The Hawthorn Foundation is a Wyoming-based non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of Wyoming residents.

Scholarship Program

Question: Who can apply for a scholarship?
 Any individual that resides in Wyoming and has a plan to attend an accredited educational institution in the US.

Question: What is an accredited educational institution?
 The only true way to make sure a program is accredited is to check either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website or the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education website.  Visit the Contact Us page and send a message if you are unsure of whether or not a program is accredited.

Question: Does this mean only colleges and universities?
 No. Training for certification in any of a number of fields is also included.

Question: What costs are covered by the scholarship?
Answer: Scholarship grants awarded will consist of two components: (1) amounts paid to cover tuition and fees required for attendance at the school, plus an allowance for fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction to be determined by the Hawthorn Foundation’s Board of Directors; and (2) other amounts to aid the recipient in the pursuit of his or her studies, such as room and board and travel expenses, based on financial need.

Question: Who will receive the scholarship grant funds?
Answer: The Hawthorn Foundation will ordinarily pay scholarship grant funds directly to the educational institution for the use of the scholarship grant recipient. The Hawthorn Foundation will notify each scholarship recipient’s educational institution of the award and the terms and conditions of its use.   The notification will specify that all amounts must be used exclusively for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment and room and board (if applicable) as necessary for the recipient to pursue his or her education.  The notification will describe the reporting requirements and will specify the date by which the educational institution must comply with the reporting requirements.  A representative of the educational institution must sign and return a copy of the notification, agreeing to the reporting and distribution requirements, before any funds are disbursed by the Hawthorn Foundation.

Question: Is the scholarship renewable?
Answer: Scholarship grants will be awarded on a term by term basis, with the understanding that if the recipient is adhering to the conditions of the scholarship, as evidenced by timely submission of required progress reports to the Board of Directors, scholarships will ordinarily be renewed for an entire ‘school year’ (as defined by the educational institution).  If the period of time necessary to attain the degree or certificate sought by the recipient is longer than one school year, renewal for another school year will be considered by the Board upon the submission of an application for renewal by recipient.  In general, scholarships will only be renewed if the recipient is maintaining at least a 3.0 out of 4.0 grade average (or its equivalent).

Question: What information is required in the application?
 Along with certain financial information (to demonstrate financial need), applicants must submit with their application: (i) a detailed plan outlining how the applicant proposes to use scholarship funds, including the name of the educational institution he or she plans to attend, the tuition, fees and other expenses that would be necessary for the applicant to attend, the duration and location of the program, and the degree or certification sought by the applicant (an “Education Plan”); and  (ii) a description of how pursuing the contemplated course of study would improve his or her life circumstances (a “Personal Essay”).

Helping Hand to “Hired” Fund

Question: What is the purpose of the program?
Answer: This program is geared towards employment. The Hawthorn Foundation awards small grants to economically distressed individuals to help them to secure new or better employment, or to help them avoid loss of current employment due to an unexpected economic hardship.

Question: Who can apply for grants?
Answer: At this time, the Hawthorn Foundation only accepts applications from its Partner Agencies.

Question: How can a not-for-profit agency become a Partner Agency?
 Go to the Contact Us page and send a message describing your programs.

Environmental Protection Program

Question: Who can apply for grants?
Answer: This program is less defined than our other programs.  We are looking for innovative ideas that encourage practices such as recycling, conservation, reforestation, development and use of renewable energy sources, and protection of air and water quality.

Question: What is a program related investment?
 A program related investment can be a loan or some sort of equity investment in a venture that aligns with our goals.  If you would like more information, please send us a message through our Contact Us page.

Conservation and Preservation Program

Question:  What is a conservation easement?
Answer:   A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified easement holder that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Under  Wyoming Law a charitable organization or governmental unit are the only entities that may hold a conservation easement.  A conservation easement is binding in perpetuity on all present and future owners of the land.

Question: How does it work?
Answer: First, the property will be evaluated to make sure it is appropriate – that it is ecologically significant and that an easement would serve a conservation purpose such as scenic enjoyment of the public, or protection of habitat for wildlife, among others.  There are specific rules to determine if a conservation easement would serve a charitable purpose.  Once a property is determined to be appropriate, the landowner and the Hawthorn Foundation negotiate the terms of a conservation easement that is acceptable to both parties.  This document would be permanently recorded in the appropriate county records.

Question: What type of restrictions would a conservation easement donated to the Hawthorn Foundation impose on my property?
 Go to the Contact Us page and send us a message and we will answer your questions more fully.

Question: Is there an income tax deduction for the donation of a conservation easement to the Hawthorn Foundation?
Answer: Under current tax law, a donation of a conservation easement to the Hawthorn Foundation does NOT qualify for an income tax deduction, because the Hawthorn Foundation is a private foundation.   Thus, if one of your primary reasons for placing a conservation easement on your property is an income tax deduction, we are probably not the proper organization for you. However if your real motivation is to protect the conservation values of your property and know that your property will be protected by local people that understand the Wyoming way of life you should consider the Hawthorn Foundation.

Question: What would the Hawthorn Foundation do to protect the conservation values of my property after the easement has been established?
 If you are a landowner that wants to protect his property – perhaps a farmer or a rancher – and do not have a significant income tax motivation, please visit our Contact Us page and send a message, and we will be happy to discuss our program with you.

Question: How would an outright donation of land to the Hawthorn Foundation protect the conservation values of a property?
Answer: In conjunction with any donation of land to the Hawthorn Foundation, the terms of a conservation easement that would be placed on the property if it were ever subsequently transferred would be drawn up by the donor and the Hawthorn Foundation.  Therefore, if the Hawthorn Foundation ever needed to transfer the donated land, the transferee would be required to protect the property in a manner consistent with the wishes of the donor.  When the Hawthorn Foundation owns the property, we will put the land to work for a charitable purpose that is consistent with the conservation values of the land.  An example of a charitable purpose would be allowing an educational program to be conducted on the property – to study wildlife, geology, ecology or some other pertinent field.  The land would not be subdivided or commercially developed.  We will honor your wish to protect your property, regardless of any future transfers that could become necessary.