Scholarship grants provide a transformative experience for their students, changing lives by providing access to education and other resources. Some scholarships even leverage the programs they fund to influence society at large — looking past just one award recipient’s individual success story.

When beginning the process of scholarship fundraising, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Use this overview as a starting point for your own investigation into charitable scholarship fundraising.

Community Foundation

A scholarship fund can be a great way to give back and help others. Ask your local community foundations for assistance if you don’t have the time, money, or resources yourself! They may even offer services that will walk you through all of the steps with ease. There are many third-party organizations out there that provide this type of service. Many of these are information services that list available scholarships, but some also provide administration services for managing scholarship funds. 

Bank or Credit Union

Setting up an account to accept scholarship donations is an excellent way for you and your organization to start getting noticed! Be aware that large donations may be subject to a gift tax. If you wish to set up a scholarship as an educational trust, such as a 529 plan, you will need to work closely with your team’s accountant and attorney.

529 or Trust

To create your own fund with relative ease, it is important to understand what kind of trust would be best suited. Consider potential limitations imposed upon its use (should these later change over time) before pursuing any action toward establishing a scholarship fund of this type. 

The benefits of setting up a scholarship fund with either option are limited, and establishing one can be pretty costly. The risk involved in putting effort into creating an additional way to give back could outweigh any potential reward. Be mindful of considering the costs and benefits of doing so, along with the fund’s intended purpose.


Crowdfunding is a great way to raise scholarship funds for students that need them the most. Simply put: if you want your scholarship campaign funded quickly with small donations from lots of generous people, then crowdfunding might just be what gets things moving.

Start a Non-profit

Starting a non-profit organization may be the most complex option, but it’s not impossible. We advise you to carefully consider the process and steps involved in choosing this option. Since a non-profit is a tax-exempt entity, it will require the organization to establish a board of directors, complete with bylaws and operating procedures.

Be aware that your fund may suffer if it doesn’t receive proper guidance or attention in its early stages. Be proactive in managing your scholarship fund, and help it achieve the success you want for your organization and those you serve.

Once you’ve created and completed your scholarship fundraising, our management software is all it takes to ensure that the rest of the scholarship process runs smoothly. Sign up for Scholar’s App today!

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