Scholarships benefit all types of students and can be given for a wide range of achievements or special needs. You may want to start a scholarship for students who volunteer. Maybe you want to recognize exceptional athletic ability or intelligence. It's also common to give scholarship money to students with financial needs or who need to overcome a disability. Whatever the reason, your first step is raising money.
Approach corporations for donations. Companies are often willing to give to charities or scholarship funds in exchange for their names being somehow attached to the cause. This helps boost their public perception and increase customer loyalty. You can take advantage of this by asking companies to donate a portion of the scholarship you plan to give away.
Talk with friends and relatives about making small donations to the scholarship fund. Let them know how the scholarship will help change someone's life by giving them the opportunity to get an education that they may not get otherwise. If you already have a candidate in mind, show them her picture and tell them about her. People are more likely to donate if they know who the money will be going to.
Start a website for the scholarship fund. On the website, include information about scholarship candidates or past recipients, and explain that the more money you can raise, the more students you'll be able to help. Tell everyone you know to visit the website, and ask them to tell everyone they know to visit it.
Post information about the scholarship on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. These sites are powerful marketing tools and can help spread the word about your scholarship far and fast. Make sure you let people know that you need more donations, and stress that every little bit helps. Include a link to the scholarship website as well.
Follow up with past donors. If you've raised money for the scholarship in the past, ask companies and individuals who've already donated if they'd like to make another contribution. To do this, however, you'll need to have kept detailed records of past donors.
If a company turns you down for corporate sponsorship, always be polite and gracious. They may be able to donate in the future. Also, ask the company leaders if they know any other local businesses that might be interested in donating to the scholarship fund.
Keep track of all your donors and how much money they gave. Email them or send a letter thanking them for their donation, and let them know who the scholarship went to and how the scholarship money will help that student succeed. Sharing this information will make it more likely that the companies and individuals will donate again.
- the graduate image by Barbara Helgason from Fotolia.com