Sisters GRO Administrative Fee

Sisters GRO administers approximately 65 annual scholarships which range from $500 to $12,500. In order to make Sisters GRO function according to its’ purpose, which is to provide scholarships to students which match the goals of the sponsor with the qualifications of the students, there are modest operating costs to manage the donor and scholarship process. Since it’s inception, Sisters GRO has awarded over 1,200 scholarships providing more than $1,700,000 in student aid.

Sisters GRO existed as an all-volunteer organization from 2008 to 2020. During that time, the number of scholarships more than doubled and the disbursements being managed increased over 150%. In order to manage the scholarship program, we hired our first part-time Program Director in December 2020. The purpose of this position is to sustain the mission of the organization and ensure our ability to support future generations of students at Sisters High School.

 

Due to the amount of time and resources that the scholarship program requires, we began implementation of a 7% fee on scholarship specific donations to cover administrative and operating costs so that the full amount of the scholarships can go to the students. This fee contributes to our ability to:

  • administer the online scholarship application and review system,

  • provide individualized support to student applicants and scholarship committee members,

  • coordinate and communicate with and between students, family members, donors, and school administration

  • facilitate presentations to increase engagement both within the school and in the local community

  • manage and acknowledge tax-deductible donations,

  • verify data for student acceptance and fund disbursement,

  • administer the Spread Process to increase equity of funds to students,

  • coordinate committees to review Sisters GRO designated scholarships, and

  • prepare and provide resources for the annual Senior Celebration event.

 

The administrative fee does not cover all operating costs, but does cover roughly 30% of the Sisters GRO operating budget (business and personnel expenses). The remaining 70% is obtained through fundraising efforts carried out by board members. See the chart below for additional details on total expenditures. While administrative fees for similar programs is common, we understand that the implementation of this fee may have a significant impact on some of our private and non-profit sponsors. We continue to explore ways in which we can work together to continue to service each existing scholarship while also growing scholarship opportunities for students as we look to the future. 

If you are a donor and are unable to contribute to administrative expenses, we have created an Application for Fee Exemption for those scholarships that would like to apply to have their 7% fee waived. Applications for exemption will be reviewed by the Sisters GRO Executive Committee. Note that failure to pay the fee without an exemption will result in the fee amount being deducted from the amount of the scholarship awarded. For example, a $1,000 scholarship will be reduced to $930 when the check is disbursed to the student.

 

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.