Endowment Grants

“The NEF Endowment provides a permanent source of educational funding to support learning and educational enrichment across our district. It is an invaluable resource for Northampton’s public schools, and I am proud to count myself among both its founders and investors.”            

– Mayor David J. Narkewicz

Public Education in Northampton

Strong public schools enrich the community for everyone.

By providing outstanding education to children of all backgrounds and income levels, Northampton public schools prepare students to become informed citizens who go on to top colleges, fulfilling careers, and rewarding lives. Excellent public schools strengthen neighborhoods, raise property values, and foster civic pride.

The actual cost of educating Northampton students greatly exceeds the funding provided by taxes, and schools are forced to work within shrinking budgets. Both in Northampton and nationally, public schools face mounting challenges.

The NEF Endowment

Since 1991. the Northampton Education Foundation (NEF) has enhanced public schools in Northampton through its signature Small Grants to Teachers program. NEF grants supplement the school budget, providing experiences that elevate education from strong to exceptional. In 2004, NEF founded its Endowment, to ensure that funding will continue in perpetuity – and allow educators to plan more far-reaching projects with a longer-term focus.

A safety net in uncertain times

With a strong NEF Endowment, teachers will have the resources to promise a first-class educational experience, regardless of the economic or political climate. Public education in Northampton will thrive, and our students will be prepared for the world ahead.=

“NEF has contributed more than $100,000 this school year to projects happening in classrooms throughout the district. With their support, we have been able to provide students with learning experiences that enhance their understanding of the environment, the arts, and technology, and that strengthen their connections to the local community.”

Dr. John Provost, Superintendent, Northampton Public Schools 

Why an endowment?

Building on a model used by colleges and private schools, and increasingly by public school districts, the NEF Endowment represents fiscal responsibility and a strong commitment to the future. Money given to the Endowment is not spent, but rather carefully invested through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Interest from these investments is used to give multi-year grants to the schools, and to sustain successful, proven projects. A portion of the interest is re-invested, so each donation – and the Endowment – continues to grow.

Gifts from local parents, alumni, community members, and businesses become an educational legacy. What a powerful combination of private resources for one of our city’s most important public resources.

“The NEF Endowment is critical to the Northampton Public Schools in our efforts to bring profound innovation, enrichment, and change in our mission to educate all our students.”

– Gwen Agna, Principal, Jackson Street School

“As a teacher and advisor to a variety of clubs, teams, and organizations, I am profoundly grateful for the role the NEF Endowment has played in offering my students ways to further improve their education beyond the walls of the classroom. From 3D modeling boot camps to media production workshops, NEF provides my students the opportunity to learn and grow in meaningful and creative ways.”

– Jeromie Whalen, Technology Teacher, Northampton High School

A proven track record

In its first decade, with great community support, NEF grew its Endowment to more than $1 million, and has given more than $500,000 in Endowment grants to date. From school gardens to 3D printers, from ancient Greek history to high school robotics, the NEF Endowment has funded innovative projects that strengthen a Northampton public school education.

  • 25+ year proven track record of successful NEF projects
  • Committed, enthusiastic Board
  • Building on an already significant Endowment
  • Strong support from the community: schools, local businesses, individuals
  • Fiscal responsibility: exceptional management by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
  • Variety of ways to give at all levels
  • A legacy of excellent public education, in perpetuity.

Who supports the NEF Endowment?

Our supporters include families with children in the school system, those whose children have attended local schools, alumni, local businesses, and community members who recognize the greater, long-term good of a vibrant public education system.

So many ways to give

You may be able to make a significant gift today (and we would be delighted and appreciative). You may feel strongly about supporting the NEF Endowment, but need to fit it carefully into your budget. There are so many ways to give, including:

  • Outright gifts: cash, check, credit card
  • Multi-year gifts/pledges
  • Employer matches
  • Stocks
  • NEF as a beneficiary in your will
  • Real estate
  • Charitable gift annuities
  • Charitable remainder trusts
  • Charitable lead trusts
  • Bequests
  • IRA, 401 (K), 403 (b) or other qualified retirement plan assetsOutright gifts: cash, check, credit card

We would be pleased to discuss different giving options with you.  Please contact mwohl@comcast.net for more information.

The Northampton Education Foundation and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts are both tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations. Your gift to the NEF Endowment Fund is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. 

NEF donate Button

Contact NEF

Innovation today.

A legacy for tomorrow.

Excellence in public education forever.