Charitable Gifts – Scholarships Funded by Private Gifts


The purpose of this policy is to define the scope, standards, responsibilities, and approach for charitable gifts for scholarships.

The College for Creative Studies encourages alumni and friends of the College to use private philanthropy to preserve and enhance educational excellence and further the College’s mission. Philanthropy is an integral part of the College’s success, aiding its educational, research, and service activities now and in generations to come. Charitable funding of student scholarships is of great importance to help students bear the costs of their studies at the College. Because of this, charitable (private) gifts for student scholarships are encouraged and secured through the professional standards and practices in this and related policies.

This policy outlines the standards and procedures for approval, establishment, and maintenance of charitable gifts intended for student scholarships and related financial support vehicles, in accordance with general College for Creative Studies policies and Institutional Advancement’s policies, and in general keeping with guidelines of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

This policy is complementary to other charitable gift policies beyond the scope of this particular policy.


This policy applies to all units, departments, faculty, staff, and other interests using the name of the College for Creative Studies and participating in philanthropy on the College’s behalf. It sets the standards for which donor giving for scholarships and related financial support, included but not limited to:

  1. Undesignated, designated, and restricted gifts;
  2. Scholarships that are need-based, merit-based, competitive, departmental, one-time, or renewable;
  3. Student grants, prizes, fellowships, awards, contributions for student internships, direct costs, and indirect costs; and
  4. Donor relations activities related to scholarship giving.

For purposes of this policy, the term scholarship(s) applies to everything in this Scope section.



The College will abide by legal and ethical standards and practices as set forth in adopted in Institutional Advancement’s policies, including but not limited to:

  1. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, 4th Edition (2009), sections specifically relating to scholarships (3.1.2 Restricted – Student Financial Aid, pp. 47, 97).
  2. Non-discrimination principles described A Federal Legal and Policy Primer on Scholarships, by Arthur L. Coleman and Teresa E. Taylor (2016), sponsored by the National Scholarship Provider’s Association (NSPA), the College Board, and Education Counsel. This guide indicates that public and private institutions of higher education are both subject to federal nondiscrimination law (p. 5). Federal nondiscrimination law is generally triggered when a policy or practice confers a tangible benefit or opportunity (such as a scholarship) to an individual based on some consideration that distinguishes students or categories of students (p. 7). These definitions are detailed in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These pertain to charitable giving by individuals, corporations, businesses, organizations, foundations, community foundations, or other donor-funded devices (such as a trust).
  3. The awarding of scholarships will align with the College’s practices of non-discrimination for student admissions. The College will not issue a scholarship for specific individuals, based on a charitable gift. Donors may not use charitable gifts for a scholarship for the benefit of a specific individual. A donor may have input to the criteria related to a scholarship, but the donor does not control the selection.
  4. Eligibility for specific scholarships will align with the College’s Financial Aid Office. Eligibility will be considered subject to any limitations or conditions affecting a total financial aid package offered to a student.
  5. Institutional Advancement retains the primary relationship with a scholarship donor, in cooperation with other agents of the College (staff, alumni, volunteers, faculty).
  6. Institutional Advancement will draft a Proposed Scholarship Agreement or Proposed Gift Agreement. This assures that the College’s and the donor’s interests and responsibilities are fulfilled.
  7. The total amount awarded to a student from institutional funds may not exceed the direct costs of attendance.
  8. Disbursements of scholarship funds will be in accordance with the practices of the College’s Financial Aid Office and Business Office.

Gift Requirements

Named annual scholarship – The minimum amount required to fund an annual scholarship is $1,500 per year for a minimum of 3 – 5 years.

Naming of endowed scholarship fund – The minimum level of giving to name an endowed scholarship fund is $25,000 payable over a 1 – 5 year period. There may be additional requirements regarding naming, covered in related policies.

Payment(s) of gifts – A gift may be completed with one payment at or shortly after the signing of a Scholarship Agreement. If payment is to be made over time, the Scholarship Agreement will specify the terms of payment, with a maximum of five years to complete funding. If payment over time is established, an initial payment is expected at or shortly after the signing of a Scholarship Agreement. Disbursement of funds will be directly tied to these payments.


Donors are entitled to a truthful, fair accounting of the uses of contributions. From time to time, staff will provide stewardship information and reports to donors. Donors with specific questions are to direct their inquiries to Institutional Advancement for prompt resolution of questions. If a philanthropic grant, Scholarship Agreement, or a Gift Agreement require reporting at specific times and ways, Institutional Advancement will fulfill those requirements.

The College will use philanthropic gifts according to the terms for which the gifts were solicited. If the expressed use of gifts is not able to be reasonably fulfilled due to changing circumstances, Institutional Advancement staff will work to accommodate the donor’s interests in a reasonable manner. If a donor requests the return of a gift for these reasons, the donor must contact the Vice President for Institutional Advancement to discuss the options available to the donor. This is necessary due to potential legal and compliance issues for donors.

Donors may request the opportunity to meet scholarship recipients. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement will work with the donor and recipient to arrange a meeting, if it is deemed appropriate, and logistics for a meeting can be arranged. Recipients of scholarship funds may be asked to write a thank you letter to the donor, the content of which will be suggested by Institutional Advancement.

Institutional Advancement will create and maintain donor records, proposals, agreements, and information related to scholarship gifts. This includes Scholarship Agreements, Gift Agreements, descriptions of interaction with the donor, paper and electronic records, donor acknowledgments, and donor recognition.


Relationships exist on many levels. All CCS faculty, staff, and volunteers need to be strategic in philanthropic pursuits. Matters regarding donor relations and engagement, including those relating to scholarships, are to be communicated to/coordinated with Institutional Advancement. Other departments of the College for Creative Studies are to coordinate with Institutional Advancement before reaching out to donors or engaging in fundraising.

The Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and the College’s President, are authorized to sign a Scholarship Agreement or a Gift Agreement that creates or funds a scholarship.


The Office of Institutional Advancement is responsible for assuring this policy’s standards, compliance, and implementation.

February 10, 2021

March 5, 2021

Institutional Advancement