Whether you want to support students from a specific high school or region, those entering a specific field of study, or those facing particular challenges, establishing a scholarship fund can be a rewarding experience.


A scholarship fund is a tax-free investment account that generates a source of charitable dollars to help reduce financial barriers for people seeking to advance their post-secondary education, while typically granting you tax benefits.

At the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) we work with you to personalize your scholarship fund to support students based on criteria that are important to you, such as fields of study, specific schools, or demographic segments. We leverage our knowledge of Delaware and the competitive scholarship process to ensure your scholarship dollars are having the greatest impact.

How a Scholarship Fund Works

  1. Open the fund with an initial gift to the DCF of $25,000 or more in cash or other assets, such as appreciated stock, mutual funds, or real estate. Most establishing gifts are tax-deductible.
  2. Name the fund and designate criteria such as financial need, academic standing and field of study.
  3. Choose an investment strategy from the DCF’s investment pools, or ask about ways to keep your personal financial advisor involved.
  4. The DCF publicizes the scholarship through our relationships with high schools, our website, social media and other outreach.
  5. Students apply online. By completing a single online application, students apply for your scholarship and dozens of other DCF scholarships.
  6. The DCF Scholarship Committee selects recipients. In some cases, you or your designee can be part of the selection process.
  7. The DCF verifies awardees’ enrollment at approved educational institutions.
  8. The DCF distributes funds directly to the schools the recipients will attend.
  9. Add to your fund at any time to take advantage of additional tax benefits while increasing the amount available for scholarships.
  10. Review your fund activity online.

The DCF handles all the administrative requirements of the fund, from investments to paperwork. All funds are charged fees based on the DCF’s Fee Schedule.

I got my BS in Psychology and I plan on working with addiction and mental health patients. The scholarship has been extremely helpful! I didn’t have to struggle as much with tuition and payments – it truly made it easier for me and my family. Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards! I am blessed that I was able to receive this scholarship.

– Dayzha Washum, 2014 recipient of the DCF’s Don and Nancy Edwards Scholarship and recent Neumann University grad.

Just knowing they can go to college and have their financial worries lessened, that’s all we care about—and the DCF makes it easy for us to make that possible.

– Mary Jo Russo, Tom & Mary Jo Russo Scholarship Fund

We read every essay at our dining room table, make our recommendations for the winners and send them to the DCF. They’ve been a great partner.

– Dianne Michael, Keisha M. Michael Memorial Scholarship Fund

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