A survey given Marlborough middle schoolers earlier this year shed light on the confusion surrounding MSCF, the acronym for the Marlborough Student Charitable Fund. In the survey, middle schoolers were asked to submit what they thought MSCF stood for. The results, according to Community Outreach Coordinator and MSCF advisor Nadia Hopper, were alarming.
“[Middle School students] thought that the ‘MS’ stood for Middle School and so we got [responses like] ‘Middle School Charitable Fund’ and ‘Middle School Community Foundation,’” Hopper explained.
Each word in the name of the Marlborough Student Charitable Fund was chosen deliberately when the student run non-profit organization was founded in 2006. The word “student” was chosen instead of “school” in order to convey that the organization is run solely by a board of students in 11th and 12th grades and not by the School’s administration.
According to the group’s website, MSCF “strives to provide leadership opportunities for its members while serving the needs of underprivileged women and girls in Los Angeles by furthering their educational opportunities in a variety of ways.” The group has partnered with a number of Los Angeles-based foundations whose mission statements align with MSCF’s, including Girls and Gangs, CAST LA and WriteGirl.
The MSCF acronym baffles those outside of the Marlborough community, even if they understand what the letters stand for. “People think that [MSCF members] are collecting for the School. People also think that we are collecting scholarships for girls to attend Marlborough,” Hopper said.
According to Hopper, every year, board members have considered changing the name due to the confusion they encountered from individuals and businesses. However, past name-change initiatives have failed to produce a suitable name that will remain with the organization for years to come.
Ali ’14 and Veronica ’14, the current co-chairs, of the organization, recently asked fellow MSCF board members to brainstorm new name ideas. They plan to vote on a compiled list of ideas at the end of the 2014 school year and use the process of elimination to select a new title. If one can be agreed upon, the foundation will take the necessary steps to make the change official over the summer.
MSCF operates on a two-year cycle. One year is dedicated to fundraising, which usually involves a fashion show, and the next is dedicated to selecting organizations to which the proceeds of fundraising will be donated. It is critical that the name change occur over the summer, according to Hopper, so that by the 2014-2015 school year, a fundraising year, the new name will be cemented. According to Hopper, if the name isn’t changed by the beginning of the next school year, it could inconvenience any donors MSCF is working with.
“If we give [donors] the forms saying Marlborough Student Charitable Fund then, [if we change our name]… they might not be able to claim for taxes purposes,” Hopper said.
If all goes according to plan, MSCF will begin the next school year rebranded, raising student awareness and enthusiasm for the organization while creating name recognition in the community.