How to Get Donations for Scholarship Funds

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Fund-raising for scholarships takes time, dedication and commitment. It's not always easy, but each time you secure a donation, the reward you feel is thrilling. Plus, it motivates you to ask the next donor for their dollars. Use a variety of tactics to ask people for money, since some donors respond better to one tactic than another. You may find that donors are aware of the fact that you need assistance and are glad to help out.

Create a list of potential donors. For schools, this can include faculty, current students' families, past students and community organizations. Obtain contact information for these people.

Gather facts about how the funds are used. Determine how much money one scholarship costs (this should be your tuition), and how many students you've helped throughout your school's existence. Ask scholarship students for written testimonials to use in fundraising materials. List activities students have access to, like sports teams, academic opportunities, clubs and art classes. You need to show donors why you're special.

Draft a fund-raising letter asking for contributions for your scholarship fund. Be polite and brief. State your current need for new donations and mention some of the facts on how you've helped students and how many students have benefited from your program. Include one or two student quotes to personalize the letter. Close by asking for a specific dollar amount (Can you spare $50?) and providing a way for donors to get in touch with you.

Send out the letter in print or via email. Wait for donations to come in.

Enlist students to help you with a phone bank. Photocopy your donation letter for students to use as a sample script. Have students call the numbers from your list and personally ask for cash or check donations. Tell students to get confirmation of a dollar amount so you can follow up with a second phone call if you don't receive the donation.

Throw a fundraising event, such as a golf tournament, student performance or talent show or cook-off. Hold the event on campus and recruit students, faculty and parents to volunteer their time for setup. Charge admission to the event then use the profits for your scholarship funds.


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