We offer three types of scholarship funds:
- Field of interest fund for education
- Donor-advised designated scholarship fund
- Thrivent-administered scholarship fund
Note: We advise that donors and/or financial advisors consult with our team if there is interest in setting up a scholarship fund.
By giving to this fund, your gift is combined with gifts of other donors and used to address needs in the area of education, including scholarships. Grant distributions from this fund will be focused in the Christian community, based on criteria consistent with our mission and vision. (Gift Minimum: None)
You can establish a permanently-endowed fund that provides scholarship support to a specific, accredited educational institution through a donor-advised designated scholarship fund. You can designate the educational institution and have the option of recommending scholarship criteria such as area of study, academic achievement or financial need. Selection of recipients is made solely at the discretion of the institution. (Gift Minimum: $5,000 per educational institution)
Create a customized scholarship fund administered by Thrivent. (Gift Minimum: Varies according to complexity, typically $500,000 or more)
Benefits of a scholarship fund
- Scholarship grants can be awarded in your name or in memory or honor of another. You may also choose to remain anonymous.
- You can designate scholarships for any level of education from preschool to postgraduate studies, providing the application and selection process is through an accredited educational institution. Preschool and K-12 scholarships only apply for private institutions that charge tuition.
- Scholarship grants are made payable to the educational institution and can be used to defray educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for study.
- A percentage of the fund is distributed annually, according to Thrivent's Distribution Policy.
Important guidelines to consider
- Charitable Class. Benefiting recipients need to be members of a “charitable class.” In general, a charitable class is a group of applicants that is large enough so that an indefinite number of individuals may benefit. “All the graduating seniors at a local high school” is a common and generally acceptable class. A class that includes members of a single family, on the other hand, wouldn’t qualify as a charitable class and thus is not acceptable. Religious, race-based, ethnic and gender limitations pose special questions, and must be discussed with our team.
- Applicant Criteria. The following are generally-accepted criteria to consider if you are establishing a scholarship fund:
- Financial need.
- Achievement in academics (GPA, test scores, etc.), athletics, music and the arts, community service, leadership or character.
- Superior performance or work in a particular field of study.
- Enrollment or acceptance to an accredited educational institution in the United States (college or university, public or private, community college or vocational/technical school, seminary, etc.).
- Selection Process & Other Concerns.
- Relatives of donors are ineligible to receive scholarship grants from a donor-established scholarship fund, and members or relatives of our Board of Directors and its staff are ineligible to receive scholarship grants.
- Due to the complex administrative procedures, we discourage “renewable” scholarship awards.
- IRS rulings suggest serious issues regarding roles of donors and/or fund advisors in the selection process.
- We cannot administer scholarships through church congregations.
- Fundraising Policy. Due to IRS restrictions, we cannot accept checks given by individual supporters in response to fundraising events (i.e. golf tournaments, banquets) for charitable funds at Thrivent. Gifts from such fundraising events must be made payable to the individual organizing the event, and are not eligible for a charitable tax deduction through Thrivent.
How to create a scholarship fund
Create a fund. We will establish your fund based on your charitable requests and contact you with information about how to manage your fund through your Fund Dashboard.
- For gifts of stock, include copies of either the stock certificates or the most recent brokerage statement. We will contact you with specific instructions on how to transfer the stock.
- For gifts of cash, do not send a check now. You may send it after confirmation your fund is established.
- You may send the initial contribution upon confirmation your fund is established.