The Basics Of Establishing Scholarship Funds
The task of putting up a scholarship fund is not easy as many people think it is. In fact, it entails careful planning and research on the part of the applicant. Choosing the recipient, determining the criteria for selection, and screening the applicants among others can be quite challenging. Sourcing the budget to fund the scholarship of a beneficiary is not a joke, not to mention the many factors that may come into play during the process of setting-up the scholarship fund.
In this endeavor, the initial step is to choose the possible recipients of the grant. For instance, the foundations are the ones to choose for the indigent kids or orphans who are deserving for educational scholarships. Likewise, these organizations can offer assistance to handicapped individuals such as the blind, people in wheelchairs, and others.
When the type of beneficiary has been determined, the next step is to find a willing donor to help in the endeavor. This can be a private firm, a community, or a social organization. Each donor has pros and cons so it is vital to evaluate first before making a decision. When these two factors are laid down, the following considerations should be taken into account:
The start-up budget is one of the primary considerations that a possible donor should look into when venturing in scholarship foundations. For an endowment scholarship, a firm needs at least $25,000 to get the company started on its feet. Of course, not many foundations have that kind of fund in their treasure chests. If this is the case, the firm can adopt strict application guidelines and then choose the most deserving and qualified prospect.
Another option that a donor can consider is outsourcing possible intermediaries to help in the cause. As mentioned already, the foundation can approach private firms, government organizations, or communities who are willing and capable to shoulder the subsidy of the beneficiary. In addition, the chosen intermediaries can opt to provide partial or full subsidy of the tuition of the scholar.
Distributing the Proceeds
One of the most difficult decisions that scholarship foundations face is the distribution of the subsidy. They are usually tempted to hand the proceeds to the recipients themselves instead of the educational institution. With this arrangement, the problem of accountability often arises because private foundations are not allowed to distribute any proceed without strictly following the guidelines of the Internal Revenue System (IRS).
In this kind of set-up, the firm should have a system of monitoring where the subsidy is going. Here, it is the responsibility of the foundation to ask for receipts or vouchers from the students. Since their scholarship proceeds are subjected to tax, the students should find out for themselves that they have other accountabilities other than tuition and miscellaneous fees.
Determining the Guidelines
The process of choosing the most qualified recipient of the grant should strictly follow a set of selection guidelines. It should specify the application requirement and the process of choosing the right candidate. Likewise, it should spell out the extent of scholarship and the procedure for renewal. Whenever necessary, the criteria should have some room for flexibility. This means that there should be room for revisions or deletions.
Moreover, the established criteria should have some provisions for scrutiny by either a donor or a relative of the recipient for transparency. It is a common practice to create a committee who will be responsible for selecting the beneficiary and ensuring that these criteria are followed accordingly. Furthermore, the advisory committee can give recommendations or initiate changes in the policy of choosing the beneficiary.
Promoting the Foundation
There was a time when national publications that contain listings of various scholarship programs were the only resources available to people looking for scholarship grants. Now, with the proliferation of different search engines thriving on the Internet, hitting the jackpot in terms of scholarship funds has never been more convenient. In fact, an applicant can even look for a scholarship donor without leaving his home.
Furthermore, the manner of advertising should likewise be a major consideration. Some foundations outsource their applicants through referrals or establishing connections with various local or state high schools. An effective method that scholarship foundations usually employ in promoting their programs is by having a brochure or pamphlet that provides a simple explanation and enumeration of the grants that they offer. In this manner, the prospect can easily identify, choose, and apply for the program that he is interested in.