A Fully Engaged Community

We are committed to inspiring a strong culture of philanthropy and community engagement, which are essential elements in supporting high quality, education and the healthy growth of our school. 

Our strength stems from our community: our dedicated faculty and staff, our shared belief in our curriculum and the underlying philosophy, and the commitment of our families. 

City Garden School relies on the support of individuals and organizations who want to further our vision. The Garden Fund (our annual fund) allows CGS to say “yes” to good ideas now and ensure continued growth as a strong academic, artistic, and social foundation in which each student cultivates a capacity for independent thinking, compassionate feeling, and responsible action. It also allows many students to attend CGS without finances being a barrier.

By donating to the Garden Fund, you are helping to kickstart initiatives with the human and financial capital to build momentum, ensuring the availability of financial aid, and developing sustainable programs with lasting impact and engagement.

City Garden School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is sustained and enriched through gifts made by parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. This vital support ensures the school’s ability to continue to offer the most relevant and inspiring education to children today and far into the future. Your tax-deductible contribution to the Garden Fund helps to fill the gap in the operating budget and pay for equipment, facilities and utilities, and faculty and staff salaries. Garden Fund contributions are essential to the day-to-day operations of the school, as tuition does not cover the full cost of the education provided here. Your generous support ensures that City Garden School will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years. Together we are creating something very special for our children and for future generations–a place where each individual can realize his or her full potential through goodness, beauty, and truth.

It only takes a couple of minutes spent with a City Garden student to notice that something is different: the creativity, the spark in their eye, the innate curiosity. This comes from a deep dedication to educating the whole child in a way that honors and meets their individual needs at a pace that is developmentally appropriate. With an emphasis on connection to nature, ample time spent on social-emotional health, and with the arts beautifully interwoven into our daily lessons, we endeavor to nurture each child into an adult ready to realize their full potential. Our teachers are passionate and extensively trained. Our community shares these values and contributes to a slow and meaningful childhood for their children. Together we are building our future.  

I am inspired by the generosity of the families, faculty, and friends of CGS who make giving to our school a priority. Every donation, big and small, helps further our mission and transform the lives of Mid-Missouri youth. I want to thank you for your continued support of and dedication to City Garden and outdoor education!

--Jordan Johnson, Head of School

Gift Matching

When you participate in this nourishing community, you help ensure a stable learning environment for generations to live wisely and lovingly on Earth.  Generous tax-deductible donations are necessary to meet the gap between program fees and expenses. Your generosity models striving for the highest good to the children and deeply informs their path.


$50 = Supplies plants for our community gardens

$100 = Helps a teacher purchase art supplies for the classroom

$250 = Supports a field trip budget for more outside-of-class learning

$500 = Provides classroom furniture and materials for two children

$1000 = Sends one teacher to summer training intensive

$2500 = Supports new clubs and extracurricular activities

$8000 = Gives a deserving child one year of an education to last a lifetime

$50,000 = Is a lead gift that founds and grounds the school

Garden Fund Questions and Answers

What is the Garden Fund?

The Garden fund covers the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating a student at CGS. Tuition covers about 75% of our expenses. The balance of our needed income comes from The Garden Fund, the Woodland Craft Fair, and Tales from the Garden Gala. The Garden Fund is the largest source of that income.

How is the goal for the Garden Fund determined?

Based on enrollment and budget, the “gap” determines our Garden Fund goal after taking into account all of our sources of revenue. Enrollment and tuition revenue goals determine the potential operating costs for the new school year. Once school begins, actual enrollment and tuition revenue plus an estimate of other income establish the expected revenues. This budget process sets our goal for the annual fund to bridge the gap between expected revenues and budgeted operating costs.

Will a small gift make a difference?

Yes! City Garden School needs your participation. While the dollar goal is very important to meeting the annual budget, high participation rates (at any level) help CGS receive foundation grants for capital campaigns and programming.

How do I make my gift?

You can make your pledge or gift by using the form at the top of this page or by mailing or delivering a check to City Garden School with "Garden Fund" in the memo line.

Can I designate my gift to a specific area at City Garden School?

We ask that Garden Fund gifts be undesignated. The Garden Fund is part of the school operating budget.  However, there are times when exceptions can be made for unique opportunities.

What is the matching gift program?

Many employers have matching gift programs which will match your gift with company funds. The City Garden School Garden Fund qualifies for these matches as a non-profit educational institution. Check with your employer to see if your company participates in this program.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes. City Garden School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

What is the difference between the Garden Fund and the Capital Campaign?

Gifts to a capital campaign allow us to build facilities and develop the future of CGS. Capital Campaign gifts are restricted to the specific purpose of the associated campaign. Garden Fund gifts by definition are unrestricted and fund the intentional gap between actual costs and tuition for each school year. 

When should I give?

While the City Garden School Garden Fund accepts gifts throughout the year, your early gift or pledge helps the school with its budgeting and cash flow. We ask families to indicate their commitment by December 31. Payment on Garden Fund pledges is due by the end of the school year, June 30. Any gifts received after June 30 will count for the next school year.

How often will I be contacted?

You will be contacted as often as necessary to secure your participation. In addition to the financial goal, there is also a goal of 100% parent participation. This helps us greatly when we make foundation grant requests.  The best gift you can make is an early commitment and prompt payment.

Why aren't activity fees, materials fees, or other costs related to attending CGS considered Garden Fund gifts?

Items such as activity fees or materials fees dues do not meet IRS guidelines for 501(c)(3) tax deductibility due to the direct value received in return. Gifts to the Garden Fund are tax-deductible and they are used to minimize the fees and expenses associated with our students’ education.

By participating in school events, volunteering time and energy, and supporting fundraising initiatives, our community shows its support for our school and programs. There are school fundraising, special events, publications, and alumni relations opportunities. We welcome your interest and participation.

*City Garden School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

"How wonderful it is that 

nobody need wait a single moment 

before starting to improve the world." 

-Anne Frank