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Culture of Philanthropy for Miami Country Day

People connecting their hearts with the school’s Mission to support every student, every day, everywhere.

Scott Tomlinson

Director of Philanthropy

Philanthropy at a Glance For 2020-21

List of 9 items.

  • $2.2M

    total raised
  • $13.5M

  • $128,000

    Parents’ Association allocations
  • 175

    Gift Club members
  • 153

    New donors
  • $324,923

    raised on Give Miami Day
  • 218

    Spartan Seats Sold
  • 12

    Members of the Legacy Society
  • 8

    Families in the 1938 Society

James W. Moore ’65 , Chairman of the Board
James W. Moore ‘65 can still sing the MCDS Alma Mater from his years as a young student. As an alumnus, alumni parent, former President of the Alumni Association, and now Chairman of the Board of Trustees, where he has served for 27 years, James is more committed than ever to ensure the future of Miami Country Day. The Garner Moore Family walks the talk and supports our students and teachers every year. There is not one initiative or building on the Miami Country Day School campus that hasn’t been supported by The Garner Moore Family. I invite you to hear from James Moore whose family has been involved in the school for over 70 years.

Matthew Lazenby , President of the Board
Matthew Whitman Lazenby is President and Chief Executive Officer of Whitman Family Development, LLC, and is the fourth-generation leader in the family owned business that began developing commercial real estate in Miami in the early twentieth century. Matthew has served on the Board for 14 years and he and his wife, Kristin, have three young boys at the school. They continue to support the legacy his grandparents established as longtime benefactors of Miami Country Day. As President of the Board, Matthew leads the 30 member volunteer group whose areas of responsibility include supporting the Head of School as their sole employee, managing governance and best practices, stewarding the school’s resources, and securing philanthropic support for the financial sustainability of the school. Here’s Matthew’s Why Miami Country Day.
    • The 1938 Society


The 1938 Society

In 2015, during the school’s 75th Anniversary year, Head of School, Dr. John Davies, recognized members of the inaugural class of The 1938 Society. The 1938 Society recognizes the leadership of those benefactors whose cumulative monetary gifts or irrevocable gifts to Miami Country Day School have reached $1 million or more.
A sculpture titled Wisdom by Santiago Medina was installed on the Plaza de Colombia to honor present and future members of The 1938 Society. Special thanks to the following donors: C.W. “Doc” and Hetty Abele, The Bautista Family, The Chaplin and Jove Families, Michael J. and Katherine E. Franco, The Garner Moore Family, Roger L. Koch, The Parents’ Association, The Whitman and Lazenby Family.

Then and Now

Imagine the campus in the late 30s when the school was founded as a for-profit, boys’ boarding school. There were 12 acres, nine students, two teachers and five buildings. Look around. Today, the school is a coeducational independent not-for-profit day school with 22 acres, more than 1200 students and 200 teachers.
More than half of the buildings were added beginning in the 80s and those were made possible through gifts. One of the first named buildings was the James G. Garner Family Student Activities Center. It was dedicated in 1984 and has served the school community well housing classrooms, the cafeteria and a stage. Today, this space has been transformed into the Garner Center for Innovation.
The addition of the Franco Center for Learning Resources in 2015 and the Center for the Arts in 2017 are more recent examples of the impact capital campaigns have on our community. They provide additional and state-of-the-art space as well as places for students to explore the dynamic educational opportunities required of the world today.
    • Then and Now


    • Donor Report


Donor Report

Miami Country Day is committed to being good stewards of all of its resources. The Office of Philanthropy produces a special Donor Report to honor our community of donors and share stories of the impact philanthropy has on the school’s mission. In addition, every year the school undergoes an annual audit conducted by an outside firm and those reports are available upon request.


Endowments are the financial foundation of an independent school like Miami Country Day. Rather than being used for immediate needs, endowed funds are invested under guidance from the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees. Endowment is comprised of funds in which the principal is invested and all or part of the earnings are used to financially support faculty, programs, scholarship and facilities.
Strong endowments enable schools to endure fluctuations in enrollment and market demand by diminishing dependence on tuition revenue. While Country Day’s annual operating expenses are primarily met through tuition and philanthropic gifts, endowment provides long-term financial security and contributions to the school’s endowment enable mission-driven decisions that continue Miami Country Day’s legacy of academic excellence. Today, the school has $10.5 million in endowment.
The average endowment for day schools as recommended by the National Association of Independent Schools (“NAIS”) is $25,000 per student. As such, the school is committed to growing the endowment with bequests, endowed chairs and other forms of planned gifts. This is the most important way Country Day will financially sustain itself in the future.
    • Philanthropy > Endowment


Planned Giving

Supporting our community

The Legacy Society provides long-term financial support for Miami Country Day School. Individuals and families are supporting the financial sustainability of the school through bequests made by a will, life insurance policies, or other estate gifts.
All planned gifts add strength to the school’s endowment, which is the financial foundation for a successful educational institution. Endowed funds generate income and support scholarships, teachers, buildings, programs, and other important purposes set by the Board of Trustees.
There are many giving options available to you, such as naming Miami Country Day School as a beneficiary in your will and charitable gift annuities that provide steady income for you and your family during your lifetime.
Learn more

Planned Giving Advisory Council

The Planned Giving Advisory Council (PGAC) is chaired by James W. Moore ’65 and the Council assists the Board of Trustees in its focus on increasing the endowment through planned gifts to support the school’s financial sustainability. An advisor’s role includes identifying and making connections with the school’s philanthropic needs. The composition of the Council includes parents, grandparents, alumni, and community members who work in the business of financial planning, accounting, and estate law.

For more information about a planned gift, Click here
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