Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Increases its Reach

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF) raised fifteen percent more funds in 2012 than in 2011.  The funds made possible over $6 million in scholarships to over 1,900 military children.

For fifty years, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has provided annual scholarships to students of Marines and Navy Corpsmen with attention to children who have lost a parent in action. Of the scholarship recipients, eighty-nine percent graduate from four-year institutions, forty-two percent pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and many go on to public service careers, demonstrating the societal benefit of these awards.

Kathryn James, a Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation award recipient, will be attending East Carolina University in the fall to major in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation. Kathryn, whose father, Major Brian James, died after his V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the Potomac River, says the scholarship gave her the opportunity to fulfill her father’s dream of his children attending college. “The Marine Corps has given me more than financial help, it has connected me with families and offered me support to accomplish my dad’s dream,” said Kathryn.

Margaret Davis, President and CEO, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, believes the Foundation’s success in fundraising despite the weak economy was due to its vast network of volunteers and donors involved over the past few decades, a strong board of directors with a commitment to the mission of the organization, and a dedicated professional staff team.

Davis also believes that the Foundation’s compelling mission, with a combination of honoring marines and their families with post secondary education and vocational training, is what ignites the passion of donors.

MCSF takes a multifaceted approach to engage donors in the mission through social media, the website, and print material. Davis says that it is “vital that we can use the personal relationship and believe in the philosophy that it’s [donor’s] money not ours.” Davis cites being good stewards of donor dollars as one reason for the Foundation’s fundraising success. “Scholarships are about impact and understanding a combination of outcomes including graduation rate, employment, and the importance of producing graduates while reducing student debt. Investors see the proof, where their money is going and the impact of it.”

For scholarship granting organizations that want to increase donations, Davis emphasizes communicating the mission persuasively, engaging as many volunteers and staff as possible, and never losing sight of the vision for the future.

Over the past 50 years the Marines Corps Scholarship Foundation has raised and awarded over  $67 million in scholarships and hopes to continue serving students in need for decades to come.

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