Frequently Asked Questions for Potential Sponsors
Educational Development and Stimulus Fund
1. Just what is EDSFUND?
A: The Educational Development and Stimulus Fund is a private organization developed to distribute, in an orderly fashion, charitable funds from companies that manufacture for or sell into the technical education marketplace.
The basic concept is that grants are given to Recipients to facilitate purchase of a Sponsor’s products.
2. What sort of groups are funded by EDSFUND?
A: Applicants must be non-profit organizations. These applicants may be schools, robotics teams, SAE teams, Maker spaces, or vocational programs that are involved in the use of technology. Individuals are not eligible for grant awards.
3. Are the Recipients funded for everyday operations?
A: No. Applicants must propose a specific project, and that project must include an EDSFUND Sponsors’ products. While the product (say, a CNC milling machine) may well go on to be used by the applicant to create many other projects, a suitable application will specify a project to be completed, a timeline to completion, and specify how the Sponsors’ products will be used to complete that project. EDSFUND does not award money for staff positions, travel, or training except training offered by a Sponsor.
4. As a Sponsor, will my money go to purchase other Sponsor’s products?
A: No. All of a Sponsor’s funding will be comitted to the purchase by applicants of that Sponsor’s products. If an applicant requests funding for multiple Sponsor’s products, their budget must break down what products they wish to purchase from which Sponsors.
5. What sort of recognition does a Sponsor receive?
A: Sponsors are recognized and logos displayed in the Sponsor’s section of the EDSFUND website, with hyperlinks to Sponsors’ websites. Sponsors are also listed in the grant application Guidelines, and are listed and linked in emails and announcements of availability of funds.
6. What does EDSFUND charge to administrate the grant competition?
A: EDSFUND charges an administrative fee of 15% for annual Sponsorships under $100,000 and 10% for annual Sponsorships over $100,000.
7. I see that EDSFUND currently offers grants that pay 40% of a project’s costs, with 60% provided by the applicant. Can the proportion be modified at a Sponsor’s request?
A: Yes, the proportion can be modified, but EDSFUND feels that the existing proportion both motivates the applicant to raise additional funds, and generally replicates what many vendors might think of as a reasonable educational discount.
8. How are the funds handled? How does a Sponsor know the Recipient awarded funds will complete the transaction?
A: First of all, the Sponsor sends the chosen amount of annual Sponsorship, including the administrative fee, to EDSFUND. Following a round of grants, awards are announced. Now, it should be noted that many Recipients of grants do not have the necessary 60% matching funds on hand. They use the grant award to entice other donors to come up with the match, and this takes time, so there is no certainty regarding when the actual transaction between the Recipient and the Sponsor will take place. The Recipient has up to one year following Notification of Award to complete the purchase.
When the match is raised, the Recipient makes their equipment purchase from the Sponsor. At this time, EDSFUND wires the 40% grant award to the Sponsor. Sponsor’s funds never actually pass through the accounts of the grantee, thereby guaranteeing the security of the Sponsor’s funds.
Note that EDSFUND maintains Sponsors’ deposits in a secure savings account. Funds are not invested, and can be returned to Sponsor at the completion of the Annual Agreement.
9. If no suitable applicant includes the Sponsor’s products in their application what happens to the grant and administrative funds?
A: At the Sponsor’s discretion, EDSFUND will simply hold the funds for another round of grants. Or, EDSFUND will return the Sponsor’s funds, less 50% of the administrative fee and the Sponsorship will be considered terminated.
10. Does the Sponsor have a say in which applicants are funded?
A: No. EDSFUND has in place an objective application review process. EDSFUND may contact the Sponsor regarding the feasibility of a particular applicant’s project, but other than that it’s best that the Sponsor not be involved in the award decision.
11. Can the Sponsor contact the grant recipient after the award decision is made?
A: Yes. Should the Sponsor wish to contact the award recipient they may do so. Such contact may be particularly useful in a situation where Sponsor wishes to have a logo displayed, such as in the case of an SAE race car or robotics team website. Additionally, the grant guidelines specify that the recipient post project updates via website, video, or email, and these will be shared with the Sponsor.
12. Is there a minimum or maximum amount a Sponsor can choose to fund?
A: Currently, EDSFUND asks that a Sponsor contribute at least $10,000. There is no maximum.
13. We wish to pursue Sponsorship. How do we proceed?
A: Contact the EDSFUND administrator, Skip Schloss by email, to arrange a phone call. After discussions, the potential Sponsor will sign an Annual Letter of Agreement, deposit funds, and EDSFUND will proceed with a grant availability announcement.