Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) must:
- be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization;
- provide scholarships to students according to the Invest in Kids Act; and
- be approved by the Department before accepting contributions or issuing Certificates of Receipt (CORs) to contributors.
Applications to become an SGO must be completed online through the Department’s website.
During the online application process, the applicant must certify that:
- the SGO will deposit and hold the contributions, and any income derived from the contributions, in an account that is separate from the organization’s operating fund or other funds;
- at least 95 percent of qualified contributions will be distributed for scholarships to eligible students by the SGO;
- the SGO will provide scholarships to eligible students according to the Act;
- no officers, executive director or employees with managerial authority of the SGO, or any officers, executive director or employees with managerial authority of any entity retained by the SGO to operate the SGO, have filed for personal bankruptcy, or corporate bankruptcy in a corporation of which they owned more than 20 percent, within the last seven years;
- the officers, executive director or employees with managerial authority of the SGO, or any officers, executive director or employees with managerial authority of any entity retained by the SGO to operate the SGO are not board member or paid staff members of a participating qualifying school, do not own or operate a qualified school, or have a family member who is a board member or a paid staff member of a participating qualified school; and
- the SGO is, and will remain, in compliance with the anti-discrimination provisions of 42 U.S.C. 2000d.
SGOs must provide the following information and documentation when completing their application:
- a copy of the letter issued by the IRS demonstrating that the SGO has been granted an exemption from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- a list of the names and addresses of all members of the organization’s governing board;
- the region(s) in which the SGO will grant scholarships;
- the primary email address to which notices and other documents provided for under the Act shall be sent;
- a list of the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of the officers, executive director, and employees with managerial authority of the SGO, or of any entity retained by the SGO to operate the SGO; and
- a copy of the most recent financial audit of the SGO’s accounts and records conducted by an independent Certified Public Accountant in accordance with governmental auditing standards and auditing standards generally accepted in the United States. Note: If the SGO is registered under Section 2 of the Solicitation for Charity Act, and is subject to subsection (b) of Section 4 of that Act, and files a summary financial statement or written report to the Attorney General in accordance with the Act, the SGO may submit a copy of the most recent summary financial statement or written report for its initial application.
Be sure to have electronic versions of your documents. These must be attached to your online application.