OUR HISTORY

In 1988 the Town of Burlington's voters approved legislation to introduce a municipal scholarship program in Burlington funded by tax check-off choices and operated entirely out of the Town Treasurer's Office.  That scholarship program operated under the auspices of the Treasurer's Office from 1988 to 2013 and was called the Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation (BCSF).  In order to ensure a strong program following the best practices of the scholarship industry, BCSF affiliated with the largest scholarship provider in the nation, Scholarship America, on February 2, 1988.

In 2013, the Town Auditor recommended that the highly successful scholarship program be separated from the Town and organized as a completely separate charitable organization while maintaining its affiliation with Scholarship America.  By the end of 2013, BCSF had organized as Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars.  It is included as a subsidiary on Scholarship America's group exemption roster as a 501 (c) (3) charity operating under Scholarship America's group charitable ruling.  BCSFDFS's current EIN is 47-1595825.

In late 2013 we incorporated Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a non-profit corporation.Our official, legal name is Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars, Inc.

Also in late 2013, Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars adopted Bylaws and a number of policies to govern our charitable organization in accordance with IRS expectations and consistent with scholarship best practices:

  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Document Retention and Destruction Policy
  • Investment Policy
  • Scholarship Awards Policy
  • Gift Acceptance Policy

In 2014, once all the legal details had been accomplished, BCSFDFS established separate financial accounts in financial institutions not used by the Town of Burlington.In our own accounts we place funds donated directly to Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars.

In 2016 the Board of Directors of Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars voted to formally separate the Board position of Treasurer from the role of Town Treasurer.Serving as treasurer of Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars is no longer an added responsibility of the Town Treasurer.They are officially two separate roles.One role serves as an officer of a charity; the other role is an elected municipal position.Currently the Treasurer of the Town of Burlington also serves as Treasurer of BCSFDFS because of the exceptional fiduciary and investment expertise he brings to the position.

In 2017 we have tackled a number of smaller details around separating the charitable scholarship organization from what was at one time a municipal program.

  • The Board of Directors approved implementing the practice of transferring donations received by the Town of Burlington via the tax check off option to Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars.  This transfer will occur in January of every calendar year.
  • The Board of Directors approved the creation of a new, 4-year renewable scholarship called The Town of Burlington Scholarship that will be funded entirely by tax check off donations received in the Town Treasurer's Office.  As long as sufficient funds are raised from the tax check off option, this scholarship will be awarded to eligible high school seniors in accordance with the BCSFDFS eligibility requirements and will support the selected recipient(s) for up to four years as long as they meet the annual renewal requirements.
  • We have updated our BCSFDFS website (http://bcsfds.dollarsforscholars.org) to reflect the changes that have taken place over the past three years. 
  • We have established a Burlington Post Office Box .  All written communications and donations by check intended for BCSFDFS should be directed to the P.O. Box. 
  • We continue to purchase annual General Liability Insurance coverage to protect the Town of Burlington from any incurring any liability when BCSFDFS is meeting or holding events in Town-owned buildings.
  • Because of our affiliation with Scholarship America, our scholarship program is online.  The system is called ChapterNet. In accordance with accepted best practices, Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars appoints a single Scholarship Awards Committee to handle its application process.  All applications are processed anonymously (the online system automatically and randomly assigns student ID numbers).  Only the Scholarship Awards Committee Chair knows who has been selected to receive a scholarship from our organization prior to the award ceremony.  Additionally, any elected Board Member who has one or more relatives applying for a scholarship are prohibited by our Bylaws from serving on the Scholarship Awards Committee that year.