Cherry Blossoms

Scholarships & Fellowships: Best Practices

Each department and center within the College of Arts & Sciences has its own calendar and timeline for both awarding student support funding and collecting thank you letters from students to share with donors.

Some departments collect all letters at the same time each year. They do this in order to streamline the process and make efficient use of staff time. Others collect undergraduate letters at one time of the year, and graduate student letters at another.

If you need help determining the best timing for your department, Lindsay Bailey in CAS Advancement Services is happy to consult with you.

Best Practices

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Keys to successful stewardship of student scholarships and fellowships:

  • Be up front with your students and fellows: When you tell them they're receiving an award, let them know that they will be expected to thank the donors supporting their award by writing a letter to be shared with them. If possible, include the expected timeline for completing a letter in their award communications.
  • Utilize Beneficiary Portal to collect your student thank you letters, and don't be afraid to send reminders to students you haven't heard from.
  • Be diligent about sending the student letters you receive on to the donors and stewardees of the funds they're benefitting from.
  • If your department or center chooses not to use Beneficiary Portal to manage your student thank you letter process, please share copies of any letters you collect with the CAS Advancement Services team. We can upload your letters to Beneficiary Portal on the back end, which means those letters will be available to donors to view on their My UW Giving portal.

Student Letter Process & Timeline Example
CAS Advancement Services manages the student letter process for those students who receive scholarships or fellowships administered by the Dean's Office. This was the timeline for our student letter collection process in 2018-2019.


This page last updated 10/30/2020.