Posted by: Kallie Sulanke on Sep/16/2019

Muncie Elks Lodge finds partnership with Foundation to boost Scholarship

Muncie Elks Lodge 245

For many years the Muncie Elks Lodge 245 has awarded the H. Wayne Standerford Scholarship to deserving students in Delaware County. The scholarship was established through a trust by former member, H. Wayne Standerford. The Elks Board was responsible for managing the trust and had invested the funds in savings accounts and CDs. The trust was earning very little in interest and awarding the scholarship was causing the balance to quickly decline. In order to maintain the scholarship fund, the Elks Board decided to award the scholarship less frequently. Awarding fewer scholarships didn’t necessarily seem like the best solution, so the board began to explore other options to ensure that the scholarship would continue as Mr. Standerford intended.

The Elks accountant suggested they consider The Community Foundation as a partner. With 50 scholarship funds already in place and a solid history of prudent investment and fund growth, the Foundation had the knowledge and skills needed to administer the scholarship. Foundation President Kelly K. Shrock and Program Officer Carly Acree-King met with the Elks Exalted Ruler, Butch Corn, and CPA Ben Smith to further talk about the opportunity.

By transferring the H. Wayne Standerford Trust to the Foundation, the Muncie Elks Lodge 245/H. Wayne Standerford Scholarship Fund would be established as an endowed fund. The scholarship would be established based on the criteria that Mr. Standerford outlined in his original trust, and prudent investment by the Foundation would allow the fund to make a four-year renewable award each year. Additionally, using historic returns as a model, the Foundation could provide growth to the fund that would allow the scholarship to carry on and grow in perpetuity. The scholarship would continue making an impact in the lives of students in Delaware County.

The Elks Board reviewed the option and agreed to seize the opportunity. Transferring a fund like this one requires legal action. The Foundation called upon their network of professional advisors to work alongside the Elks’ Exalted Ruler and accountant to petition the Indiana Attorney General to release the trust to The Community Foundation. The attorney general approved the request requiring the Foundation to manage the scholarship in the same way that it would be managed as a trust. Donor intent was always at the forefront of this process.

The fund was officially established at The Community Foundation this spring. It will award its first four-year scholarship in 2020. Scholarship applications open January 1.

As an advised scholarship, the Elks will remain involved in the review and selection process of the recipient. Additionally, the Elks will be welcome to recognize and honor the scholarship recipient during club meetings or school honor programs.

The Community Foundation’s mission is to build an enduring source of charitable assets for our community. Managing the Muncie Elks Lodge 245/ H. Wayne Standerford Scholarship Fund for the Elks Lodge, allows us to steward the financial assets given by Mr. Standerford while allowing the Elks to shift their focus to their primary mission.

We enjoy being a partner to organizations across Muncie and Delaware County in the same way. To learn more about how The Community Foundation can help your organization establish and grow a permanent endowment fund contact Kelly K. Shrock, president, at 765-747-7181 or kshrock@cfmdin.org.