Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Investing in the future of Memphis.

aka MOST   |   Memphis, TN   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

EIN: 62-1723618


The mission of Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (MOST) is to give Memphis-area families the opportunity to send their children to the schools that best fit their needs, regardless of financial circumstances. To fulfill this mission, MOST offers partial, need-based scholarships to qualifying families who wish to send their children to private schools.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Abbey Cowens

Main address

1000 Ridgeway Loop Rd., Suite 100

Memphis, TN 38120 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Elementary and secondary education

Early childhood education

Population served info

Children and youth


Economically disadvantaged people


NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Kindergarten, Nursery Schools, Preschool, Early Admissions (B21)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

M.O.S.T. Scholarships

During the 2021-22 school year, M.O.S.T. granted $1,038,452 in scholarships to 375 students in PK3 through grade 12 at 43 partnering private schools in the Memphis area.

Each school year, M.O.S.T. also provides a merit-based McDonnell Scholarship to high school students who exhibit outstanding academic promise, leadership, and character. They have distinguished themselves among their peers by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors that mark them for success in secondary school, college, and beyond. In addition to the M.O.S.T. scholarship, these students are receiving $2,500 to be used to cover more than just tuition (e.g. fees, books, and uniform costs) that might appear on a student’s account.

*Students begin in the M.O.S.T. program in PK3 through grade 2, and acceptance is based on family income. We also provide scholarships for students with documented special needs that can be addressed at certain schools.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Low-income people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.


Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 140.47 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2020 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

Source: IRS Form 990 info

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

This snapshot of Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$207,397 $894,204 $2,594,516 -$218,634 -$549,080
As % of expenses -13.8% 66.0% 190.5% -16.0% -45.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$207,397 $894,204 $2,594,516 -$218,634 -$549,080
As % of expenses -13.8% 66.0% 190.5% -16.0% -45.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,086,141 $2,178,321 $3,942,612 $1,132,358 $695,817
Total revenue, % change over prior year -25.3% 100.6% 81.0% -71.3% -38.6%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.9% 1.0% 0.4% 1.5% 3.6%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 108.8% 98.8% 99.0% 97.8% 93.9%
Other revenue -9.8% 0.2% 0.6% 0.7% 2.5%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,508,240 $1,354,097 $1,361,997 $1,367,465 $1,213,763
Total expenses, % change over prior year 21.0% -10.2% 0.6% 0.4% -11.2%
Personnel 15.7% 19.4% 19.8% 21.0% 22.9%
Professional fees 0.6% 1.3% 1.2% 1.4% 1.6%
Occupancy 1.4% 1.9% 1.8% 1.7% 1.9%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 78.2% 72.8% 73.0% 72.3% 69.2%
All other expenses 4.2% 4.6% 4.2% 3.7% 4.4%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,508,240 $1,354,097 $1,361,997 $1,367,465 $1,213,763
One month of savings $125,687 $112,841 $113,500 $113,955 $101,147
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,633,927 $1,466,938 $1,475,497 $1,481,420 $1,314,910

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Months of cash 4.0 1.8 2.9 8.4 14.7
Months of cash and investments 10.5 10.1 9.0 14.2 21.2
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 21.1 31.4 54.1 51.9 53.1
Balance sheet composition info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Cash $503,074 $202,013 $333,022 $962,280 $1,484,548
Investments $816,906 $932,659 $692,269 $652,330 $656,318
Receivables $1,389,850 $2,469,442 $5,173,145 $4,362,542 $3,287,206
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $2,648,770 $3,542,974 $6,137,490 $5,918,856 $5,369,776
Temporarily restricted net assets $58,920 $58,920 $58,920 $58,920 N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 N/A
Total restricted net assets $58,920 $58,920 $58,920 $58,920 $58,920
Total net assets $2,707,690 $3,601,894 $6,196,410 $5,977,776 $5,428,696

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ms. Abbey Cowens

In August 2020, Abbey joined the MOST staff as executive director. She started at MOST after working as the annual campaign & corporate sponsorships manager at Jewish Community Partners. Previously, she worked at Bridge Capital Holdings, Sonoco, and The American Israelite. She has a B.S. in sociology from University of Cincinnati.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/19/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mrs. Alexis Faber

Willis Towers Watson

Term: 2022 - 2025

Elkan Scheidt

Community Volunteer

Trent Williamson

President, Harding Academy, Memphis

Alexis Faber

Head of Financial Lines, Willis Towers Watson

E. Carl Krausnick, Jr.

Senior Managing Director, Raymond James

Mary Schell

McDonnell Family Foundation Trustee

Nick Goetze

Head of Fixed Income Services and Managing Director, Raymond James

Ellis Haguewood

Headmaster Emeritus, Memphis University School

Robert Solmson

Owner, Fairwood Capital; Founder, M.O.S.T.

Katherine Dickinson

Civic Volunteer

Calvin Sullivan

Treasurer, MOST; Chief Strategy Officer, Fixed Income Capital Markets, Raymond James

Keith McBride, II

Senior Project Management Analyst, FedEx Services

Hal Fogelman

Principal, Research Dynamics, Inc.

Abbey Cowens

Executive Director, MOST.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/4/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data