This article covers our previous funding, why we are charging a fee now, our commitment to affordability, and our fundraising goals.
SF Math Circle began 11 years with funding the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) secured from sources such as Moody's Foundation and Bechtel. This funding supported the start of several Bay Area Math Circles, including Berkeley Math Circle.
Starting in 2009, San Francisco State University's Math Department began a National Science Foundation (NSF) founded program that placed math graduate students in SFUSD classrooms (NSF's GK-12 program). Additionally, these graduate students ran Math Circle, which at the time was just for middle and high school students. Yours truly was in this first cohort and lead Math Circle at Mission High School.
With the support of the NSF funds, SF Math Circle was able to start the Elementary Math Circle at SFSU. This program quickly grew to have a huge waitlist. Due to the capacity of our funding and number of graduate student instructors, we were unable to meet the demand for this program.
Why We Are Charging a Fee Now
The funds from MSRI and NSF ended in the Fall of 2014. We are currently working with SFSU's development team to locate and apply for grants, and to make connections with corporations and foundations which may be interested in supporting SF Math Circle.
Starting in Spring 2015, SF Math Circle existed completely on donations. Without large grant and foundation money, we must charge a fee for our SFSU program, in order to continue the Math Circle. We do not charge at SFUSD sites, but encourage donations in the amount of our SFSU fee, or whatever the family can cover.
Commitment to Affordability
We want SF Math Circle to accessible to all families. For this reason, we have a financial assistance application. Our funds our limited, so please apply for this early in order to be approved for financial assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the financial assistance application.
Last year we had a very successful fundraising campaign. We raised over $10,000 in donations, which were matched by a generous friend of SF Math Circle. This funding enabled us to run our Spring 2015 semester. This year, we will institute an annual fundraiser drive. We encourage all families to donate something to make up the difference in our income and our expenses. More details on our exact budget deficient and fundraising goals to come in the Fall!