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Jul 11, 2023 MOST Staff

M.O.S.T. Announces Grant from The Canale Foundation

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (M.O.S.T.) is honored to announce receipt of a grant from The Canale Foundation. With these grant dollars going directly to fund M.O.S.T. Scholarships, the announcement means more students in the Mid-South will have access to education options that meet their unique needs.

“Our scholarships are over $3,000 per year and per student, on average. This generous grant from The Canale Foundation is huge for us and the families we partner with, translating directly to more scholarships for more students,” said M.O.S.T. executive director Abbey Cowens. “We’re a small non-profit and work very hard to make sure our efforts are as impactful as possible while our operations remain as efficient as possible. I see this grant from The Canale Foundation as a vote of confidence not only in what we do, but also in how we do it.”

Over the next five years M.O.S.T. projects granting over $7 million in scholarships. The total budget for the next five years, including operating expenses, is projected to be approximately $9 million – indicating that about 80 cents of every dollar raised will go directly to needs-based M.O.S.T. Scholarships and merit-based M.O.S.T. McDonnell Scholarships.

Founded by Bob Solmson in 1998, M.O.S.T. has provided needs-based scholarships to families seeking educational options in Memphis for 25 years. In 2020, M.O.S.T. launched its McDonnell Scholars program, which provides a merit-based scholarship to eligible students already receiving needs-based M.O.S.T. scholarships.

While M.O.S.T. programs have helped almost 4,000 students achieve academic success in area private schools to date, far more eligible families apply each year than current funding can accommodate. This grant from The Canale Foundation will help shrink the gap between need and resources, and could inspire more philanthropic individuals, companies, and foundations to join the M.O.S.T. donor family.

“As a non-profit doing important work for Mid-South families, M.O.S.T. benefits tremendously from philanthropic support from people and organizations that believe in our mission and our methods,” said M.O.S.T. board member Nick Goetze, who was instrumental in securing the grant. “I approached The Canale Foundation because I felt they would connect with our goal of providing Memphis-area families with opportunities to send their children to the schools that best fit their needs. Every academic year, we help hundreds of local students attain the education their parents want for them, and it makes me proud that The Canale Foundation recognized the importance of our efforts.”

The M.O.S.T. model is built on a three-way partnership between the non-profit itself, their partner schools, and the scholarship families, all of whom are deeply committed to students’ success. By design, M.O.S.T. Scholarships cover only a portion of the cost of private school tuition, approximately 52% after financial aid. The schools are providing a significant amount of financial aid, while parents commit to paying a portion of tuition.

“Our goal is to help families pay no more than 10% of their income towards tuition,” said Abbey. “The parents of our scholars make astonishing financial commitments to ensure their children have access to the right schools to help them thrive. It brings me great joy to help families bridge the gap between what the school can offer in financial aid and what they owe for tuition. The grant from The Canale Foundation tells me we’re getting noticed for the work we put in every day.”

To learn more about the M.O.S.T. mission, its impact, and how you can be part of it, explore our website.

Published by MOST Staff July 11, 2023