Supporting MCMS – FAQs

As a member of the MCMS community, what is expected of me and how can I help?

MCMS encourages parents, grandparents, staff, alumni families, our Board of Trustees, and friends to actively participate in the daily life at MCMS, and provide financial support beyond tuition.

Since its founding in 1972, each MCMS family has played an active role in the school community. Our parents share the responsibilities of meeting the school’s educational goals and ensuring a soundly governed and financially healthy institution. We rely on the support and involvement of our entire community – including current and past parents, grandparents, trustees, alumni, faculty and staff. Through volunteer opportunities, special events, and fundraising efforts, the school provides a variety of ways to become involved.

The Discovery Fund

The Madison Community Montessori Discovery Fund is our largest annual fundraising effort. Discovery Fund gifts have an immediate impact on the day-to-day vibrancy of MCMS. They allow us to fund learning experiences and school purchases for our students and staff throughout the year, including going-outs for students, professional development for staff, technology and building innovations, and enhancements for our classroom environments. The beneficiaries of this year’s Discovery Funds are THIS year’s students.

Why not just raise tuition?

As an independent school, MCMS receives no financial support from federal, state, or local governments. The sole sources of revenue are tuition, charitable gifts, and proceeds from special activities. Like all independent schools, we must raise additional funds beyond tuition revenue to balance the budget and provide for the future. We are committed to keeping tuition accessible, to offer a Montessori education for more students from a variety of backgrounds.

Your Discovery Fund gift is fully tax-deductible, while a tuition payment is not. Unrestricted gifts to the Discovery Fund give the school the greatest flexibility to fund areas of greatest need throughout the school year.

Why is participation important?

The Discovery Fund serves to invest in people, strengthen programs, and enhance places. Participation unites the entire school community behind the common goal of supporting our students. The higher the participation, the more we can achieve for our school.

It means that more individuals are sharing the financial responsibility to support the school. Participation in the Madison Community Montessori Discovery Fund also unites us in supporting a place that we all love, and demonstrates commitment to our children.

High participation is a powerful statement of support and confidence that impacts the school far beyond the actual dollars received. The greater our voluntary financial support, the greater our ability to leverage gifts from outside sources, to attract exceptional educators, and to continue to raise the bar of our own achievement. It strengthens our community by the value statement it makes.

How much am I expected to give?

Every gift, regardless of size, makes a difference. We ask that you give a gift that is truly meaningful to you and your family. Every gift is spent on programming for the current year. If every family gave $400, our annual goal would be satisfied. We strive to have 100% participation from our current families.

When will I be asked to participate in the Discovery Fund campaign?

The Madison Community Montessori Discovery Fund drive begins in the fall of each new school year, though fundraising efforts continue throughout the year. Funds that are raised are used during the current school year, so making your gift early can help us budget and determine what areas of greatest need can be funded. You are also provided the opportunity to indicate your pledge in March on your re-enrollment contract for the upcoming year.

  • Classroom Enhancements
  • Building and Grounds Updates
  • Financial Assistance
  • Faculty and Staff Professional Development
  • Technology Upgrades
  • Area of Greatest Needs

Your support will help us to: provide unique curricular opportunities in all grade levels, attract and retain master Montessori educators in education, maintain our beautiful school building and grounds, provide for technology upgrades, and enhance financial assistance for families who may not otherwise be able to experience a Montessori education. It also allows for our MCMS leadership to fund things that may have the most direct and immediate need during the course of the year.

Discovery Fund Levels of Giving

The level of giving is a personal decision for each family. Gifts made at every level are important, and are very much appreciated.

Levels of Discovery 

  • Illuminator: $2,500+
  • Visionary/ Founder’s Level: $1,972+
  • Achiever: $1,000+
  • Innovator: $500+
  • Trailblazer: $250+
  • Pioneer: Up to $250

The Madison Community Montessori Endowment Fund

The Madison Community Endowment was established in 2008 from donations from friends and families of the school. The first fund of the Endowment, the Dorothy Zografi Scholarship Fund, was created by the MCMS Board in recognition of Dorothy Zografi’s invaluable contribution to the growth and character of MCMS. Over the 22 years in her role as of Head of School, 1984-2006, Dorothy strongly believed in the importance of offering the opportunity of a Montessori education to those who demonstrated dedication and commitment to the Montessori Method, regardless of economic situation.The objectives of the Endowment are to support the activities of MCMS, guided by its mission, as follows:

    • Scholarship Funds
    • Capital or other major initiatives – provide funding for the school’s larger needs such as construction, acquisition or maintenance of facilities. Other initiatives might include technology investments, travel or professional opportunities for students or staff.

Who do I contact to make a gift, volunteer, or get more information?

We actively see out volunteers for our events that happen throughout the year. Opportunities to volunteer can be found in your Tuesday Bulletin that is emailed out each week.

Gifts can be made in several ways.

Checks made payable to “Madison Community Montessori School” may be mailed to:

MCMS Attn: Development, 8496 Ellington Way, Middleton, WI 53562

You can give online via credit card here. We can also make arrangements with you to have your gift applied monthly to your tuition statements.

Additional ways to give are through gifts-in-kind, employer matching gifts, and planned giving. Please contact Director of Advancement, Courtney Dalton, for more information on giving and getting involved at or by phone at 608-827-6267.