Make Your Gift to the Ellis Fund

Now, more than ever, your support means the world to Ellis and its students.

About The Ellis Fund

The Ellis Fund is Ellis’ annual fund that goes toward the School’s current-year operating expenses. Ellis Fund gifts make up the difference between what tuition covers and the actual cost of running the School. Such gifts are unrestricted, meaning donors allow the School to spend them on whatever it deems necessary.

Other Ways to Give to the Ellis Fund

List of 4 items.

  • Check

    Please make checks payable to "The Ellis School". You may send your gift to: The Ellis School, Development Office, 6425 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  • Gifts of Securities

    The Development Office will provide stock transfer instructions upon request. All gifts of stock are sold immediately upon receipt. For more information, please call 412-661-6796.
  • Gifts-in-Kind

    Gifts-in-Kind are accepted when pre-approved through the Development Office. For more information, please call 412-661-6796.
  • EITC Special Purpose Entity (SPE) Program

    For those who wish to make a meaningful impact on the lives of current students and donate to Tailored Tuition (financial aid) at The Ellis School and receive Pennsylvania Education tax credits (EITC) on their personal tax return, participating in a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) creates a unique opportunity for an EITC individual donor. 

    Requirements to Qualify for the SPE Program for Individual Tax Credits:
    • The SPE program is based on tax liability, not income; therefore, each situation will be different. An individual or couple filing jointly must earn a minimum of $115,000 in state taxable income or have a state tax liability of $3,500 or more to participate. To see if you qualify, you can find your Pennsylvania tax liability on Form PA‐40 Line 12 of your most recent tax return.
    • This donation is a two‐year commitment to get a 90% tax credit for Pennsylvania.
    • Donors must be employed by or own a for profit business or own stock in a business that operates in Pennsylvania. If you file jointly with a spouse, and one works for a business and the other a nonprofit, both qualify for the purpose of determining tax liability.

    The chart below is an example of how these tax credits can benefit both you and The Ellis School: 

    PA State Taxes of Donor$10,000
    SPE Contribution$10,000
    PA State Tax Credit 90%$9,000
    Fed. Charitable Deduction 10%$1,000
    Total Tax Savings$9,000

    To learn more, please contact Tami Clark at the Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund ( or 814-942-4406) or click here for more information. You may also direct questions to Director of Advancement Claire Devereux ( or 412-661-6796, x131).  

    Always consult your tax accountant when making decisions that have a tax implication.

A New Look for the Ellis Middle School

The next project in our continuing efforts to improve our beautiful campus is updating all of the common spaces in the Ellis Middle School. As we work together to get this crucial project across the finish line, we hope you will make an end-of-year donation toward this endeavor through the link below.

Our 2023–2024 Giving Goal

  1. 100
  2. 90
  3. 80
  4. 70
  5. 60
  6. 50
  7. 40
  8. 30
  9. 20
  10. 10
  11. 0
Goal $800,000.00
Current $593,333.00
Remaining $206,667.00

Your Guide to Supporting Ellis

More Ways to Give to Ellis

List of 3 items.

  • Endowed Giving

    The Ellis endowment is a permanent, self-sustaining source of funding for The Ellis School. Funds for endowed faculty chairs, scholarships, and ongoing maintenance of its facilities ensure that Ellis is able to attract and retain a community of talented faculty and students, as well as the overall sustainability of the campus. By providing non-tuition operational dollars, the endowment helps to keep tuition as affordable as possible for all current and future families while supporting Tailored Tuition, faculty salaries, facilities, and much more. A gift to the Ellis endowment is a way to make an impact on the School and its students far into the future. 
    When you specify that you intend for your gift to be endowed, the principal amount of your gift will be invested and the investment income will be used for the ongoing support of Ellis. Earnings in excess of the distribution are used to build the endowment’s market value. Current endowed funds support scholarships and Tailored Tuition, faculty chairs, and other critical needs within the school. When you establish an endowment fund, you create a permanent legacy of support for Ellis. Please contact Director of Advancement Claire Devereux at if you would like to discuss an endowed gift or have any questions.
  • Capital Giving

    In addition to Ellis’ ongoing fundraising initiatives, we often develop special projects to enhance our campus and the student experience. Capital gifts have the ability to create powerful and essential opportunities for both the students and faculty members during their time on campus. Capital gifts not only fund brick and mortar projects, but can also support scholarships; endowments; visiting scholars, speakers, and artists; travel grants; professional development, and more. Please share your interest in supporting a special project with the Development Office at 412-661-6796.
  • Gifts-in-Kind

    Gifts-in-Kind are accepted when pre-approved through the Development Office. For more information, please call 412-661-6796.

List of 2 items.

  • Gifts of Securities

    The Development Office will provide stock transfer instructions upon request. All gifts of stock are sold immediately upon receipt. For more information, please call 412-661-6796.
  • Corporate Giving Through EITC & OSTC

    The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs allow eligible Pennsylvania businesses to receive tax credits for their philanthropic contributions to The Ellis School.

    All applications are now online through a single electronic application, which can be accessed here: EITC Single Electronic Application

    Business Application Timeline
    • May 15 – Deadline for business applicants who have fulfilled their 2-year commitment and wish to reapply to renew their 2-year commitment.
    • May 15 – Deadline for businesses who are in the middle of their 2-year commitment.
    • July 1 – Deadline for all other businesses, including initial applicants and those applicants wishing to submit an additional application on top of their previously submitted 2-year commitment.
    Please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development website for more information, or contact the Development Office at 412-661-6796.
Curious About Corporate Matching Gifts?
To find out if your employer has a matching gift policy, simply enter the name of your company in the search bar below. In some instances, it’s possible to access companies’ matching forms directly through our search engine. If forms aren’t readily available online, please contact a Human Resources representative within your company about matching.

Here’s what you might need to know about Ellis to request a match:
More questions about matching gifts? Call us at 412-661-6796 or email us at
Matching Gift and Volunteer Grant information provided by
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Frequently Asked Questions

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the Ellis Fund?

    The Ellis Fund provides the primary source of unrestricted funds to the School, allowing the School to apply funds to the areas of greatest need. It’s made up of hundreds of unrestricted gifts that help offset Ellis’ yearly operating expenses. 
    The Ellis School relies on its community of parents, grandparents, alumnae, past parents, friends, faculty/staff, foundations, and area businesses and corporations to contribute. Ellis Fund gifts are put to immediate use, spent in the same fiscal year in which they are received.
  • Where exactly do Ellis Fund dollars go?

    Gifts made to the Ellis Fund provide support to some of the most important areas on campus including Tailored Tuition, academic support, athletic programs, performing and visual arts, and student activities. It also allows Ellis to recruit and retain the best faculty, provide professional development opportunities, and enhance and upgrade facilities.
  • Why is annual giving so important?

    Making an annual gift every year is a statement to foundations, corporations, and other community funders. Gifts showcase the strength of our community and signal that you believe in Ellis’ mission and the unique educational experience the school provides. 

    Your annual gift provides vital support to the immediate operating budget of Ellis and helps to ensure that departments and programs get the funds they need to provide the highest quality student experience while maintaining a balanced budget.
  • I already pay tuition. Why am I being asked to contribute?

    Tuition only covers about 75% of an Ellis education. While tuition, fees, and the endowment cover the majority of the cost, the Ellis Fund makes up the difference.

    If Ellis only relied on tuition and did not conduct fundraisers, tuition would actually be higher. Since Ellis is a nonprofit and must raise funds each year to ensure the excellent education received by all Ellis students, Ellis Fund gifts are tax-deductible, whereas tuition dollars are not.
  • Is it possible for me to designate where I want my donation to the Ellis Fund to go?

    Yes! Gifts to the Ellis Fund can be designated to athletics, arts, Tailored Tuition, faculty salaries, facilities, and general operational costs. Your gift can truly impact the entire Ellis community.

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Does it matter when I make my gift?

    Yes. A gift or pledge made early in the school year is a great advantage to the School because it enables us to know how much money will be available to support the School’s budget throughout the year. The goal is to have Ellis Fund commitments by September 30. Pledges must be paid by May 31. We ask that matching gift pledges be submitted to employers by March 1.
  • I can’t make a large donation. Do small donations matter?

    Yes! Every gift, no matter the amount, is greatly appreciated and important to our success. Furthermore, full participation helps us meet our fundraising goal. 
    Additionally, it shows strong support and engagement from our community, an important factor when approaching outside sources for contributions. Corporate and outside donors want to know if the parents, alumnae, and grandparents support the School and its missions. Participation in the Ellis Fund demonstrates confidence in the School and puts Ellis in a strong position when foundations and other organizations are considering a gift to the School.
  • How much should I give?

    We ask that you give at a level that is meaningful to you. In the past, individual gifts have ranged from $5 to $150,000. While leadership gifts of $1,000 and above are crucial to the financial stability of the School, gifts of all sizes make a difference. All gifts send a message to members of the Ellis community and to outside funding sources that those who benefit most from Ellis support it.
  • How often will Ellis solicit me for an Ellis Fund donation?

    Ellis operates on a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30. Solicitations for the Ellis Fund coincide with the start of the school year and we continue to solicit funds through June 30, the end of the School’s fiscal year. Once your gift/pledge is made for the school year, you will not be solicited for the Ellis Fund for the rest of the current fiscal year.
  • What’s the difference between a gift to the Ellis Fund and a gift to the endowment?

    Gifts to the Ellis Fund specifically address the yearly operating expenses that are incurred while running the School and are built into the budget on a yearly basis. The Ellis endowment is our savings and investment account from which only limited funds can be drawn each year.

Meet Our Team

Claire Devereux

Director of Advancement

The Advancement Office supports the mission of The Ellis School by building meaningful relationships with our entire community, including alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends.

A gift to The Ellis School, be it time, energy, or money, makes a direct impact on every student at Ellis and is an investment in the future as we educate the next generation of female changemakers and leaders.

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Anne Lawson

    Ms. Anne Lawson 

    Assistant Director of the Annual Fund
  • Photo of Emily Chierici

    Ms. Emily Chierici 

    Database and Gift Manager
  • Photo of Elisa Lucke

    Mrs. Elisa Lucke 

    Alumnae Coordinator