The GMS Fund

Annual giving to The GMS Fund extends the margin of excellence in educating girls during a pivotal time of life. The school relies on these contributions to provide critical program support. These gifts have an immediate and direct benefit to each student and faculty member. The GMS Fund contributes nearly 10 percent of the annual budget. Every gift, no matter the size, is important and valued.

FAQs about the GMS Fund

As a parent, I already pay tuition. Why is it important to also donate to The GMS Fund?

GMS girls benefit from having talented teachers, small classes, curricular resources, and outstanding elective and Intersession offerings. While the tuition that you pay gives your daughter access to an exceptional education, it does not cover the complete cost of her GMS experience.

The GMS Fund covers 10% of our annual operating budget, providing vital support that directly impacts the rich learning environment that motivates every GMS student every day.

Why not just raise tuition?

GMS is committed to attracting a diverse community of students from a variety of backgrounds. The GMS Board deliberately sets tuition below full cost in order to keep the school more affordable to a wider range of families and to provide opportunities to support GMS with tax-deductible, philanthropic options. We believe this practice is conducive to building an inclusive school community and is typical practice at most independent schools.

How and when will my family be contacted to make a donation?

The school’s annual giving program is called The GMS Fund. The campaign kicks off each fall when we mail a personal gift request to every family. Most pledges and gifts are received between October and December of that year. 

Can I pledge a gift now and pay later? Will you count my family in your 100 percent participation goal?

Yes, you can make a pledge now and pay later in the year. We ask that pledges be paid by May 31. To work out a monthly installment schedule, please contact the Development Office at 650-968-8338 x107.

What forms of payment does GMS accept?

Gifts can be made via cash, check, or credit card. GMS also accepts gifts of appreciated stock; contact the Development Office for details. If you wish to set up a series of payments to make your donation, visit our online giving portal.

How do I find out if my employer participates in a Matching Gift program?

Corporate matching gift programs are a great way to double or triple your gift. Use our Double Your Donation tool or check with your Human Resources Department to learn whether your company has a matching gifts program and how to start the process. 

How are donors recognized?

Donors are recognized in the GMS Annual Report for the previous fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Donors are listed by affiliation (alum, 6th grade parent, etc.) and by giving level. A donor’s cumulative giving during the school year determines the giving level. Gifts of $5,000 or more are recognized at the Leadership Level. Gifts of $10,000 or more are recognized at the Founders' Level. These significant contributors are honored at a special appreciation event in the fall. 

I keep hearing that participation is important. If I give $50, does that count?

Yes! All levels of giving are sought by The GMS Fund, and every gift helps the school fulfill its mission. We strive for 100% participation because it is a strong sign of approval of GMS’s mission and educational philosophy – a factor that charitable foundations consider when deciding which organizations to support. GMS has a celebrated community tradition of 100% participation in the GMS Fund.

Will I be asked to participate in other fundraising efforts?

Yes, every March we host an Annual Scholarship Breakfast benefiting The Bennett Scholars Program. 

The GMS Fund is the lifeblood of our school and supports every girl every day. If you are going to make only one gift a year, we encourage you to make your donation in support of the GMS Fund. 

For questions, or to volunteer for fundraising events, contact the Development Office.

I have heard about the possibility of a capital campaign. How does that fit into my giving?

Jennifer and the Board of Trustees have mentioned that a capital campaign will be necessary if the new building opportunity comes to fruition. The campaign is in its very earliest stages right now—with many specifics still to be considered. Although some conversations are happening right now with the board and longstanding supporters, the timelines on these campaigns are very long and the process is highly personalized. Everyone in the community will have the opportunity to contribute to the capital campaign at some point, but it will take months and possibly years to have all of those conversations. In the meantime, the GMS development office remains deeply committed to reaching our ambitious goals for The GMS Fund and Bennett Scholars Program. It is vital that we have philanthropic support for annual operations and our Bennett Scholars.

Who should I contact for more information?

You are always welcome to contact the GMS Development Office staff. Theresa Winterbauer Martinez, Director of Development, can be reached at 650-968-8338, x107 or twmartinez@girlsms.org. You may also contact Jennifer Ayer, Head of School.

If you’re interested in helping with any part of GMS’s Development efforts, or if you have suggestions and ideas to share, we encourage you to reach out and become involved.