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Theta Foundation currently has nearly 200 endowment funds established by individuals and college and alumnae chapters. These funds are held in perpetuity and honor and memorialize cherished Thetas and college and alumnae chapters.

Types of Endowment Funds

Educational Scholarship Endowment Fund (ESEF)

Educational Scholarship Endowment Funds provide scholarship support to deserving collegian and alumnae Thetas who are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree-granting programs. Candidates submit applications directly to Theta Foundation and are selected according to general policies and procedures as approved by the Board of Trustees.

Named Grant Endowment Fund (NGEF)

Named Grant Endowment Funds support a variety of Theta programs. Unlike ESEFs, however, NGEFs do not support individuals’ degree-granting programs. Depending on the wishes of the Founding Contributor, an NGEF can support the Fraternity’s educational programs, or individual collegian and alumnae Thetas and college and alumnae chapters for non-degree educational, leadership training, and service-learning opportunities.


Making Contributions

The minimum balance to fully establish an endowment fund is $25,000. To achieve this level of funding, the Founding Contributor must

  • (a) commit to completing total donations (personally or through gifts from other donors) of not less than $10,000 by the end of the fund’s first year of existence and
  • (b) agree to achieve the minimum contribution level of $25,000 within five years.

The Founding Contributor is responsible for all fundraising activities necessary to benefit the endowed fund (with approval from Theta Foundation’s Executive Director), while Theta Foundation assumes all administrative burdens associated with accepting and acknowledging tax-deductible gifts.

Developing Criteria

The Founding Contributor works closely with Theta Foundation’s Director of Programs to develop a set of criteria for the endowment fund. Well-constructed criteria allow the wishes of a Founding Contributor to be acknowledged. Furthermore, strong yet flexible criteria allow Theta Foundation to remain a good steward of endowment funding in light of changes in federal and state regulations for nonprofits that may occur from time to time.

Endowment Agreements

A staff liaison (usually the Director of Programs or Executive Director) will work with the Founding Contributor to prepare a written endowment agreement that clearly outlines the purpose of the newly established fund and affirms Theta Foundation’s commitment to honoring the Contributor’s wishes for the fund.

For more information about establishing an endowment fund, please contact Gaylena Merritt, Director of Programs, at 317-876-1870 or


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