Annual Fund – Q & A

Fundraising Questions & Answers

Why does Moorestown Friends need to raise money?

Almost all independent schools rely on philanthropic support to enhance their educational, extracurricular, and financial aid programs. Tuition alone does not cover the full cost of an MFS education. About 85% of the school’s operating budget is funded with tuition dollars. The rest is covered by the Annual Fund for MFS, endowment income, and facility rentals.

Does the Annual Fund benefit my family? 

Thanks to the resources provided every year by the contributions MFS receives from the entire community for the Annual Fund, income from the school’s endowment and rentals, each family receives a tuition discount of more than $1,800 per child. Simply put, without those resources, the MFS tuition for each child would be higher by $1,800 per child.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes, MFS is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization and contributions to the school are tax deductible.

Who is asked to give to the Annual Fund?

All members of the MFS community are asked to contribute – parents, parents of alumni, alumni, grandparents, faculty and staff, and friends of the school. The Development Office, together with the Development Committee and Leadership Circle volunteers, solicits parents within the community. 100% of trustees give to MFS, and 100% of faculty and staff give to the Annual Fund.

Why is parent and alumni participation in giving important?

The schools against which MFS benchmarks itself enjoy parent participation rates around 75% or better. In 2016-17, the MFS parent participation rate climbed to a record-breaking 73%. The alumni participation rate, at 27%, just slightly below the average for our peer schools in the Delaware Valley. The 2011 Strategic Plan set a goal for MFS to raise the bar for parent and alumni participation in giving. Why? A high level of parent and alumni participation in giving to the Annual Fund is a hallmark of a healthy independent school. Therefore, these are key figures that foundations review when considering grant applications from schools. Grants from foundations provide important support for MFS, including some of the largest gifts the school receives each year. A higher level of alumni and parent giving to the Annual Fund will further enhance the school’s ability to secure these valuable grants.

Why do alumni give to MFS? Alumni give for many reasons: appreciation for their experiences at the school; recognition for the teachers and coaches that had an impact on their lives; belief in the Quaker mission of the school; desire to see the school thrive. Many alumni also understand that when they attended the school, parents, other alumni and friends of the school community gave to support them when they were students. By giving back now, alumni are paying those gifts forward, and are supporting the next generation of MFS students.

When will I be asked to give? 

The Annual Fund solicitation kicks off in October as Leadership Circle Volunteers attempt to connect with all MFS families to invite them to give. Once a family makes a commitment to the Annual Fund, they are not solicited again for the Annual Fund in that school year; although pledge reminder notices will be sent until pledges are completed.

How much does Moorestown Friends expect me, a parent in the school, to give?

We hope each family can find a way to participate, consistent with their means. Every gift makes a difference to MFS. Gifts from all families, including those who receive financial aid , are important to help raise the school’s percentage of giving from parents. Giving is also an active endorsement of the MFS educational experience.

What is the difference between gifts to the Annual Fund and gifts to a Capital Campaign?

Annual Fund gifts are solicited and given every year to help fund current operations. Capital Campaign gifts are generally larger – often made over a 3 to 5 year period – and support construction, renovation or endowment projects. Capital Campaigns do not happen every year. The public phase of a Capital Campaign is usually held every 5 to 7 years. Great Classrooms for Great Kids, the most recent capital campaign, closed on July 31, 2012. Click here to learn about the impact of capital campaigns on the school’s history. (link to capital campaign page)

Can I give online? 

YES! Debit and credit-card contributions can be made online, through our secure server, at giving.mfriends.org.

Can I give in monthly installments?

Yes, the Development Office is able to arrange gift payments in monthly installments on your credit or debit card. Contact Julia Applegate at (856) 914-4410 or visit mfriends.org/recurring.

What about my employer’s Matching Gift Program?

Many companies will match gifts to independent schools. To find out if your employer will match your gift to MFS, check with your Personnel or Human Resources Department. Obtain the proper form and send it to the Development Office at MFS, along with your gift. For some companies, the matching gift process is online. Please notify Director of Development Steve Zakroff if you have arranged for an online matching gift. In recognizing your donation to the school, your employer’s matching gift will be counted as part of your total donation for the year.

What is the Voluntary 5% Program for Faculty Retirement?

The Voluntary 5% Program has been a special fundraising tradition for parents at MFS since the 1970s. Gifts to the Voluntary 5% Program support the school’s contribution toward faculty retirement investments. The program is administered through the Business Office. Requests for contributions are included in tuition billing with a Voluntary 5% line item that represents 5% of the total tuition charge. Individuals can choose to either pay the additional 5% or not, hence the name Voluntary 5%. Contributors receive a tax receipt from MFS for this charitable gift in January.

What do the Trustees do? 

MFS is governed by a board of trustees called the School Committee. The School Committee upholds the school’s mission, determines school policy, sets tuition, approves the operating budget, oversees fundraising, maintains the responsibility for fiscal affairs, and appoints, nurtures, and evaluates the Head. Administration of the school program and facilities is under the direction of the Head of School.

If you have any additional questions please contact Director of Development Steve Zakroff at szakroff@mfriends.org or (856) 914-4411.