Updated: Jun 29
The following items will be discussed at the meeting. For those who cannot make it to the meeting, you may discuss these proposals here and indicate your vote or you may send me an email with your discussion and vote at BlueAndGoldScholars@gmail.com.
Proposal/Motion 1: That we submit a petition to IRS to change our status from a "private" nonprofit organization to a "public" organization.
WHY WE NEED TO BE PUBLIC
Although most of our money has come from alumni, we have received grants from the Chatham Foundation, Weyerhaeuser, and Vulcan Materials. However, we have been denied several grants because we are a “private” nonprofit organization, rather than a “public” organization. The NC Community Fund, the Hillsdale Foundation and the Schwab Foundation have denied funding to us because of our “private” designation. The reason foundations do not want to fund other private foundations is that the IRS requires them to supervise the expenditure of funds they award, and many foundations do not have the personnel or desire to supervise specifically how their grants are spent. The Hanes Foundation questioned our status, but have kept us under consideration for a grant. However, if they award us a grant, we will have to submit reports to them on how the money is spent. If we were a public nonprofit, they would not have to supervise us.
A private foundation is an organization whose funding is from a single source or small number of sources. The Chatham Foundation, the Hanes Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are private. A Public nonprofit, conversely, is an organization whose funding comes from multiple sources including the general public.
We started out as a private organization when our benefactor gave an endowment to get the scholarship started. However, when the benefactor asked me to be the administrator of the scholarship, I, and my colleagues, turned it into an acting public organization because we solicited funds from you, the alumni, and from businesses and foundations (i.e., multiple sources). But, even though we are acting as a public foundation, our designation with IRS is still private. I believe the Board should vote to change our status with the IRS, so we will qualify for more grants and thus make it easier to reach our fund-raising goals.
Proposal 2: That we award a stipend to our scholarship winners because the Longleaf Grant initiated by Governor Cooper will pay the balance of a Community College student's tuition and fees after the Pell Grant is applied. The Longleaf will pay exactly what our scholarship had planned to pay.
A Pell (or FAFSA) grant is what the Federal government awards financially-needy students to attend college. The amount of Pell Grant a student receives depends on family income and the number in the family. The NC Longleaf grant will pay the remainder of these expenses for students graduating from high school and attending an NC Community College in 2021-2022. The Longleaf grant will pay exactly what our scholarship had intended to pay. However, the Longleaf Grant is a one-year grant based on money that NC has received from the Federal government for Covid relief and will expire after one year. It is in our by-laws to award scholarship recipients a possible stipend to defray extra expenses associated with pursuing a degree - expenses such as transportation, nurses uniforms, testing, equipment and supplies needed. To keep our scholarship relevant this academic year, it seems necessary to help the students with these uncovered expenses.
Proposal 3: That we continue to develop Internships with local industry to give our scholarship winners and other EHS students training in their chosen fields.
You may know that we have already arranged two internships with Vulcan Materials for two of our scholarship recipients - one is going to be studying CNC Machining and the other will study to become an Electrician. They will get general experience at the Elkin quarry and specific experience at the Winston-Salem quarry where one will work in the Machine Shop and the other will work in the Electric Shop. This internship will help them gain valuable experience in their fields, enhance their resumes, and build their networks with people in their chosen fields. It is our hope and belief that these internships will lead to employment in the Elkin Community so that critically-needed skilled workers will remain in the community.
Proposal 4: That we offer a bonus as incentive for students to remain or return to the Elkin Community to use their acquired skills.
Of course, we cannot require our scholarship recipients and interns to continue to live in Elkin, but we can offer a bonus of say, $500 to $1000, if they fill a needed position in the local community. In this time of labor shortages, even McDonald's is offering $1000 bonuses and $18 per hour to get and keep employees.
Proposal 5: That we come up with creative ideas for fundraisers that will add funds to our alumni donations and grants from foundations. An idea I have is to put on an "Elkin's Got Talent" or maybe "Yadkin Valley's Got Talent" show.
Get a popular band to play and judge the competition as a benefit
Charge contestants a fee to enter
Have the event at the Reeves or Dixon Auditorium (Dixon has more seating capacity)
A marathon on Elkin Trails
Proposal 6: That we make the All-Alumni Reunion of May, 2022 free but also include a fundraiser.
We have around $1000 raised for the reunion, and we have already made down payments to the Reeves and Elementary School for a program in those places. We don't want to make the whole event into a fundraiser, but we could have tables set up to accept donations by check or credit card.
Any other items you would like to add to the agenda are welcome.