An update from the Erickson Merkel Foundation ahead of our inaugural scholarship awards.
By Eric Jungels, executive director
Hello everyone, and happy 2015!
So far, this year has been a whirlwind of activity for the Erickson Merkel Foundation.
The organization incorporated in early January, and we’ve recently qualified as exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3). Donors can now deduct contributions made to the EMF under the Internal Revenue Code, Section 170, which we expect to be quite advantageous during fundraising efforts.
We’ve begun those fundraising efforts, with long-term intentions to build a self-sustaining scholarship award fund. We’re also considering fundraising activities and the likelihood of creating regular events, as well as expanding our network of friends and nonprofit families.
As an organization, administrative costs are covered through the annual dues of our board members and through the generous volunteerism of our team members. All donations made to the foundation are applied directly, and in-full, to the scholarship fund used to reward the best of tomorrow’s leaders as they work diligently to develop and grow. EMF scholarship awards will be paid directly to the educational institutions of our winning candidates.
There’s a lot of work to do, and it is exhilarating.
Everything is taking shape, in large part, because of the help of our growing board and the phenomenal direction they have provided to the organization.
I’d like to take the time to thank everyone now by recognizing them here. Our board members are: David Aase, JulieAnn Bischof, Tyson Bittner, Chris Erickson, Matt Erickson, Ben Ferin, Jeff Hare, Rhonna Hed, Hannah Jungels, Paul Jungels, Sean Merkel, A.J. Noll, Mike Renner, Aaron Reznechek, and Jon Rice.
Without their diverse experiences, collective vision and guidance the EMF would not have come together in such a relatively short time frame. And that relatively quick work will make providing scholarships in our very first year of existence a reality.
If you know someone on this list and are interested in learning more about the Erickson Merkel Foundation or helping in some way, please feel free to contact them through phone, by email or through Facebook. Feel free to share our articles and social media posts with your friends, because we’d like to expand our efforts far and wide.
We’ve now got our inaugural scholarship application on our website, www.ericksonmerkel.org. Candidates have until the end of February to apply. The first awardees will be selected during the March 2015 board meeting.
As we began promoting the availability of our first scholarship applications, we started by reaching out to our alma maters and other schools within the North Dakota and Minnesota university systems. But, just because we may have graduated from one school or state, it doesn’t mean we’re not accepting scholarship applications from students elsewhere, so don’t be discouraged. Then again, if you are a workhorse scholar or you know one, you’re quite aware that they don’t get discouraged by all that much.
If you know any workhorse scholars, let them know about us. And, if you’d like to help us out by spreading the word, helping out with future fundraisers or even donating a few dollars, we’d love to hear from you!