Staring a Scholarship Fund

A scholarship fund at the Community Foundation of Dunn County is an excellent way to memorialize a loved one or leave a legacy. Scholarships may be established to support students at any of the high schools in Dunn County and some neighboring communities. Establishing a scholarship fund is easier than you might think. Our knowledgeable staff will meet with you, discuss your goals for the fund and help you navigate the process.

Step One

The first step is to determine whether you would can establish an “endowed” scholarship immediately or if you prefer to “build to endowment” over time.

Endowed scholarship funds are designed to be permanent and perpetual. The minimum required to establish an endowed scholarship fund is $25,000. Funds are contributed in full at the outset. The principal of the fund is invested to produce income, and an annual award is made to a student(s). The principal remains untouched, so the endowment can last into perpetuity. Funds are distributed according to the Foundation’s spending policy, so a fund with a balance of $25,000 would yield at least a $1000 scholarship… -or two $500 scholarships.  Subsequent gifts to the scholarship are also applied to the principle and may be made by you or any other donor. As the principle grows, so may the amount and/or number of awards.
Donors, however, may open an “acorn” scholarship fund with $2,000 and pledge an additional $2,000 per year until the endowed level is reached. No scholarships are awarded until the fund has reached the minimum endowed level.
[Please note donors who do not wish to build an endowed fund may still contribute to Funds held by the Foundation for Dunn County Area High Schools. Scholarship amounts for as little as $250 may be distributed in your name or in the memory of a loved one through these funds].

Once you have decided what type of scholarship fund to establish, our staff will work with your and your financial advisers to draft a fund agreement letter for signature and transfer the assets to start the fund.

Step Two

As a scholarship donor, you choose the name of the scholarship as well as the criteria. Scholarships may be awarded to deserving students based upon area of interest, school, geographical origin, leadership potential, merit, financial need, academic achievement and/or other criteria of your choosing. Such criteria must be consistent with overall Community Foundation policy.

According to Federal law, scholarships require special administration when donors participate in the selection process. The Foundation has a process that permits donors to participate in the selection process, however, since it is bound by such strict regulations it must first be discussed with Foundation Staff.

Step Three

The Community Foundation would carefully steward your gift and communicate with you about fund administrative details.

Applicants would apply through their high school guidance office unless otherwise indicated. Recipients are selected by the scholarship review committees of each high school using your criteria. Recipients must attend an accredited college, university or technical school or community college to qualify.

You (or your designee) are notified annually when the scholarship recipient(s) has been selected and are informed of the name and hometown of the recipient, as well as the amount of the award. Recipients often write a thank-you note to the donor, and in some cases, the recipient and donor are able to meet.

Representatives of the Community Foundation present the scholarships at awards ceremonies at the respective high schools. Donors and family members are encouraged to attend as well as participate in the presentations.

We have so much ore to tell you!

For more information about establishing a Scholarship Fund please contact the Executive Director of the Community Foundation at 715-232-8019.