Friday, December 9, 2005
FYI: all about the C-C Scholarship Fund
The Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund (the "Fund") was established in 1966 by five members of the Concord-Carlisle School Committee. The Fund is a tax-exempt charitable trust that provides needs-based scholarships to students graduating from high school and to those already in college. All grant recipients must have either resided in or attended school in Concord or Carlisle.
The Fund is administered by a Board of Trustees from Carlisle and Concord and is affiliated with Dollars for Scholars, a program of Scholarship America which includes a network of more than 1,200 volunteer scholarship foundations throughout the United States. By working together, these foundations are able to influence institutional financial aid policies in ways that benefit students.
Scholarships are financed by an annual appeal, by a student-staffed phonathon, and by income generated from memorial gifts, bequests, and 24 named funds. The annual appeal in the form of a community-wide mailing in Concord and Carlisle takes place in February of each year. In March, members of the Concord-Carlisle High School National Honor Society assist the Fund by helping to conduct the annual phonathon. These two activities comprise the organization's major fund-raising effort this past year resulted in receipts of approximately $130,000. Because the Fund is managed by a volunteer board, administrative expenses are minimal, which means that at least 96% of the Fund's revenues are allocated to scholarships.
Named scholarship funds are an important part of the Fund. Several families and organizations have chosen to establish a named scholarship fund to honor or memorialize a member of the Carlisle or Concord communities. A contribution of $20,000 enables the Fund to award a $1,000 scholarship annually in the name of the individual, family or organization that has established the named scholarship. As additional contributions are made to a named fund, the size and/or number of scholarships awarded by that named fund will increase. Named funds have been established for educators, community leaders and other citizens.
Since its inception, the Fund has supported close to 1,000 students in higher education, many for four years. Each year students express their gratitude in letters to the Fund or in testimonials to help solicit additional contributions. One recipient who spent considerable time working with World Relief as the managing director of a microfinance institution in Rwanda wrote, "I would like to express my thankfulness to all of you. Your gifts allowed me to complete college and to receive the necessary tools to work for lasting change in the developing world."
A recent Boston Globe editorial (November 22, 2005) states, "Every year, some families wonder how much college financial aid they'll get. And every year, the answer for many is 'not enough.' There aren't enough financial aid dollars to meet the demand." Last spring, the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund received nearly 150 applications for scholarship assistance. These applicants documented financial need in excess of $1,000,000. Because of the generosity of citizens of Concord and Carlisle, the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund was able to help with awards totaling $121,000 and its affiliates supplemented this with another $40,000.
While the generosity of citizens of Concord and Carlisle enables the Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund Board of Trustees to assist many students each year, the local financial need is at least eight times greater than its current ability to address it. And this need is increasing rapidly as institutions pass on their ever-increasing operating costs to their students. In addition, more students are continuing to higher education which results in less governmental and institutional support being available to each of them.
Complete information about the organization and how to contact the Board of Trustees can be found on its website: www.ccscholarshipfund.org., or contact the Fund in writing at: Concord Carlisle Scholarship Fund, P. O. Box 217, Concord, MA 01742-0217.
© 2005 The Carlisle Mosquito