What is a sponsor?
A sponsor is a contact person – an advocate, case manager, counselor – at a non-profit organization that provides services to survivors of intimate partner abuse. This person agrees to partner with the scholarship applicant during the application process and throughout the applicant’s time in school.
What does the sponsor have to do?
First, we ask sponsors to help us in the selection of suitable candidates. Suitable candidates are women who meet all of our eligibility criteria, have moved beyond the initial crisis of leaving an abusive intimate partner, demonstrate the ability to complete her chosen educational program, and have the drive and determination to do so.
Second, we ask that the sponsor make a commitment to assist the scholar by providing ongoing support. We require a minimum of one in-person meeting per month with the understanding that client needs may dictate more frequent meetings or checking in by phone or email. If you are providing case management or advocacy you are likely already providing the kind of support we are looking for.
Third, most of our financial assistance comes in the form of what we call Charitable Adjunct Assistance and are intended to help with education-related living expenses that would otherwise be a barrier to a scholarship applicant’s ability to attend school. We ask the sponsoring agency to act as a payee for these awards by accepting and tracking the spending of funds as they would any other grant. When we provide funds through a sponsor, we ask that they tell us, at the end of each academic term, how the funds were disbursed.
From time to time we may ask sponsors to help us evaluate the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, so that we can constantly improve the way we serve and respond to survivors of intimate partner abuse.