2021-2022 Mustang Fund

The Mustang Fund is the Montecito Union School Foundation’s (MUSF) annual capital campaign.

At the beginning of each school year, the MUSF board and school administration work in partnership to determine where additional funds and resources are needed and ask everyone in our school community to contribute with a tax-deductible gift. The Mustang Fund is a critical component of MUSF’s fundraising efforts and makes up almost half of the funds that we raise annually. As with last year, this year’s contributions will go directly to Nature Lab. Through your donations, we will be able to continue our efforts from last year as we develop this beautiful piece of property as a legacy for our students and the community.

For those not familiar with Nature Lab, it is an outdoor active learning environment focused on the intersection of STEAM and the natural world, on a 3-acre plot of land next to MUS. What began as a dream in 2019, is now an integral part of every MUS student’s life providing hands-on experiences in nature to give them the critical thinking skills, experience, and tools necessary to solve the immense challenges they will face in the world they are inheriting. At Nature Lab, students engage with problem-based learning, a process of working in groups to solve an open-ended problem which, according to Cornell University, drives motivation and learning. We have seen first-hand that it also creates excitement and makes it much more likely that concepts are retained long-term. This outdoor active learning space will grow innovators who offer meaningful and lasting contributions to their own lives, their communities and the world.

This year, we are excited to be raising money for 2 very specific projects at Nature Lab:

  • Outdoor Learning Pavilion – This space will be built out under the Solar Structure in an area called the “Collaboratory”. It will have large countertop spaces and sinks to allow for science experiments, prepping dyes, art, washing produce from the gardens, and so much more
  • Bathroom - In order to be able to host community events, this is a necessity!

We ask that you consider donating $500 per child. We understand that this is not feasible for everyone, so ask that you give what is comfortable for your family. Gifts of any size are welcome. Please know, in order to qualify for several meaningful government grants that would greatly impact our children’s lives, we do need participation to be at 100%. We appreciate your helping make this happen!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Mustang Fund Chair, Cathy Bunnin, at MustangFund@MUSFoundation.com with any questions. For those who have yet to experience Nature Lab, we would love to invite you for a tour with our Superintendent, Anthony Ranii. so you can see our project in action.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Ready to donate today?

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Campaign Tracker


Total Dollars Raised
Pre K and K Participation
1st Grade Participation
2nd Grade Participation
3rd Grade Participation
4th Grade Participation
5th Grade Participation
6th Grade Participation
Overall Family Participation
Overall Teacher Participation
Overall Staff (includes Teachers) Participation
MUSF Board Participation
Percentage of $130,000 Goal Raised
Frequently Asked Questions

Your donation should be tax deductible. Please confirm with your accountant or a tax professional.

Montecito Union School Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is 100% tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We'll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

You can make your donation online through our secure payment form by clicking here. You can also choose to pay by check by making your check payable to the Montecito Union School Foundation and dropping it off to the school. A little bonus - when you pay by check we do not have to pay the 3% credit/debit card processing fees. We accept stock transfers and soon will offer ACH transfer from your checking account.

* Please include your child's grade and teacher so we can adjust our participation numbers accordingly. Participation is our most important metric.

If you would like to pay by check you can mail it to:

  • Montecito Union School Foundation
  • PO Box 5561
  • Santa Barbara, CA 93150

MUSF uses is an extremely safe platform for making your donation. Our platform is a PCI Service Provider Level 1, which is the highest level of certification available in the payments industry. To put it simply, any payment made through this site is sent securely and safely. We do not store credit card information on the MUSF server.

Of course! You can make a payment at any time to the campaign, either online or via check. If there is sufficient interest we will make it possible to make a recurring monthly donation. Please let us know if this is of interest.

We do not publish individual donors unless you have chosen a named sponsorship. The only numbers we make public include the following:

  • Overall funds raised.
  • Percentage of goal raised.
  • Schoolwide percentage participation by entire school, staff only, teachers only and grade.

Absolutely! Just make sure to choose the teacher or teachers of the student(s) you are donating for. If your last name doesn't match, just let us know in the comment section the student's name. Every dollar counts and will help ensure our students have opportunities to learn in a vibrant and exciting environment.

Yes! If you like what we are doing and want to support our students and school, we are happy and appreciative of your donation. If you would like to talk to us prior to making your donation you can reach our president Tara Fergusson at president@musfoundation.com.

MUSF Board

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please reach out to any of our board members. If you'd like to join us, we have some open positions and can always find a program that needs more volunteers!

Tara Fergusson
Carolyn Fitzgerald
Vice President
Dodie McBroom
Erica Leggio
Bailee Roberts
Fundraising Events Chair
Jenny Haeg-Hudson
Sponsorship Coordinator
Gina Brooke
Community Building Events Chair
Meika McCrindle
Programs Chair
Cathy Bunnin
Annual Giving Chair
Vanessa Scarlett
Teacher Member
Ana Rudnicki
Nature Lab
Ben Hyatt
At Large Board Member
Tod Spieker
At Large Board Member
Anthony Ranii
Non-Voting Member