Heron Fund Logo


This link will take you to our GiveCampus fundraising page.

The Gunston School is an independent  school and organized as a not-for-profit and governed by an elected Board of Trustees. Our funding comes from two sources:

84% Tuition & Fees

Includes necessary operating expenses such as salaries, insurance supplies, maintenance, etc.

Plus 15% Charitable Donations

Includes value-added/ optional expenses such as field trips, robotics competitions, special celebrations, new bleachers for the gym and more as well as funding unexpected expenses, such as a new boiler.

equals annual operating budget

DID YOU KNOW? Gunston is audited annually and we report our financial data to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS). As a result, our record keeping system must align with established industry standards. One of those standards is to measure Annual Fund Participation separately from overall Annual Giving, which encompasses ALL gifts to the school including capital contributions, designated gifts, grants, special event revenue, sponsorships, annual fund donations, and anything that contributes to the institution’s overall fundraising efforts.

Charitable Donations (Annual Giving): 15%

What’s the deal with Annual Fund Participation?

Large participation numbers, especially among faculty, parents and our Board shows confidence in the school, and can impact gifts from outside sources. Most foundations consider parent participation rates before donating funds to a school. Gunston applies for specific grant funding every year to provide crucial support such as financial aid, new capital projects, expanding programming, and more. Each and every gift is important, regardless of the amount. Whether it's $5 or $5,000, each gift is a vote of confidence in the school, which in turn greatly increases the chances our grant applications will be accepted. 


  • Donations of cash/stock (usually in response to an appeal letter or online campaign, (the donor receives nothing in return but an acknowledgement).
  • Event Sponsorships over $1,500 (of which 20% is designated for the Heron Fund).


  • Raffle tickets
  • Items Purchased at auction
  • Event tickets or registration
  • Student fundraisers
  • Event sponsorships under $1,500

What do donations to the Heron Fund pay for?

These funds help to fund a multitude of initiatives at the school such as:

  • Field Trips (Cultural Excursion Day, Bay Studies)
  • Competitions & Conferences (Robotics, Mock Trial, Model UN)
  • Special celebrations (Earth Day, In Celebration of Books, Graduation)
  • Capital expenses (New bleachers in the gym, a new score board)
  • Rainy Day Fund for Unexpected Costs (Tree limb removal after a storm)

What the Heron Fund pays for varies from year to year depending on the school's needs, but ensuring we have the resources is critical to the Gunston Experience.

Giving Levels

Leadership level donors (gifts of $500+) have the power to change lives and inspire others to do the same.

Mary Middleton Society

Everdell Committee

Blue Heron Panel

1911 Council

Head’s Circle

Corsica Fellows

Green & White Team
up to $99

Benefits of a leadership gift

Invitation to our Spring Leadership Reception.

A copy of our Annual Leadership Report.

Recognition in the Annual Report section of our alumni magazine, Multum in Parvo