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|Scholarship Donor FAQ|
What amount of donations are we looking for from donors?
A donation in ANY amount is gratefully received. The goal for each named fund is to reach a minimum of $100,000, but the more funds in the endowment, the more investment income there will be to make scholarship awards. We hope people will be as generous as possible.
Do donors get to name a Fund what they want?
With a minimum of $25,000 donation, a donor can request approval from the Board for a named fund and can also request approval of specific educational targets for the funds generated by the named fund. For donations less than $25,000, a donor may stipulate that his/her donation be assigned to any of the funds listed on the Endowment Donor Program and the Pledge and Donor Form. If a donor does not specify a fund, his/her donation will be assigned to The Safewater Fund.
Do donors determine how many scholarships are awarded?
Donors of $25,000 can request Board approval of specific terms for awards from that fund – and could possibly specify the number of scholarships to be awarded. However, in general, the number of scholarships will be determined by the Endowment Committees with NC AWWA-WEA Board Approval which jointly establish scholarship applications and process awards.
Does the money go into a single account?
Yes, the NC Safewater Fund is the single endowment account with Triangle Community Foundation, the designated fund manager. Named funds are tracked separately and interest from the fund is applied to named funds annually on basis of the size of that fund as a percentage of the whole.
Is it a yearly commitment or do donors designate an amount each year?
It depends on the donor. A donor may make a donation in any amount any time. If a donor makes a multi-year pledge, then the donor pays part of the pledge when he/she submits it to NC AWWA-WEA. The balance of the pledge is payable in equal amounts annually for the period of time stipulated on the Pledge and Donor Form. We would expect the minimum annual payment to be equal to the balance of the pledge divided by the number of years allowed for payment on the Pledge and Donor Form. A donor may pay more than the minimum and, therefore, fulfill his/her pledge
Do donors automatically become a member of NC AWWA-WEA?
No, membership is completely separate. Members and non-members may donate to the fund.
Do donors get any type of branding of their name at various association functions?
Donors are recognized in the NC AWWA – WEA NC Currents magazine unless they have requested anonymity. Donors are also recognized at the annual Chair’s Endowment Reception held on the Monday night at the Annual Conference. All donors contributing before September 30, 2012 are designated as Founding Donors, and corporate donors will receive recognition annually at the Chair’s Endowment Reception. Individual donors are encouraged to advertise “Proud donor to the NC Safewater Fund” on letterhead, websites, or advertisements.
Are donors recognized at the annual conference?
Yes, at the Chair’s Endowment Reception
Who manages the endowment funds?
Triangle Community Foundation is the designated fund manager. The Board has established an Endowment Policy, which requires that all funds be managed in compliance with State and Federal laws (UPMIFA) and the Endowment Committee meets at least quarterly, to review all financial reports. Additionally, the Association has an annual audit, performed by an outside audit firm specializing in non profit accounting, and the endowment funds are included in the audit review and report.
What are the typical scholarship amounts given?
The amount of funds available to be awarded will depend on the earnings received from investing the endowment funds. The amount of a specific scholarship or grant will vary depending on the criteria stipulated in each “Named Fund”. For example, the current goal of The Carol Bond Fund is to award two $1,000 scholarships to four-year university students, four $500 scholarships to Community College students and two $500 grants to outstanding environmental educators annually.
May I designate my donation to a specific fund?
Yes, you may.
I am unable to make any kind of donation now. Will there be opportunities for me to contribute later?
Donations will always be gratefully received, now or later. Any donor who is unable to contribute during the fund raising initiative is encouraged to donate whenever he/she is able to in the future.
Now that I have made my pledge, how will I be kept informed of the progress of the NC AWWA – WEA Endowment and how the scholarship money is being spent?
There is information updated regularly on the web. NC Currents has a regular quarterly report. There will be a presentation at the Annual Conference during the Chair’s Endowment Reception. We will maintain a mailing list to inform donors of major milestones and events
How do I make out a check to the endowment?
Make it payable to “NC Safewater Fund” and on the memo line, include any specific direction about a particular fund, if you wish.
Does any money go to environmental activists?
No, 100% of awards are made to students or teachers engaged in environmental/water/wastewater science education activities.
What is the script for a 30 second commercial for the endowment?
Baby-boomers are retiring and there is an unmet need to grow the ranks of water and wastewater professionals to meet the challenges of water management into the future. Since 1923, the NC AWWA-WEA has been a leading force behind the professional development of those in education, state government, local municipalities, and industry through seminars and workshops conducted by many of our Association’s volunteers. The work of our Association serves to support and train our existing workforce, but sustaining the water profession in North Carolina requires a focus on education and training of today’s professionals as well as future water professionals.
What is the non-profit-tax deductable status?
Both NC AWWA and NC WEA (commonly referred to as NC AWWA-WEA) are 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporations, so donations made are fully tax deductable.
Are there restrictions on the fund’s distribution?
Yes. In general, scholarship disbursements are limited to educational activities in the field of environment, water and wastewater in the form of awards for scholarships and grants to educators. The Board of Trustees of NC AWWA-WEA established the NC Safewater Endowment for the purpose of promoting safe water, increasing knowledge and understanding of safe water, and preserving and enhancing the water environment. The primary means for accomplishing this purpose is to provide scholarship funds to individuals who seek assistance in order to complete a course of study emphasizing the protection of public health by providing healthful drinking water and/or protecting the quality and integrity of the water environment. In addition, the NC Safewater Endowment will award funds to assist educators in providing enhanced water environment education to registered students and/or the public. Any distribution of grants or scholarships must comply with this purpose. In additional to this general compliance, donors establishing “Named Funds” may stipulate additional restrictions on distribution of funds generated by that fund. These restrictions and conditions have to be approved by the NC AWWA-WEA Board of Trustees and are expected to comply with the general purpose of the endowment.
How much is there in the Fund now?
As of June 2014, the endowment fund had total assets of $375,000 in donations and pledges.
Is the fund managed in a sustainable manner?
Yes. The NC AWWA-WEA Board of Trustees has contracted with Triangle Community Foundation to manage and invest the assets in the NC Safewater Fund with directions that the funds be placed in low to moderate risk investments.
Is the fund limited to NC residents?
These scholarships are not limited to NC residents. Distribution of funds from The NC Safewater Fund is limited to students who are attending colleges and community colleges located in North Carolina and are completing a course of study emphasizing the protection of public health by providing healthful drinking water and/or protecting the quality and integrity of the water environment and to educators who are providing enhanced water environment education to registered students and/or the public. Some of the “Named Funds” may have additional limitations on the distribution of funds.
How many scholarships will be awarded each year?
The number of scholarships and grants awarded each year will depend on the amount of earnings received from the investment of “the corpus”. As “the corpus” is increased by new donations, the earnings will increase and therefore, we will be able to increase the number and /or the amount of scholarships and grants we award. Typically a “corpus” of $100,000 should generate between $4,000 and $5,000 to be distributed per year on a sustainable basis.
Will all of the money collected go directly to scholarships or will some of it be used for administrative costs? What Percentage?
Yes all donations go to “the corpus” of the fund for scholarship revenue generation. No donations are used for administrative costs. “The corpus” is invested and managed by the Triangle Community Foundation under a contract with NC AWWA-WEA Board of Trustees. The earnings from the investments are used for scholarships and grants. The Triangle Community Foundation is paid a management fee of 1% of the value of the NC Safewater Fund from the interest on “the corpus”.
Are there different levels of recognition?
Everyone who made a donation by September 30, 2012 is recognized as a “Founding Donor” of the endowment. Individuals who donate $25,000 or more can establish a “Named Fund” and be recognized for this level of giving.
We have established four levels of recognition for corporate donors. They are as follows:
Will the scholarships be available to anyone, or just to students whose parents are NC AWWA-WEA members?
Any student who meets the qualifications of eligibility can apply for a scholarship.
How do we plan to make people aware of the scholarships?
Information about scholarships will be on-line. We will engage contacts at the different colleges and community colleges that offer areas of study that comply with the purpose of the endowment to help identify students who meet the eligibility requirements. We will also work through the network of science teachers in the various school districts in North Carolina to promote our program with students who are graduating from high school and plan to pursue a degree in the water environment area. We are currently developing a marketing plan to increase the exposure of this program to potential applicants.
Can I designate my money to a specific fund or purpose beyond those listed?
If a donor contributes $25,000 or more, he may establish a “Named Fund” and stipulate the purpose and any restrictions he wants to place on the distribution of the funds generated from investing “the corpus” of his fund. These restrictions and conditions have to be approved by the Board of Trustees of NC AWWA-WEA. Donors contributing less than $25,000 may stipulate that his/her donation be assigned to one of the existing “Named Funds”. If a donor does not stipulate such a designation, his/her donation will be assigned to The NC Safewater Fund. No other designations or restrictions are possible.
What is the average amount others are donating?
This is a new fund, so the average is not meaningful. Donations from a low of $25 to a high of $25,000 have already been received.
Can I donate online?
Yes. Go to the Triangle Community Foundation and follow instructions for making a donation by credit card.
Can a donor set up an automatic checking/savings withdrawal to be made for payment into the fund?
Not at this time.
Is it possible to designate the NC Safewater Endowment Fund in my estate for legacy giving?
What is the benefit to me if I donate?
There are both tangible and intangible benefits associated with you donating to the endowment fund. Tangible benefits include a tax deduction for your donation and recognition by the Association for your donation. Intangible benefits include your satisfaction in knowing that your contribution will make a difference if the lives of many students as they are awarded scholarships to assist them in pursuing a degree that will qualify them to be a future water professional thereby helping to maintain a well educated workforce that will provide safe water to future generations. Also the grants awarded to teachers will enable them to teach future generations of students more about the water environment and its importance sustaining a good quality of life for existing and future generations.
There appear to be several different funds—what differentiates them?
Presently, the endowment program has 11 funds. The NC Safewater Fund is the overall fund established with the Triangle Community Foundation. The other “named funds” are described in detail in the Endowment Donor Program Sheet. Those established so far target different age groups and/or educational levels for receipt of scholarship funds.
Are we looking for donations to all of the funds or one in particular?
One donation is our goal, and you choose the fund. Our goal this year is to raise a total of $75,000 additional funds for the endowment program. A donor may designate his donation to be assigned to any of the ???? “Named Funds”. If a donor does not stipulate that the donation is to be assigned to a “Named Fund”, it will be assigned to the NC Safewater Fund. All options should be reviewed with a potential donor and the donor should decide how he/she wants the donation to be assigned.
Do I have to donate the same amount each year?
No. If you want to make a donation each year without making a pledge, you can donate any amount you select any time.
If you make multi-year pledge, you would submit a payment with your pledge form equal to the total number of years you have to pay your pledge divided into the amount of your pledge. You would pay the balance of your pledge in equal annual payments over the number of years allowed for you complete payment of your pledge.
Can I donate stocks, real estate to the endowment in lieu of money?
Yes. In the Policies and Procedures for the Endowment we stipulate” Donors may contribute cash (lump sum or contributions over a period of time), real property, stocks, bonds, including mutual funds, or life insurance proceeds as the designated beneficiary”. If a donor wants to donate anything other than cash, please contact Lindsay Roberts at NC AWWA-WEA’s offices. She will work with you and the staff at Triangle Community Foundation to ensure that the donation is handled legally.
Will there be an annual event to celebrate the endowment and will I be included even if I am not a member of the Association?
We plan to have an event at our annual conference to recognize the donors and the successes of the endowment. It would be appropriate to invite all donors to attend this event even if they are not members of NC AWWA-WEA.
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