Ruritan National Foundation

Graham Bryant a former Foundation Scholarship Recipient recently shared what the Foundation means to him.

See the video HERE . Thank you, Graham!


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Ruritan National Foundation


The Ruritan National Foundation provides financial assistance to qualified individuals and groups for educational, charitable, and benevolent activities.

(Adopted May 2008)


In 1949 Ruritan National President, Garland Gray, generously donated all of his expense reimbursement into an account to be set aside for use as educational loans to worthy students. In 1968, the Ruritan National Foundation was established by delegates at the Ruritan National Convention in Virginia Beach, VA. The Constitution was amended to form a separate non-profit association and also provided for the election of five trustees.


The purpose of the Foundation is to manage and maintain a trust for the encouragement, promotion, and financing of the educational, charitable, and benevolent principles and activities of Ruritan Clubs and of Ruritan National.


The Foundation has grown from a net worth of only $675 in 1963 to almost $4M currently under management. From 1968, when the Foundation was officially established, more than 10,500 students have received financial aid to continue their education past high school.

Tax Exemption

The Ruritan National Foundation and all its programs are non-profit, and non-private. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the donor under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Copies of the original determination letters are available upon request.

Source of Funds

The Ruritan National Foundation receives the majority of its support from Ruritans and the general public. A small amount of funds are generated through matching programs. Check to see if your company currently matches charitable donations to 501(c)3 non-profits. All donations to the Ruritan National Foundation are tax deductible to the donor.

Primary funding for the Ruritan National Foundation comes from individuals, Ruritan Clubs, and Districts. Foundation donations are applied to any fund or funds designated by the donor. Donations from individuals can be credited to individual funds. Donations from clubs can be credited to club funds. Donations from individuals or clubs can be credited to District Funds.

Gifts to the Foundation in honor of, or in memory of an individual are welcome. Gifts to directly assist students are also gratefully received. Gifts of any size may be given to the Foundation in memory of a deceased individual, in lieu of flowers. In this case, the family of the deceased will be notified of the gift.

Appropriate donations may include cash or appreciated property such as stocks or bonds. The Foundation may also be listed as the beneficiary of an insurance policy. Ruritans and friends are encouraged to remember the Foundation in their wills and trusts.


The Ruritan National Foundation is administered by five trustees who are elected at large by the delegates at the Ruritan National Convention. Each serves a five-year term. The Ruritan National staff provides administrative support to the trustees and the Foundation.

Establishing a Memorial

Ruritan Districts, clubs, individual members and families are encouraged to establish a memorial for loved ones or make a Foundation contribution in memory of a loved one.

Permanent Funds

To establish a Permanent Fund, a minimum gift of $1,000 is necessary. The $1,000 may be contributed over time, and the fund will be officially listed once the entire amount is on deposit with the Foundation. Each Permanent Fund will always retain its identity and perpetuate the name of the individual.

Contract Funds

Contract Funds are established with $10,000 or more. Scholarships made from Contract Funds may include reasonable donor restrictions. For example, if requested by the donor, funds may be disbursed in a certain geographic area, or limited to certain fields of study. These scholarships are made from the interest generated by these Contract Funds.

Tom Downing Fellow

Less than 1% of all Ruritans are Tom Downing Fellows, making this a distinctive honor. The Tom Downing Fellowship is made with a single, lump sum contribution of $500. The contributor should indicated that the donation is for the Tom Downing Fellowship Program. A unique lapel pin designed in the likeness of Tom Downing will be presented to the contributor or a person designated by the contributor. Once presented, the pin or designation as a Tom Downing Fellow is non-transferable and will be a lasting honor to this individual. All funds for this program are credited to the Tom Downing Fellowship Fund.

Use of Funds

The Foundation fulfills its mission through an educational scholarship program (Build Your Dollars). All income generated through the trust is used to make educational grants.

The financial assets of the Foundation are invested by the trustees. Earned income from these investments are given as scholarships to further students� education or training beyond high school.