About Us
         Building a foundation for education...

About Us

The Matanuska Susitna Schools Foundation supports excellence in the Matanuska Susitna School District by providing supplemental funding for education. Children are our future. Therefore, investments in improving educational opportunities for kids are investments in our community and society as a whole.

The Matanuska-Susitna Schools Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation organized to support the educational needs of our school district. Contributions are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) and deductible under section 170 of the Code.

Central Concern
MSSF Mission
MSSF Goals
How We Benefit Education
Who We Are
Projected Costs
Fund Management
Board of Directors
Articles of Incorporation
Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) Letter

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Central concern:
Public schools are under-funded, and ramifications of this trend are increasingly evident. In our district it can be seen in reduction or loss of programs such as gifted and talented, foreign languages, and funding for computer labs, elementary school teacher stipends, and field trip transportation costs. Yet this is not merely a local problem. School districts around the US are having to face realities of operational and capital budgets which can no longer accommodate some services and programs supported in the past.

Thus, over the past two decades, there has been a dramatic growth of non-profit school foundations nation-wide as families, educators, and communities strive to improve the quality of education. School foundations emerged in the 1980s in states such as California, Massachusetts and Oregon in response to voter-approved tax measures which limited funding for public education. The Matanuska Susitna Schools Foundation (MSSF), first established in 2002, is the first 501(c)(3) non-profit school foundation in the State of Alaska. As a pioneer in our state, one of our objectives is to become a model for other school foundations around the State of Alaska.
At present, there is one other Alaskan school foundation in the works, the Anchorage Schools Foundation. Other than this, booster clubs, while they provide significant needed support for schools and students, primarily fund improvements to sports facilities as well as purchase of sports uniforms and other equipment. The MSSF is the only organization in our school district dedicated to supporting academic learning in the classroom and beyond.

Matanuska-Susitna Schools Foundation Mission:

To acquire and distribute resources which maintain and enhance extraordinary educational opportunities for students and staff of the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District.

Matanuska-Susitna Schools Foundation Goals:

To promote student development through additional educational enrichment activities, grants, recognition of outstanding academic effort, and family learning opportunities;
To encourage partnerships between schools and the community;
To serve as a vehicle for individuals and organizations to share resources intended to enhance student learning.

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Story Time in the Larson Elementary School LlibraryStudents

How the Matanuska-Susitna Schools Foundation benefits education:

Anyone wishing to contribute to education in the MSBSD will be encouraged to know that tax-deductable donations made to MSSF will benefit students without having to be channeled through school district or governmental bureaucracies. In funding education in this manner, donors also have the opportunity to voice what they feel needs greater emphasis and support in our schools. The MSSF outlays funds for programs that are in demand and which are most likely to be meaningful for students.

The MSSF provides support for education by offering annual teacher grants. Recent grants were awarded to Mat-Su Valley elementary, middle, and high schools.

We also are supporting preschool children through the our Mat-Su Imagination Library program which offers free books to all children in our borough from birth to age 5. Age appropriate books are mailed monthly to the children. Activity sheets are also available each month for each of the books with activities to do before, during and after reading the books. Throughout the year programs and events are also held to reinforce the importance of early literacy and to provide an opportunity for parents and young children to interact with their peers.

As our resources expand, we are looking at expanding the grant program and additional ways we can enhance and supplement educational opportunities for students at risk; enriching the arts and music programs; academic enrichment (in and out of school); and outdoor education.

Who we are:

The Board of Directors of the MSSF has developed a comprehensive strategic plan which defines exactly how the foundation acquires needed funding, the kinds of programs the foundation will support, and how we will broaden our connections with our community. MSSF mission statement and goals are posted on our website, as well as Articles of Incorporation, notice of mini-grants awarded, upcoming deadlines for grant applications, and information on how to make financial contributions on the web.

At present, the MSSF is run by a Board of Directors comprised of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and four directors. The board is comprised of parents, teachers, an assistant superintendent, two previous school board members, and two business owners. The MSSF is in the process of broadening its personnel resources and associations with other community members and organizations.

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Teeland Middle School Grant Recipients wearing their Science Olympiad Medals
Emily Stout, Brandon Olson, Shannon Guinn (Shannon now teaches at Colony High.)

Science Olympiad

Projected MSSF costs:

Operating costs at present are minimal since all of our administrative duties are carried out by a volunteer board of directors. The vast majority of costs at this point are devoted to funding teacher mini-grants and the Mat-Su Imagination Library.

Our Strategic Plan envisions employment of a part or full-time executive director as need and revenues grow. This would raise our operating costs, but would help the foundation reach its long-term goals.

How donated funds are managed:

All revenues are deposited into interest bearing accounts with the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union. Funds are authorized for disbursement through majority vote by our board of directors. In
addition, the MSSF established an endowment account in 2009 with the Alaska Community Foundation. Assets of the Mat-Su Schools Endowment allow MSSF to only use a small portion for current year operating expenses. Thus, funds dedicated to this account should remain strong into perpetuity, and will provide a way for families, businesses, and other community leaders to make long-term investments in the quality of our public schools and ultimately, our children's futures.

Since its inception in 2002, the MSSF has pursued a strategy of slow and careful growth in order to insure its prolonged viability. Members of the board bring to the table a diverse range of skills and experience from small business entrepreneurship and accounting, to computer graphics and library science, to educational leadership and classroom instruction. Through a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, the Board of Directors has engaged in a comprehensive planning process, the product of which was our guiding strategic plan. The plan establishes a clear vision of what priorities for the foundation are and will be over time, and how responsibilities for attaining long and short-term goals will be shared.

Matanuska Susitna Schools Foundation
PO Box 873413
Wasilla, AK 99687-3413
Phone: Contact Paul Morley 388-4731 or Linda Conover, 907-232-8517

Email Mat-Su Schools Foundation


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