It can be easy to forget that Menlo Park Academy is in the same category as other nonprofits you support. We, too, are a 501(c)(3) organization, and like any nonprofit, we rely on charitable gifts to meet our operational expenses.

Public funding alone isn’t enough to allow us to offer the kind of gifted education programming we do. As a nonprofit, public charter school, Menlo Park Academy receives two-thirds of the funding of a traditional public school. Community support is critical for closing our funding gap and providing our students with the resources and support they need to thrive. We believe a Menlo experience needs to be something special, and we count on your partnership to make that possible.

By making an annual charitable gift, volunteering at fundraising events and linking your retail shopping accounts to Menlo Park Academy, you help us meet our mission to offer each of our students the chance to reach their potential.

Thank you for thoughtfully considering how you can help us bridge the funding gap, allowing us to leverage the public dollars we receive so we can offer an educational experience unlike any other.

Why Fundraising Matters at MPA: The Funding Disparity

Community Schools in Ohio are funded differently than public districts. While both are public schools, with their main funding source coming from the state budget, local districts receive additional local funds that community (charter) schools can’t access.

In its 2023 edition of “Ohio Education by the Numbers,” the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reports, “State taxpayer funds provide 41 percent of total revenues, while local taxes contribute 43 percent. Federal and non-tax sources provide the rest.”

In contrast, as a community school, MPA’s budget for 2021-22 shows only 17 percent of our total revenue coming from local sources. The main reason for this disparity is that we do not have access to local property tax or school levy income. *Menlo does receive funding from our partnership with CMSD, which totals under 2% of our budget.

“On average, Ohio schools spend just over $13,000 per pupil in overall operational expenditures. Urban districts have the highest per pupil expenditures ($15,021), while small-town districts spend the least ($12,050 per pupil).”

The federal/state standard to educate a child is estimated at $11,306, and we receive $8,680 per student. Because this funding is not enough to cover all the expenses at MPA, we have an annual development plan that outlines how we intend to raise the necessary funds to help bridge this gap in funding.

Menlo Park Academy 2021-22 Revenue Sources and Expenses

Giving Societies at Menlo Park Academy

Invention Factory Club
Join our top donors and become a member of The Invention Factory Club. You will receive recognition on the MPA donor plaque, hung prominently in the building, along with other special recognitions to come.

  • Edison$10,000 and above
  • Phonograph$5,000 to $9,999
  • Light Bulb$1,000 to $4,999

Beacon Society
Recognition on the MPA website and in our Annual Report.

  • Inventors$500 to $999
  • Bright Lights$100 to $499
  • Next Generation and New Graduates$50 to $ 99