MacDonaldCommunity Scholarships A Conceptual Proposal April 26, 2014
The Concept • Donors endow $125,000 scholarships under their name (e.g. John Jones Community Scholarship) to the sponsoring University • Each recipient student scholar is paid $5,000 annually for 280 hours of community service, supervised by a dedicated University staff Director • On campus programs and occasional field trips are established to support the recipient scholars and broaden their experience • Administrative costs are largely funded at full operation
The Need • As tuition and related costs increase, college students require more financial aid • The rising level of student debt is a significant societal issue • Many students are forced to work at menial part time jobs • Social programs to help those in greatest need are inadequate and subject to government reductions in funding
The Opportunity • Many successful people are now retiring and thinking about the future and their legacy • The idea of a student doing ‘good deeds’ and helping others in the donor’s name for the rest of the donor’s life and even beyond has significant appeal • The required endowment contribution to help others in perpetuity is affordable for many and could significantly broaden the University’s ability to secure donations.
The Experience • A MacDonald Community Scholars program has been operating at Davidson college for several years • Results have been amazing, with recipient students accomplishing truly significant results (e.g. starting a primary school in Africa, providing lights to rural villages in India) • The Bonner Foundation has enjoyed success with funding and directing community scholarship programs at colleges for many years
Organization • A recipient University adds the MacDonald Community Scholarship Program to an established center for social engagement or similar existing structure. • A Director is hired specifically for this program. • The University hires, houses, and supports this staff person, but the associated salary and benefit costs are reimbursed in the first year by the MacDonald Foundation.
Student Participant Selection • The University establishes need based qualifications to participate in the program. For example, if a student was unable to pay more than [$12,000] a year for tuition and expenses, they could qualify. • A description of the program is published on an existing University web site. • Applicants for Admission to the University are informed of this and other programs. • Either Admissions or Financial Aid staff provide a list of need based Qualified Candidates to the Director
Student Participant Selection(Continued) • Qualified Candidates receive an email indicating they are qualified to apply for a MCS • Interested students submit an application describing their level of interest, experience in community service, relevant background, and how their participation complements career goals or intended study.
Student Participant Selection(Continued) • The Director reviews applications, recommendations from Admissions or Financial Aid, and conducts interviews on campus or by phone • The Director then selects participants. Donors are not be involved in the selection process.
The Program • Participants are paid $2,500 at the start of each semester. • They are required to participate in programs which average 1-2 hours a week • They submit a plan for their community service project to the Director for approval • They spend 280 hours of community service each school year – about 10 hours a week
The Program(Continued) • Participants meet periodically with the Director to review progress. • After the first year, the participant selects a faculty member as a mentor tying the community service project to an area of academic study. • The Director formulates and implements a series of programs on leadership, organization, social issues, and other supplementary topics
The Program(Continued) • The Director organizes occasional voluntary field trips over weekends and holidays such as to a Habitat for Humanity Housing Development site. The trips count toward the 280 hour service requirement. Such trips could be coordinated with other University programs. • During their senior year, each participant presents a paper and program on their experience and lessons learned. Donors are invited to attend.
Benefits to Student Participants • Annual financial aid of $5,000 • Opportunity to pursue community service projects • Opportunity to participate in a structured program of leadership, organization, and social discussion • Opportunity to tie community service to their intended course of academic study
Benefits to Participating Universities • Provides a program attractive to need based students • Compliments existing programs and utilizes existing social engagement organizational structures • Adds to the University’s community outreach function • Requires minimal University funding
Benefits to Individual Donors • Is affordable for financially successful people • Provides satisfaction that they are helping need based students • Provides satisfaction that their students will be helping other less fortunate people in their name even after the donors are dead. This is a legacy issue. • The donors receive an annual report on the program and the activities of their scholars
Benefits to Corporate Donors • In addition to individual donors, corporate donors are likely participants. • For example, pharmaceutical companies may be interested in funding scholars in medical school; energy companies may support students in engineering; educational foundations may sponsor scholarships for future teachers, etc. • Every company and organization is a candidate for endowing students
Financial Considerations • The initial cost of hiring a director and establishing programs is forecast as $50,000-$75,000. This will be reimbursed by the MacDonald Foundation. • Donors will be asked to contribute $125,000 for each endowed scholarship. The University will commit to provide at least a 5% annual return ($6,250). • $5,000 (of the $6,250) is given to recipient student scholars
Financial Considerations • An additional $350 per student is set aside for field trips and out of pocket expenses (e.g. pizza night at a presentation) • The remaining $900 ($6,250 - $5,350) goes to offset administrative expenses. With a target of 100 students, $90,000 could pay for staff salary and related expenses. • Until the program reaches participation goals, either some subsidy will be required or the Director would need to be a shared resource.
The Potential • The proposed program has the potential to change society. If 10 universities fund 100 students each (or 20 schools have 50 students), 1,000 students will be working every year making life better – forever. • But this will not happen. If a few universities adopt this program, others will be compelled to follow. Instead of 10 universities, more likely hundreds will participate.
Contact • For further information or discussion, please contact • Scott MacDonald, MacDonald Foundation • 12707 High Bluff Drive, Suite 200 • San Diego, CA 92130 • email@example.com