How to Get Donations for Scholarship Funds

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Tuition isn’t cheap, whether a student is going to a local college or a fancy private school. According to Sallie Mae, the average family spent about $26,000 on college tuition in 2017-2018. That’s almost half of what the average household actually makes in a year. It’s not easy and it’s certainly not sustainable, which is why scholarship funds are really important.

If you want to start a scholarship fund, you’ll eventually have to write a tuition donation request letter in order to get people to actually donate to your cause. Paperwork is key in this area, and a request for a subsidy letter sample will help you get started.

Make Sure Your Scholarship Actually Qualifies

Did you know the IRS actually has rules about who does and doesn't qualify for a scholarship? It doesn’t matter if they receive the perfect scholarship request letter from a potential student. If they can’t offer the scholarship because the student doesn’t qualify, it’s really no use.

According to the IRS, your scholarship can’t be for a specific person. In that case, you might want to crowdsource on a website like GoFundMe. A scholarship group must be general enough to be considered an actual charitable class, which means you can’t finagle a fund to be so narrow only one specific person or a small group of desired people can win.

You also cannot give a scholarship to members on the inside. A scholarship request letter from a family member or selection committee member should be ignored. There cannot be a conflict of interest and scholarship funds must always be objective and nondiscriminatory.

Make A List Of Potential Donors

It always helps to organize your thoughts. You’re going to need to develop a list of people you can ask for donations. Perhaps your organization already has a mailing list to draw from. This is a great place to start when sending out tuition donation request letters.

People you might want to reach out to include faculty, current students, alumni and community organizations. Perhaps there are specific professionals or companies who work in the field you’re offering a scholarship in who'll want to help after they read a particularly poignant scholarship request letter.

In your tuition donation request letter, you’re going to need to lay out facts about how your scholarship fund will be used. People won't donate to a scholarship unless they know exactly where their money is going. Who gets the scholarship? Does it go toward a specific program? What have scholarship recipients done in the past?

Include Testimonials from Recipients

The best way to secure donations is by proving your scholarship actually changed lives. In part of your tuition donation request letter, you may want to consider including testimonials from real-life scholarship recipients. Let them explain how they used the money and the ways in which it helped them achieve their goals. You want to show donors that they’re really making a difference in the world.

Request For Subsidy Letter Sample

Your scholarship fund might reach out directly to potential donors over the phone, but you might also want to request financial assistance from an organization through the mail. This request for subsidy letter sample works for both students and scholarship organizers alike. Simply fill out the following:

[Your Letterhead]

[Recipient’s first and last names]
[Company name]
[Address]

Dear [recipient’s name],

We're writing you because we’re raising money for [name of scholarship fund]. This money goes to [the class of people your scholarship services] and helps deliver $[number your fund donates per year] to students each year. Our students have gone on to [list some past achievements of scholarship recipients]. Even a small donation of $50 helps students in need.

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider a donation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Signature]
[Name and title]

References

About the Author

Mariel Loveland is a small business owner, content strategist and writer from New Jersey. Throughout her career, she's worked with numerous startups creating content to help small business owners bridge the gap between technology and sales. Her work has been featured in publications like Business Insider and Vice.

Photo Credits

  • Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Images