Community Loans

DMS Community Loan Program

Investing in the future…
Of our children,
Of our school,
Of our community.

What is the Community Loan Program?

Desert Marigold School’s Community Loan program, begun in 2005, is designed to promote community involvement and investment and to provide funding to support campus development.

Community members make a loan to the school in amounts ranging from $500 to $50,000. Notes are issued for five years and, as of 2010, interest accrues annually at a rate of 3% (non-compounding), payable when the note comes due.

Since 2005, over 50 individuals – parents, grandparents, staff members, students and supporters from the broader community – have loaned a total of nearly $300,000. These loans have funded projects such as new classrooms and our environmentally friendly parking grove.

While a small annual amount is allocated from the school’s operating budget to repay loans, the majority are repaid through funds generated by new community members who want to place their funds in the socially rewarding investment. This cyclical rhythm works for everyone – Desert Marigold enjoys consistent support and Community Loan participants receive a solid return on their investment while supporting an organization they believe in.

Interested in Finding Out More?

Interest is a funny word. While there is “interest” earned on Community Loans which creates a financial return on your investment, these loans are more about providing you with an opportunity to express your interest in Desert Marigold and what it means for the future of our community.

Click here to view a sample promissory note.

To learn if additional Community Loans are being accepted at present or if you have any other questions, please contact:

Amy Bird
Development Director

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I need to get my loan back before the note is payable?
A: If you have a hardship, we will do all we can to replace your loan from other sources, in order to return your monies.

Q: Is my investment secured?
A: The loans are secured by the school’s property, over 12 acres with numerous buildings and improvements, in a second position behind the school’s lender, RSF Social Finance.

Q: Can I participate by doing a loan even if I don’t want to receive interest?
A: Loans are always repaid with interest; however, we would warmly welcome a tax-deductible donation, if you should choose to give your earned interest back to the school.

Q: Is it possible I could lose any of my principle?
A: The value of our property exceeds the total loans outstanding and Desert Marigold has always paid back these loans in full, with interest, when due.

Community Loans at Work

In 2005, community loans allowed DMS to purchase the property where our community garden is now located.
DMS Garden

In 2010, DMS completed a major construction project made possible in part through community loans.
DMS Office


Desert Marigold opened as an independent Waldorf initiative in 1994. We received our charter from the State of Arizona in 2002. Tuition-free K – HS programs meet Arizona State Standards within a rich Waldorf inspired curriculum. Tuition-based parent/child, pre-school, extended day and summer programs are offered to enrolled families and the broader community.

Desert Marigold is operated as a 501c3 and is open to any family wishing to enroll. We believe that health community life is created through diversity and shared commitment to the school’s vision and mission.

Promissory Note Agreement