How to select a gift for a guy

It’s the accessory you never knew you wanted. Here’s how to find a great one.

How to select a gift for a guy

How to select a gift for a guy

For many guys, fragrance is undiscovered territory. After all, cologne is something worn mostly by continental types or, if there’s a ship on the bottle, grandfathers. Right? Wrong. Olfaction actually triggers both emotion and memory far more than sight and sound—so any man who eschews wearing a scent misses out on an important tool in his presentational arsenal.

“Scent is extraordinarily important in telling people who you are and what you believe,” says Chandler Burr, former perfume critic for The New York Times and a leading fragrance expert.

Of course, telling the right story is essential. Pay too little attention to what you’re wearing, and your aromatic signature might be “teenager after gym class.” So how do you find that perfect match? Well, by getting yourself to a fragrance counter and patiently sniffing around. Here’s what you’ll encounter.

Eau de What?

It’s become shorthand for “men’s fragrance,” but cologne doesn’t actually denote gender; it’s merely a type of perfume. “We’ve been trained to think ‘perfume’ is for women and ‘cologne’ is for men,” Burr says, but that’s just marketing: Fragrance is gender-less.

Ultimately, whether or not you like the smell will determine which scent becomes your signature. These five concentration levels, all printed on the label, will determine how long the scent lingers.

Parfum: 20-30 percent fragrance. In English, it’s perfume extract. It’s the highest concentration of perfume (the rest is alcohol and water), and also the most expensive. One small dab can last 24 hours.

Eau de Parfum: 15-20 percent fragrance. Used to describe both men’s and women’s products, this is the most common dilution, and most likely what you’ll be buying. It’ll last five to eight hours.

Eau de Toilette: 5-15 percent fragrance. This is a light spray with the perfume extract dissolved in alcohol. It’s cheaper than eau de parfum and generally lasts only a couple of hours.

Eau de Cologne: 2-5 percent. “Water of Cologne” was a citrus perfume launched in Cologne, Germany, in 1709. In the 20th Century, perfume companies began offering cheaper, diluted versions of their existing fragrances and calling them eau de cologne. The low price point appealed to men, and today, of course, cologne has become a generic term for fragrances worn by men.

Eau Fraiche: 1-3 percent. Rarely seen on the market, this fragrance is little more than scented water.

How a Fragrance Works

Fragrance isn’t just one single smell. “Some scents evolve more than others,” says Burr, “but they all evolve.” This is exactly why you should never just spritz some fragrance onto blotter paper, smell it, and buy. Much like people, you can’t judge a fragrance by your first impression. Here’s what you’ll notice if you give it time:

Top note: This is what you smell upon application. It’ll disappear first, within a couple of hours. The top note comprises lighter ingredients, usually citruses like bergamot, florals like lavender, and aromatics like anise.

Middle note: This hangs around after the top note has cleared, lingering for three to five hours. It’s also called the heart note, because it’s the fragrance’s main theme. Expect heavier floral ingredients like jasmine, fruits like pear, greens like grass, and spices like cinnamon.

Base note: This foundational scent develops last and clings to your skin longest—from five to ten hours. The base note is composed of rich ingredients such as sandalwood, vetiver, tobacco, and musk.

A heady, heavy base scent would be unpleasant if smelled right away, but thanks to the top and middle notes evolving first, the base softens before you notice it. That’s is why the interworking of the three notes is so important. Take, for example, Hugo Boss’s newest men’s fragrance, BOSS The Scent: It starts with notes of ginger, then unfolds into African Maninka fruit and finishes with leather notes. There’s an exotic story there, intrepid and seductive. You’ll know the fragrance works if each note doesn’t just make way for the next, but complements the others to create a cohesive narrative.

How to select a gift for a guy

How to Shop for a Fragrance

Scents react differently to different body chemistry, so what smells good on someone else won’t smell the same way on you. To properly shop for a fragrance, you’ll actually need to wear it.

“You can wear four,” Burr says, “on the left wrist, right wrist, left elbow, and right elbow.” (Go ahead and spray some on that blotter paper to pick the four you like.) Make note of which is which, and then smell how each scent develops over the course of its lifecycle. Liking the top note doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll dig the middle and base notes as well. “Smell them at one minute, five minutes, 15 minutes, a half hour, hour one, hour two, hour three, and hour five,” Burr says.

To know whether you’ve landed on the right scent, don’t just sit at home sniffing your arms—make it an active day. And smell it accidentally: Suddenly someone brushes by you, you catch a whiff and… it just makes you happy. That’s when you know you’ve found your winner.

We all have at least one whiskey lover in our lives who we consider our “easy” person to shop for — except when it comes to actually choosing the whiskey. With multiple subcategories (Scotch, bourbon, Irish whiskey, etc.) under the broad umbrella of “whiskey,” where does one even begin? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite whiskey gifts for this holiday season that are sure to please your whiskey aficionados. Tumblers and cigars not included.

For Scotch Lovers…

Bunnahabhain 12 Year

How to select a gift for a guy

Bunnahabhain 12 Year is one of our favorite old Islay single malt Scotches. The barley is malted and lightly peated before undergoing the distillation process. Recently, Bunnahabhain decided to remove the chill-filtration step in its single-malt products, seeking to produce the purest expression of flavor profile and mouthfeel as possible. A unique and special gift for the whisky lover in your life.

Johnnie Walker Green

How to select a gift for a guy

After a brief disappearing act from the market, Johnnie Walker Green is back! Johnnie Walker is certainly known for being one of the greatest blended whiskies in the world, with its first blend introduced to the market in 1867 (did you know it was illegal to blend whisky in Britain prior to 1860?). Green label is an 86-proof blend created from only single malts, with each malt aged for a minimum of 15 years. With Red and Black considered more everyday Scotches and JW Blue just downright expensive, Johnnie Green makes a perfect holiday gift. Plus, its festive coloring will look stellar underneath your Christmas tree.

Ardbeg Dark Cove

How to select a gift for a guy

This limited-edition Islay single malt was released this past spring in honor of Ardbeg Day during the annual Islay festival. The whisky is aged in both ex-bourbon and dark ex-sherry casks, adding layers of complexity to this smoky, sweet blend. Dark and delicious, this makes a killer gift.

For Bourbon Lovers…

Jim Beam Black Extra Aged

How to select a gift for a guy

This extra-aged bourbon is delicious and reasonably priced. Full-bodied and robust, this bourbon is high in quality and won’t break the bank whatsoever, leaving both givers and receivers of this gift content. Compared with the OG Jim Beam, this expression is certainly heavier, with smooth vanilla notes and a lingering finish. Bonus: This bottle won the Bourbon Trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition this year. We understand why.

Four Roses Single Barrel

How to select a gift for a guy

Four Roses is one of the only American distilleries to survive the Great Depression, Prohibition, and two World Wars. Its perseverance has certainly paid off; Whisky magazine crowned it “Distillery of the Year” three years in a row, from 2011 to 2013. Four Roses Single Barrel is a premium, 100-proof bourbon, complex in flavor and incredibly smooth. With a higher rye percentage than most bourbon mash bills (clocking in at 35 percent), a pleasant spicy note balances out the sweet, maple-caramel characteristics.

I.W. Harper 15 Year

How to select a gift for a guy

Newly returned to the market as of last year, this 15-year old-bourbon is a bit of a splurge for your American whiskey lover. The nose presents aromas of cinnamon sugar, carrying over to a palate of spicy vanilla and oak. The palate is medium-bodied and surprisingly tame; at 86 proof, we’d recommend sipping this one on the rocks to appreciate its true flavor profile.

For Irish Whiskey Lovers…

Redbreast 12 Year

How to select a gift for a guy

Redbreast is one of the only single pot still brands left in the world. While all single malts come from pot stills, single pot still products contain some unmalted barley; in addition, single malts are usually twice distilled, where single pot still products usually undergo three distillations. Redbreast is incredibly balanced, with a rich mouthfeel balanced out by notes of spice — the Jameson lover in your life will certainly thank you.

Knappogue Castle 16 Year Old Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskey

How to select a gift for a guy

This unique bottle is a special splurge for the Irish whiskey lover in your life. This particular whiskey spends 14 years aging in old bourbon barrels, followed by 21 months in ex-oloroso sherry casks. The result is a whiskey prominent in fruit-forward flavors with nutty undertones, with balanced incorporation of barrel aging. Bonus: Each of these limited release single malts (only 4,500 bottles produced) comes signed and numbered.

For Rye Lovers…

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

How to select a gift for a guy

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye is the distillery’s first new mash recipe since 1866. With a mash bill of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley, the final product has a clean, distinct mouthfeel that’s rich in spice and dried fruit flavors. The rye undergoes the same charcoal-mellowing process that’s been used at the distillery for over 150 years. The result is a grain-forward product that is more about the base and less about the barrel, authentic to its natural components.

Cedar Ridge Malted Rye

How to select a gift for a guy

This unique bottle of rye is produced at Cedar Ridge, Iowa’s first craft distillery. The noteworthy characteristic of this rye is that it is one of the only three malted rye whiskeys produced in the world. The rye grains are soaked in water to germinate, then shot with a blast of hot air, a process generally used in barley-based whiskey production. The nose is spicy and grainy, with a rich palate of biscuits and toast — a unique gift for the rye lover in your life.

The time has come in your wedding planning for a big-time decision: selecting your maid of honor. We know, we know: How can you possibly crown just one woman (or man!) in your life with this momentous title?

If you’re lucky enough to have a tight-knit group of friends or three wonderfully doting sisters, delegating this role is certain to be a trial. You don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings but, equally, you don’t want to feel pressured into choosing someone just because he or she wants to be chosen.

While we can't make the decision for you, we can provide you with this guide to get you thinking about what the choice should entail.

Assess Your Bridesmaids’ Strengths

You will likely have pinned down your bridesmaids early on, but who gets promoted to the MoH position? Take some time to think about your needs as a bride, then assess who of your bridesmaids is best equipped to handle those. Be as honest as possible when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses—just as you would when considering someone for a job. For instance, you may be extremely close to your old college roommate, but know that she is often scatterbrained and unreliable. On the other hand, your best friend from high school could be a pro when it comes to organizing events and keeping her cool in high-pressure situations.

Don’t Be Confined By Gender

There’s nothing to say that you have to have a maid of honor at all. You could have a man of honor instead. It’s not uncommon. If there’s a guy in your life—perhaps your brother or a male best friend—with whom you have a close connection, you may want to ask him to take the title.

Consider Choosing a Family Member

Still struggling to make this decision? One fail-safe way not to offend anybody is to go with a family member. After all, blood is thicker than water. While your connection and love for a friend may wane after your wedding, you will always have a strong bond with a relative. That means that your sister or favorite cousin could make the perfect choice.

Make Sure Your Prospective MOH Can Afford It

Accepting this honor does not come cheap. Many don't realize until they've been in the situation, but the average cost of being a bridesmaid is around $1,200 and has gone up to $1,800 in some cases. Since the maid of honor has extra duties, including planning and chipping in toward the bridal shower, that price tag could be even heftier.

Before you make your decision, you need to ensure that the person you have in mind can actually handle those expenses. While you may already understand your friend or loved one’s financial circumstances, having a frank and open talk about the various expenses will help you to avoid any awkwardness. Be clear about the total cost of all your bridal-related events from the very beginning, so there are no surprises.

Ensure She or He Understands the Duties

It’s not merely a title. Being someone’s maid of honor comes with a variety of tasks, from keeping you calm in the lead-up to the big day to delivering a heart-wrenching speech. Consider whether each possible candidate is up to the challenge. If you believe that a certain friend can hack it, it’s time to have a quick chat and make sure that friend is 100 percent onboard.

Don’t Be Swayed By Promises

Are your besties vying for the honor? Oh, dear. It may be that all of your friends believe they have a fair stake. In that case, they might make certain promises, such as repaying the favor when they wed, to try to sway your opinion. Stay strong and trust your instincts. This is by no means a bartering situation. The woman or, indeed, man you choose ought to be someone who feels right to you.

Choose a Supportive Person

Moments before you walk down the aisle, it’s only natural to get nervous. Most brides get a bout of last-minute anxiety when their big day finally comes. Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities for your maid of honor is to help you hold it together. Ensure the person you choose can handle that emotional wrangling. It may help to envision each of your candidates in this particular situation. What advice would each offer? How would each support you? Is someone most likely to say the right words to calm your fears? Is someone else the type of person who will put her foot in it? Ultimately, your maid of honor is a confidant and someone you trust to have your back.

How to select a gift for a guy

When you walk into a cigar shop, you’re faced with hundreds of options to choose from. How do you select a stogie that you’re going to enjoy?

When choosing a cigar, you can really break the selection process into two parts.

First, you’ll want to filter your choices based on your broad preferences in a few categories: body, size, and shape.

Once you find a cigar that meets those parameters, you’ll next want to make sure it’s a good quality smoke.

Below we’ll explain both aspects of this selection process, so that you can walk out of the cigar shop with a high quality stogie, that’s right for you.

Select a Cigar Based on Your Personal Preferences

Cigars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and choosing among them is really a matter of personal preference.

Body. Just like with beers, there are a range of cigars from light (and more mellow) to dark (and more “full-bodied” — that is, stronger and more intense) and everything in the middle (your goldilocks cigars, if you will). You’ll probably have to try a few out to determine what you like. I have found, however, that your beer preferences often say a lot about your cigar preferences. Folks who like dark stouts often like dark cigars; folks who like lighter beers often prefer the more mellow stogies. If you aren’t a beer person, get a small sampler pack that includes a variety of bodies and do some experimenting!

Size. First of all, size has nothing to do with flavor. A bigger cigar won’t necessarily be stronger or better. There are two ways cigar size is measured: length, in inches, and width (called ring gauge). Gauge is listed by 64ths of an inch — so a 20 ring gauge is 20/64ths, a 49 is 49/64ths, etc. Many cigar price labels/listings (both in stores and online) will include size in the form of “inches long X gauge.” So a “5 X 50” is a 5-inch cigar, with a 50 gauge.

So if size doesn’t directly determine the quality or strength of the cigar’s flavor, how much does it matter?

Length really just correlates with how long you want your smoke to last. The longer the stogie, the longer it will take. For many smokers, a 6-inch cigar will last about an hour.

As for ring gauge, many aficionados like something on the smaller end (most cigars are between 40-50). This is because the highest quality tobacco leaf is always the wrapper, so with a smaller diameter, you have a better ratio of wrapper leaf to filler leaf. With a larger diameter, you might have more cigar to smoke, but more of that cigar is filler leaf (which can still be great, mind you).

Shape. There are two classes of cigar shapes: parejos and figurados. Parejos are your classically-shaped cigars with one end open, and one end, usually rounded, that needs cutting. The majority of cigars fall into this broad category, within which there are numerous sub-categories of cigar shapes.

Figurados are anything other than that classic shape. They tend to have a bullet shape, and are tapered into a sharp point at the closed end. Some experts say this concentrates the smoke more and gives you a fuller flavor. As an occasional smoker, I’ve not personally found much of a difference.

Mix and match all three of these characteristics of cigars to see what you like best!

Select a Cigar Based on Quality

The three attributes described above are more about preference than true quality: you can have high quality cigars in every range of these characteristics, and poor quality cigars as well.

Thus once you’ve sifted your choices based on your preferences, you want to determine whether a cigar you’ve got your eye on is also a good quality stogie.

Evaluate a potential cigar based on the criteria below: they apply to all cigars, regardless of body, size, or shape.

Judge the book by its cover — that is, the cigar by its wrapper. The wrapper should have no gaps or tears, and it should not be cracked. You want a smooth and clean exterior, which signifies quality craftsmanship.

The cigar should be a uniform color. It should not be spotted, or have places that are significantly darker than others. It should not have any spots of mold, which does occur (they’re stored in a humid environment, after all). You want a single, nicely uniform color on the entirety of the cigar.

Don’t buy dry. If you hold the cigar and squeeze it just a little, it should feel firm and like it has some give. If it crackles and feels dry, avoid it. It probably hasn’t been stored properly, and will burn too hot upon smoking.

Feel for a uniform tobacco fill. If you lightly squeeze the cigar every half inch or so, the filling should feel uniform. You don’t want any divots or bulges, indicating a poor job of filling.

Give it a good smell. You can divine much of what a cigar will taste like by giving it a hearty whiff. If you’re in a store, and a cigar is in a plastic wrapper, ask if you can give it a sniff. Hold it close to your nose (but don’t let it touch your nose — gross), and breathe in nice and deep. If it’s an appealing smell to you, it’ll probably taste good too. If something smells off in any way, give it a pass.

How to select a gift for a guy

He’ll tell you whatever you want to hear—that everything looks great on you, that the store’s tailor can fix any suit. And you can almost be guaranteed his sense of style will be different from yours. For all these reasons, you need to know as much as possible about how a suit should fit and what kind of suit you’re looking for before you walk through the door. Remember, you’re the boss, not him.

Suit, $895, by Boss Black. Shirt, $225, by David Chu. Tie, $118, by Hickey. Pocket square, Best of Class by Robert Talbott.

2. Know why you’re buying a suit

Are you hunting for a suit that you’re going to wear to the office once or more a week? (If so, keep it dark and classic.) Or are you looking for a suit you’ll wear a few times a year to weddings and funerals? (Black or navy is a safe bet.) Is it a suit you’ll wear to job interviews? (If so, you want to be well dressed but not better dressed than the guy interviewing you, so nothing too pricey.) Or is it the kind you’d wear with sneakers and a T-shirt, or wear just the jacket with a pair of jeans? (Think designer, not Brooks Brothers or Hickey Freeman.)

Suit, $4,700, by Brioni. Shirt, $325, by Kilgour at Barneys New York. Tie, $130, by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Tie bar by Dunhill. Belt by Martin Dingman.

How to select a gift for a guy

There was once a time when a man with a cigar in his mouth was held in high regard; a time when a young man toasted farewell to adolescence by igniting the end of a cigar that “just happened” to slip out of his father’s humidor. A time where the arrival of a man’s progeny was celebrated with cigars in the hospital’s waiting room. A time when one could find a guillotine right alongside a man’s trusty pocketknife.

A 21-year-old Winston Churchill, on a quest to prove his manliness, ventured to the island of Cuba. It was in Cuba where Churchill began his love affair with the cigar. He described cigars as part of his “rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite; smoke cigars and drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.” Churchill was so renowned for his cigar habit that a cigar of especially large magnitude still carries his name today: The Churchill cigar.

There can certainly be some intimidation when you first walk into a well-stocked cigar humidor. How can you possibly tell the difference between a Montecristo and an Ashton? Does it matter if this “Romeo y Julieta” came from the Dominican Republic and not Cuba? (why yes, it does). Fear not. After reading these quick tips on choosing a quality cigar, you’ll have an idea on how to pick a quality cigar. You’ll also be left wondering why you ever thought picking up a pack of Swisher Sweets from the gas station was a good idea.

Anatomy of a Cigar

How to select a gift for a guy

The head: This is the end you put in your mouth. It’s sealed off and will require cutting; a guillotine is preferred to reduce the chance of smashing the cigar; however, a sharp knife will do. But for the love of God, do not use your teeth!

The foot: This is the side that you light.

The filler: A nice, consistent blend of dried and fermented tobacco.

The wrapper: The outside of the cigar. It varies in color from light to dark. A lot of the cigar’s flavor comes from this outer layer.

Choosing a Cigar

Now that you know your head from your foot, we can move onto choosing a cigar. Check out a local cigar club. They’ll likely have a well-stocked humidor and a knowledgeable tobacconist who will guide you through the selection. When you arrive at the cigar club, you’ll walk into a humidor full of cigars. Humidors help maintain an optimal level of moisture inside the tobacco. If it’s too humid, the tobacco will rot. If it’s not humid enough, the cigars will dry out and lose their flavor and aroma.

If this is your first time smoking a cigar, stay away from the higher-priced ones since, at this point, you won’t be able to truly savor the distinguishing elements of an expensive cigar. Besides, price isn’t the most most important factor in choosing a cigar. There are plenty of cheaper cigars out there that hold top ratings from major cigar publications.

While price isn’t that important when selecting a cigar, cigar construction and tobacco quality are. The cigar’s construction determines how smooth and even the draw is when you smoke it. You can test the construction of a cigar by rolling it between the thumb and index finger of your hand. As you do this, make sure the cigar’s outside doesn’t have any lumps. Also check that the body is not too soft or void of filling. You want the cigar to have a nice even consistency and fill. A rough texture or any other mark of bad construction means a less smooth draw when you inhale. With a well constructed cigar, the ash will maintain the shape of the cigar as it is smoked.

The second important factor when buying a cigar is the tobacco’s quality. You typically can’t determine tobacco quality simply by looking at the outside of the cigar. So how do you know which brands use good quality tobacco? It’s mainly based on reputation. Ask the tobacconist or your friends for recommendations on cigars that use quality tobacco. It’s usually a safe bet to go with larger brands. The big cigar brands tend to use higher quality tobacco in their cigars because they usually have first dibs on the quality stuff. In your quest to find cigars that use quality tobacco, just remember to purchase one cigar at a time instead of buying boxes. You don’t want to be left with a box of crummy cigars you’ll never smoke.

Now before you go running off to your local cigar club, let me first answer a question that typically comes up from those who want to learn more about cigars.

The Cuban Debate: Are Cuban Cigars Really Better?

How to select a gift for a guy

I must first preface my answer by saying this: if you live in the U.S., don’t even bother trying to buy a Cuban cigar locally. Because of a 1962 embargo against Cuba, Cuban cigars are not allowed in the U.S. (legally, at least). But because Cuban cigars are so desirable, a large counterfeit industry has popped up in the United States. If someone says they have some Cuban cigars for sale, steer clear. It’s probably a fake and will leave your mouth tasting like charcoal when you smoke it.

You’ll also find clever Cuban immigrants rolling cigars claiming that since they themselves are Cuban, the cigars can be sold as “Cuban cigars.” A clever scam, but a scam nonetheless. If you really want to smoke a Cuban cigar, you’ll either have to head north to Canada or south to Mexico.

Now to answer the original question: Yes, Cuban cigars are indeed better. Cuban cigars are highly regulated by the Cuban government and are held to a very high standard. They’re also constructed by some of the most skilled cigar rollers in the world. The “torcedores,” as they are referred to in Spanish, have been rolling cigars their entire lives, often learning the skill from family members who passed the knowledge on from generation to generation. The skill these workers employ ensures a consistent fill for the cigar every time. The flavor of a Cuban cigar tends to be extremely overpowering to someone not acquainted with cigars. They are much more full and smoky compared to their Dominican counterparts that tend have a more peppery and spiced flavor.

It All Comes Down to Personal Preference

The cigar-smoking experience is very personal. Everyone has different tastes, so make sure to try a few different varieties in order to discover your cigar of choice. It’s similar to finding your favorite beer. You probably didn’t know it was your favorite until you experimented with some different variations: more hops, less wheat, maybe some orange zest. But when you finally found your favorite beer, you knew it was the one. Cigars are going to be the exact same way.

When a loved one passes away, it’s natural to want to honor their memory and the incredible events that marked their lives. Since your loved one made a lasting impact on your life and the lives of those around them, you may want to celebrate their positive influence on others. One way to do this is by starting a scholarship memorial fund in their name.

A common misconception about scholarships is that they are only started by governments, universities, corporations, or professional fundraising managers. The good news is that any individual can create one. It’s certainly easy to set up for students, senior citizens, or even busy parents. If you aren’t sure how to start a scholarship fund but want to pay tribute to your loved one while creating opportunities for others, this guide contains helpful content that can point you in the right direction.

How to set up a scholarship fund in six steps

By learning how to start a memorial scholarship fund, you can keep your loved one’s memory alive and find healing. Starting a scholarship fund on behalf of someone else is also a thoughtful way to help your community or help someone who is grieving .

1. Decide who you’d like to help

When choosing a category for your scholarship, it’s best to take some time to think about the legacy of your loved one. What unique skills did they have? What was their favorite subject in school? How did they influence the community? You can tailor the scholarship to commemorate their life.

For example, if your loved one was a talented painter, then you might customize your scholarship for students attending art school. It is no surprise that the cost of education extends beyond just tuition, so you could create education scholarships or grants that help students get the resources to pay for textbooks, school supplies, and housing.

2. Determine the timeline

An important factor to consider when starting a scholarship fund is how long you’d like it to last. Your scholarship can be a one-time gift or an annual fund that you award once a year. Another option would be to create an endowment, which is permanent.

3. Choose the requirements

An important part of how to start a scholarship fund is to clearly define who is eligible. Each scholarship has specific requirements that students must meet in order to qualify. The questions you’d like for applicants to answer will greatly help you determine who is the best fit for your scholarship. When creating the scholarship application questions, think of ways that students will be able to easily showcase their skills and qualifications when they do apply.

It is common to set an average GPA that students must meet in order to qualify, though requirements for athletes will look different than those for merit-based recipients. For example, a merit-based scholarship may require multiple letters of recommendation from teachers. Tailor your scholarship according to its purpose, always keeping your loved one’s legacy in mind.

4. Select a name for your scholarship

The name of your scholarship is an important factor to consider. As a way to honor them, include your loved one’s name in the name of the scholarship itself. It’s best to keep it short and to the point so that people can understand the purpose of the scholarship right away.

5. Create a selection process

It might be helpful to build a team or committee that can help sort through the applications and narrow down top applicants to be considered as scholarship recipients. If a committee is too formal for your scholarship fund, then soliciting the help of a few trusted friends or family members is a good alternative.

Make sure to give yourself enough time to review each applicant so that you’re able to make a thorough decision by the deadline you’ve set. It’s best to establish a specific rubric for determining the winner so that the decision process remains consistent and unbiased.

6. Register your scholarship fund

One of the simplest ways to register your scholarship fund is through a community foundation, though this may limit your say on the specific criteria you’d like to use. To find a community foundation in your area, use this community foundation locator . You can also work with a school or university to develop an academic scholarship, though most have a minimum fund amount requirement. Researching scholarship management services can help streamline the process as well.

You do have the option of applying to be recognized as an official nonprofit so that donors can receive tax benefits. Throughout this process, it is important to refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make sure your scholarship criteria complies with state and federal guidelines. One thing to note here is that it can be quite costly and time-intensive to register as a nonprofit through the IRS when setting up a scholarship fund.

How to raise money for a scholarship fund

One of the most important parts of understanding how to create a scholarship is knowing how to receive funding. If you’re having trouble gathering the money you need, crowdfunding can help. An online fundraiser unites friends, families, and neighbors and allows them to provide support during a time of need.

By taking fundraising online, you can easily connect with community members and even businesses who can donate and share your fundraiser. If your loved one has touched many lives in your community, then others may jump at the opportunity to contribute to a scholarship that honors them. Below are examples of real people who used crowdfunding to start scholarship funds.

Carolann Gerasci Scholarship Fund

Carolann passed away after a long, 20-year battle with brain cancer. Her family described her as an incredible teacher who left a lasting impact on every student who crossed her path. To honor her memory and continue her mission of promoting education, her family started a memorial scholarship fund to benefit students who are experiencing hardships in their personal lives. Through crowdfunding services, they were able to raise over $15,000 for their educational scholarship fund.

Carl Thomas Korpi Scholarship Fund

Carl was a high school chemistry teacher who started his career at Teach for America, then spent three years at a Mastery Charter School helping underprivileged children. After he passed away, his family wanted to share his passion for helping students, so they created a scholarship fund in his name. To date, it has raised over $86,000.

How to start a scholarship fund today

Through your scholarship fund, students in real need of financing a college education can find hope. The legacy of your loved one will continue on while your scholarship can help future generations make a lasting impact on the world. Learn how fundraising makes it easier to hit your financial goals, and read up on fundraising ideas that can elevate your fundraiser to the next level. Ready to create positive change through a scholarship fund? Sign up today to get started.

The perfect gift for the Ultimate Disney Fan

What They’ll Receive as a D23 Gold Member

How to select a gift for a guy2021 D23 Gold Member Collector Set
How to select a gift for a guy1-year subscription to Disney twenty-three
How to select a gift for a guyAccess to VIP events and experiences
How to select a gift for a guyDiscounts & special offers

Gift the Perfect Plan

+ shipping/handling and applicable fees

One Gold Membership

ONE personalized Gold Member Card and Gold Member Certificate

Access for ONE D23 Gold Member to virtual and in-person events, plus the ability to bring Guest(s) to select events

Access for ONE D23 Gold Member to special D23 Gold offers, including early access, discounts, and exclusive merchandise opportunities

ONE 2021 Gold Member Collector Set

ONE annual subscription (four issues) to Disney twenty-three publication

+ shipping/handling and applicable fees

Two Gold Memberships

TWO personalized Gold Member Cards and Gold Member Certificates

Access for TWO D23 Gold Members to virtual and in-person events, plus the ability for each Gold Member to bring Guest(s) to select events

Access for TWO D23 Gold Members to special D23 Gold offers, including early access, discounts, and exclusive merchandise opportunities

ONE 2021 Gold Member Collector Set, which will be sent to the primary member

ONE annual subscription (four issues) to Disney twenty-three publication, which will be sent to the primary member

Please note: Gift Memberships cannot be purchased or shipped internationally

How it works:

  1. Select a plan then add recipient and gifter info
  2. Recipient will receive an email with a redemption code
  3. Recipient redeems their gift on D23.com – that’s it!

Have Some Questions?

What is the difference between the Individual vs Duo Plan?

The initial subscriber and purchaser of the Gold Duo Plan will be designated as the primary member, and the additional secondary membership will be designated as the affiliate member. The primary member is responsible for the annual membership payment and receives the Gold Member Collector Set and four quarterly publications. The primary member determines the identity of the affiliate member and is responsible for providing the affiliate member with his or her D23 Gold Membership information to activate the membership. The affiliate’s D23 Gold Membership will terminate at the end of the annual Gold Duo Plan term, and the primary member will be responsible for either renewing or changing the identity of the affiliate member in connection with each renewal of the annual membership.

Gold Family Memberships can be purchased or renewed through December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, Gold Family Memberships will no longer be available for purchase or renewal, but existing Gold Family Memberships will be honored through the expiration of each member’s annual term.

While we will continue to bring you events virtually, upon the return of in-person events, both D23 Gold Duo Plan members will be able to attend separately (or together) and each can bring guest(s) to select D23 events to join in the fun!