Being that nonprofit organizations are inherently mission-minded, it just makes sense for the organization to want its team and its supporters to expand their way of thinking and further their education.
While many organizations and businesses offer training and development opportunities for their employees, many nonprofits also offer educational incentives for employees who want to earn a new degree or certification. This allows the team member to go to school and gain specific organization-centric knowledge while applying that same knowledge to work. The organization pays for it (sometimes outright or through reimbursements) as an invaluable benefit to keeping their employees happy, engaged, and educated.
Given the cost of modern higher education, offering your team tuition incentives for their own personal education can be extremely compelling for attracting and retaining quality employees. Working for a company that values education just as much as clocking in and out is a privilege to most people who want to continue learning throughout their professional careers.
Nonprofit organizations can also show their emphasis on education by offering scholarships to students at varying degrees of education. Installing a scholarship program for high school students shows that your organization is invested in future leadership. Essentially, it’s one of the best ways that you can help out a child who might not have the means to go to college without assistance from organizations like yours. It’s an incredibly rewarding and potentially invaluable asset to your brand. From a global mission standpoint, there is such a diverse spectrum of nonprofits — meaning we are collectively able to grant scholarships to students for a wide variety of reasons.
But giving out scholarships is often not as easy as it sounds. First, your organization has to put together a scholarship committee, which carefully reviews the applications and inevitably decides which students will be awarded scholarships. It’s a difficult undertaking, especially for the committee members who might feel disheartened about the applicants who won’t be receiving scholarships. There are also issues of awarding scholarships based on unfair advantages or discrimination. Some organizations offer scholarships based on race or gender, but this is often a fuzzy line to walk. Narrow application pools often attract the most negative attention for being too discriminatory. Finally, it’s important to know the tax implications of the scholarships you are awarding. Because just like anything tax-related, scholarships can be complicated and full of potential risks. Whatever the official status of your organization, be careful about administering scholarships in a way that ensures your donors receive the right deductions.
The important thing is to show that your organization values education and has the ability to help those who want to achieve higher learning.