The East Texas Communities Foundation administers scholarship funds for donors, non-profit organizations, civic clubs and service groups and businesses.
Most scholarship funds are started with a permanent endowment contribution that can be added to by the donor or by others at any time. The contributions are invested by the Foundation, and the earnings from the fund are utilized each year for the scholarships according to the criteria established by the donor.
The Scholarship can bear the name chosen by the donor or sponsoring organization, and the recipient is always informed of the source of the scholarship funds. Often scholarships are established as memorials for individuals whose interests are perpetuated by the fund.
Scholarship Funds at the Foundation are ideal for donors who would like to have the administrative details of the scholarship program handled by a professional staff.
All permanent scholarship funds receive the benefit of the Foundation's professionally managed investment program which will protect and enhance the scholarships value into the future.
All scholarship funds must meet criteria established by the Internal Revenue Service and must have an objective process by which recipients are chosen. Scholarship funds may be established with a contribution of any size, but it is the Foundation's policy that no scholarship is awarded until the Scholarship Fund's balance reaches $10,000.
The purpose of each scholarship fund at East Texas Communities Foundation is determined when it is created. There are two types of criteria that must be defined when establishing a scholarship fund, eligibility criteria and selection criteria. The first defines who may apply for the scholarship, while the second helps the scholarship committee determine who among the applicants should receive the scholarship.
While it is not beneficial to define eligibility in too restrictive a fashion (the pool of applicants may be too small), it is helpful to clarify eligibility enough to fulfill the donor’s intent and to avoid inappropriate applications being submitted.
Establishing selection criteria is extremely important. When creating a scholarship fund, the donor must make a number of decisions in regard to the qualifications for recipients of their awards. Some of the possible considerations are listed below. There are many other options from which to choose.
The Foundation’s staff is available to meet with interested donors to help them think through the criteria for their scholarship and to help draft criteria.