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Vol. 6 Issue 1

ASHRAE Foundation Offers Scholarship Solutions for ASHRAE Chapters

The ASHRAE Foundation offers solutions both for chapters looking for help with their local scholarships.  Many ASHRAE chapters have raised money through the years for scholarships that are awarded by the chapter.  These chapters sometimes find the burden of investing the scholarship dollars and selecting the scholarship recipients can be challenging.  Lack of continuity of chapter leadership can make investment of chapter assets and selection of scholarship recipients a potential liability and cause for concern. Learn more about the Scholarship opportunities on how the ASHRAE Foundation can help in a variety of ways.


Chapter Awarded Scholarships

An ASHRAE chapter can transfer assets set aside for scholarship to the ASHRAE Foundation to create an endowed scholarship fund. The chapter has the benefit of professional money management hired by the ASHRAE Foundation.  This insures transparency and careful, responsible oversight of the chapter’s scholarship investment. 

A Chapter Awarded Scholarship allows the chapter to retain control of selection of the scholarship recipients.  So long as the chapter agrees to abide by certain non-discrimination provisions imposed by Federal law, the chapter retains complete control over the submission of applications, review of scholarship applicants and final selection of the recipient.

The minimum to establish a Chapter Awarded Scholarship is $30,000.  The chapter would make an irrevocable gift to the ASHRAE Foundation and deposited into an endowed fund for the benefit of the chapter scholarship.  The Foundation Trustees set the annual spending policy for the Foundation’s endowment.  That spending policy has been set at 5% of the endowed principal since the Foundation was established in 1994.  Therefore, a $30,000 scholarship would generate an annual $1,500 scholarship.  The Foundation would award that amount to the scholarship recipient chosen by the sponsoring chapter. 

ASHRAE Chapter Scholarships

Some chapters want to not only avoid the burden of managing assets, but they also want help with selection of the scholarship recipients.  A chapter can have the ASHRAE Foundation invest the scholarship endowment and ASHRAE’s Scholarship Trustees can administer the selection process.  The Scholarship Trustees have the advantage of paid ASHRAE staff to assist in the difficult work of publicizing scholarships, gathering applications, selection and award of the scholarship. 

ASHRAE chapters still play an important role in choosing those to whom a scholarship is awarded.  The chapter decide the selection criteria for the applicants.  The Scholarship Trustees rely on feedback from interviews conducted by the chapter with potential candidates to narrow the selection process.  The chapters also typically hold award ceremonies at their chapter meetings to the winning applicants.

The minimum to establish an ASHRAE Chapter Scholarship is $60,000.  Assuming the current 5% spending policy of the Foundation, such a scholarship would award $3,000 annually.  The chapter enjoys the same professional management of the assets with regular reporting on investment performance.  The chapter can shift most of the burden of selecting the scholarship recipient to ASHRAE’s Scholarship Trustees but still remain involved in the process. 


A Note on Gift Minimums

A chapter has up to five years to accumulate the assets necessary to meet the minimums to fund either type of chapter scholarship.  Your chapter can establish the scholarship provisionally until the assets meet the minimum required amount.  Scholarships may not be awarded until the endowment is fully funded.

If you would like more information on how you can make a gift to the ASHRAE Foundation, contact Margaret Smith at, tel: 678-539-1201.


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