Nickerson at

Burrito Brigade – once a month, the Burrito Brigade prepares and sells homemade burritos to raise money for the Annual Fund.  You can help by becoming an honored member of the Brigade that makes the burritos, or by purchasing burritos for you, your family, office, etc.

CSPA Events – the Cottonwood School Parent Association hosts several events during the year, such as the Bosque Bolt walk/run event in the Fall, and the book fair in December.  To find out how you can help the CSPA, email

For a complete list of events, please be sure to check calendar!



There is no greater way to show your support and get involved with Cottonwood than to become a volunteer.  You can be a class parent, field trip chaperone, help at special events, or share your ideas and provide leadership as a board or committee member.

If you work for a company that offers incentives to employees who volunteer at local nonprofit organizations, please let us know!  Your volunteer hours could result in a donation to our school!

Please email Trish Nickerson to find out more about how you can volunteer at Cottonwood!


Serve on the Board or a school committee

We are always looking for true champions of Cottonwood to help us take this school into the future!  If you have a strong desire to make a difference, and/or you have expertise in an area such as legal matters, real estate, business management, grant writing, fundraising, insurance, marketing/PR, accounting, etc., please consider serving on a school board or committee. If this sounds like you, contact Trish Nickerson .

New fundraising ideas are always welcome!  Please contact us with your suggestions.

Support Cottonwood School today!

*Also accepted: gifts of privately held securities, undivided interest in real estate, life estate contracts, tangible real property, individual retirement accounts, and bequests through a will or codicil. Gifts of securities/stock will be valued at the average market value on the date the full interest in the transferred property is received. Please contact Trish Nickerson if you are interested in making a securities/stock donation.

Cottonwood School  |  3896 Corrales Road  |  Corrales (near Albuquerque and Rio Rancho), NM 87048
Phone:505-897-8375  |  Fax:505-890-1533