Our Culture of Giving

Every member of our community helps support and sustain the vitality of MSR.

Forty one years ago, this school was created as the result of the vision, imagination, dedication, and philanthropy of MSR families. This tradition continues today.

Your support contributes directly to the success of our school. And every person—not just every dollar—makes a difference. When every family, teacher, and administrator donates, we ensure the long-term growth and continuous improvement of our school.

Thank you for your meaningful contribution. Working together, we will accomplish great things for MSR and for our children.


For more information, please contact Marian Godwin, Director of Development, at mgodwin@msr.org or 919-848-1545 ext. 247.


Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

What is The MSR Fund? The MSR Fund is the name of our annual fund. Every year we look to our trustees, parents, alumni, past parents, grandparents, foundations, and corporations for this needed tax-deductible support. The funds collected are then spent on a discretionary basis to improve and stabilize our school’s environment. It also allows us to respond quickly to the needs of the school not covered in our annual operating expenses such as roof repair or the build out of classrooms (for example, last year we were able to purchase new picnic tables for the campus and make upgrades to the Toddler playground).

How and when do we give to The MSR Fund? Each year, The MSR Fund campaign starts in August with faculty, staff, and trustees giving. Then we look to our families to pledge their support to MSR and the life-defining education our school provides. Thank you for all that you contribute to our thriving community!

THIS YEAR’S MSR FUND GOAL IS $150,000. And we seek to have a commitment from each family by December 31, either a gift or a pledge to support The MSR Fund during the current academic year, which runs from August 2018 to July 2019. All pledges are due by July 31, 2019. Donors of $1,000 or more are considered Leadership Circle members and will be invited to an annual dinner with the Head of School and former Trustees. For additional response forms or to donate online, go to www.msr.org/giving or contact the MSR Development Office at (919-848-1545 ext. 247) or mgodwin@msr.org.

What is the difference between Annual and Capital gifts? Simply stated, annual gifts support stability; capital gifts support growth. The MSR Fund is an annual request to support the school’s financial strength, stability and flexibility: providing a rainy day umbrella to protect against unexpected expenses or episodic revenue shortfalls; and to cover a variety of discretionary expenses such as additional financial aid, upgraded technology, professional development, and small renovation projects. It also provides resources for the school to take advantage of strategic opportunities when they arise.

What does the school expect of us? As a member of a non-profit organization, the school expects parents to pay tuition, and to be involved in whatever ways work best for your family. That involvement includes participating each year in The MSR Fund. It also includes volunteering or taking part in special events sponsored by the school and supporting periodic capital campaigns.

Why does the school ask us for contributions in addition to what we already pay for tuition? Annual funds are common practice among independent schools. From pre-schools to colleges, independent schools all use annual funds to help compensate for expenses not covered by tuition. MSR administration takes a very conservative approach to covering our critical operating expenses (salaries, utilities, benefits, maintenance, etc.) by tuition. The MSR Fund is used for continuous improvement in facilities, technology enhancements, and classroom materials—all things needed to provide our children with the best environment possible.

Why doesn’t the school just charge more tuition? If tuition were increased many families could not afford to send their children to our school. This could mean a drop in enrollment resulting in steeper tuition increases and discretionary spending cuts which would ultimately affect your child’s education. Additionally, charitable contributions would be even more difficult to obtain.

Why do we ask for 100% participation from parents, trustees, MPSA officers, teachers and all other employees? MSR also receives donations from foundations and corporations. These institutions will only consider support after they’ve seen that the people who are directly receiving the benefit from the institution have shown their commitment. 100% participation shows unquestionable support.

The goal is big—do small gifts really make a difference? Yes, they do. All gifts are important and appreciated. If you are considering a small one-time donation, please consider setting up an automatic monthly charge to your credit card as an alternative. If every family who gave $100 in the past would consider donating $25 on a monthly basis to The MSR Fund it would have a significant and positive impact on the campaign, without disrupting personal cash flows substantially. The bottom line is: how you choose to give (one-time or installment) is not as important as your positive decision to make a donation each year to The MSR Fund.

How much should I give? MSR plays a significant role in the lives of our families. We encourage you to give an amount that is meaningful for your family. We receive gifts ranging from $25.00 to over $5,000. The amount of your gift is known only by the Development Office and the Head of School and is not shared with anyone else.

Can I choose where the school can spend my donation? Yes. The MSR Fund allows you to direct your gift in the following categories: Art & Music Athletics Financial Aid Library & Media Resources Wherever needed most (offers MSR the most flexibility)

How much do I need to give to be recognized in the annual report and to become a member of The Leadership Circle? All contributors appear in the annual report, and gift amounts are not listed. Donations of $1,000 or greater are recognized at The Leadership Circle level. Those members are included in an annual dinner with the Head of School and former Trustees.

Is my gift tax-deductible? Yes. MSR is a non-profit organization. Any gifts made to the school are tax-deductible. My company offers a matching gift program. Would the school be interested in this program? Absolutely. Matching gifts are an easy way to double the amount of your gift. Please submit the matching gift form from your company to the MSR Development Office.

What exactly is the Endowment? About ten years ago, several trustees created MSR’s first endowment fund and provided the seed money. Since that time, MSR’s endowed funds have grown to nearly $400,000. Unlike MSR Fund gifts that are spent on annual expenses, endowment gifts are restricted and the principal remains untouched. The Board determines if and when a small amount of the endowment interest may be directed toward operating costs. As the endowment grows, more endowment money will be available to cover school costs and that means tuition can remain affordable.

Can I donate securities to MSR? Absolutely. Donating securities that have appreciated in value is a great way to avoid capital gains tax while supporting MSR (in this case, donors should not sell the securities themselves but transfer them to MSR). For securities that have decreased in value since initial investment, donors may wish to sell the securities themselves (taking advantage of the deductible loss) and then contribute the proceeds to MSR as a tax-deductible cash gift. To discuss in complete confidentiality any questions you may have about matching gifts, gifts of securities, gift planning, or any related topic, please contact The Montessori School of Raleigh Director of Development, Marian Godwin, at (919) 848-1545, ext. 247 or email mgodwin@msr.org.

Thank you for being a member of the MSR community!