Charitable Fund Options - Scholarship Funds | InFaith Community Foundation

Charitable Fund Options

Scholarship Funds

InFaith Community Foundation offers three types of scholarship funds:

  • InFaith Field of Interest Fund for education
  • Donor Advised Designated Scholarship Funds
  • InFaith-Administered Scholarship Fund

Note: InFaith advises that donors and/or financial advisors consult with InFaith if there is interest in setting up a scholarship fund.

1) InFaith Field of Interest Fund for Education

By giving to this fund, your gift is combined with gifts of other donors and used to address needs in the area of education, including scholarships. Grant distributions from this fund will be focused in the Christian community, based on criteria consistent with InFaith's mission and vision.

Gift Minimum: None

2) Donor Advised Designated Scholarship Funds

You can establish a permanently-endowed fund at InFaith that provides scholarship support to a specific, accredited educational institution through a donor advised designated scholarship fund. You can designate the educational institution and have the option of recommending scholarship criteria such as area of study, academic achievement or financial need. Selection of recipients is made solely at the discretion of the institution.

Gift Minimum: $5,000 per educational institution

3) InFaith-Administered Scholarship Fund

Create a customized scholarship fund administered by InFaith.

Gift Minimum: Varies according to complexity, typically $500,000 or more.

When you establish a Designated or InFaith-Administered Scholarship Fund:
  • Scholarship grants can be awarded in your name or in memory or honor of another. You may also choose to remain anonymous.
  • You can designate scholarships for any level of education from preschool to postgraduate studies, providing the application and selection process is through an accredited educational institution. Preschool and K-12 scholarships only apply for private institutions that charge tuition.
  • Scholarship grants are made payable to the educational institution and can be used to defray educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for study.
  • A percentage of the fund is distributed annually, according to InFaith’s Distribution Policy.
How to Establish a Scholarship Fund at InFaith
  1. Create a Fund online, or return the Fund Workbook and send it to the InFaith. InFaith drafts a Fund Agreement based on charitable requests made by the donor, and sends it to the donor for signing. Their financial representative also receives a copy.
  2. For gifts of stock, include copies of either the stock certificates or the most recent brokerage statement. InFaith will contact you with specific instructions on how to transfer the stock.
  3. For gifts of cash, do not send a check now.  You may send it after Fund Agreement is signed.
  4. The signed Fund Agreement is returned to InFaith.  We countersign and send a copy.  Donor may send initial contribution with Agreement, or later.
Important Guidelines to Consider when Establishing a Scholarship Fund:

Charitable Class. Benefiting recipients need to be members of a “charitable class.” In general, a charitable class is a group of applicants that is large enough so that an indefinite number of individuals may benefit. “All the graduating seniors at a local high school” is a common and generally acceptable class. A class that includes members of a single family, on the other hand, wouldn’t qualify as a charitable class and thus is not acceptable. Religious, race-based, ethnic and gender limitations pose special questions, and must be discussed with Foundation staff.

Applicant Criteria. The following are generally-accepted criteria to consider if you are establishing a scholarship fund:

  • Financial need.
  • Achievement in academics (GPA, test scores, etc.), athletics, music and the arts, community service, leadership or character.
  • Superior performance or work in a particular field of study.
  • Enrollment or acceptance to an accredited educational institution in the United States (college or university, public or private, community college or vocational/technical school, seminary, etc.).

Selection Process & Other Concerns.

  • Relatives of donors are ineligible to receive scholarship grants from a donor-established scholarship fund, and members or relatives of the board of InFaith and its staff are ineligible to receive scholarship grants from InFaith.
  • Due to the complex administrative procedures, InFaith discourages “renewable” scholarship awards.
  • IRS rulings suggest serious issues regarding roles of donors and/or fund advisors in the selection process.
  • InFaith cannot administer scholarships through church congregations.

Fundraising Policy. Due to IRS restrictions, InFaith cannot accept checks given by individual supporters in response to fundraising events (i.e. golf tournaments, banquets) for charitable funds at InFaith. Gifts from such fundraising events must be made payable to the individual organizing the event, and are not eligible for a charitable tax deduction through InFaith.

Resources to Support Your Work

InFaith will support you with a full range of charitable products and services, and you'll be compensated for your efforts by Thrivent or American Funds. (details)

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