2016 was a milestone year for our Heritage Group Award Fund: it topped $100,000. Yes, we officially hit $104,000 this past December! Quite an achievement when you consider that the fund was sitting at only $67,591 in 2011. Clearly we were smart to replace our $10/year membership fee with a voluntary donation to the award fund. In five short years the fund has grown by $36,409, or 54%. And we achieved that after $23,000 in awards to 29 RRC students (an average of $4,600/year)! Not bad.
How did we do it? By being generous. Heritage Group members have donated over $23,000 since 2011, generating another $15,715 in matching Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) funding (we don’t yet know how much of the $6,000 donated in 2016-17 will be matched). The endowment itself generated another $20,632 in interest. That adds up to over $59,000 in new money since 2011!
However, things will change this year. The provincial government has announced big changes, including that MSBI funding will drop from one dollar for each dollar donated to fifty cents for each dollar awarded. Our allocation will also depend upon other factors such as enrolment and how much we give out in awards. Though we do not yet know how much to expect, 2016-17 MSBI funding is not likely to match last year’s record high of $6,285.
The Progressive Conservatives announced last year that they would “double post-secondary scholarships and bursaries”. But, as Voltaire once said, “In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.”
We’ll keep you posted.