Apply for scholarships by Feb. 27, 2019

“I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.” – Cade Waldrip, 2018 scholarship recipient

For recipients, scholarships mean much more than financial assistance. The scholarship can provide another step in paying it forward to the next generation.

The online application deadline for this year’s scholarships is near – Feb. 27, 2019 (with the exception of the Judge Robert.T. Pfeuffer Civic Leadership Scholarship, which closes March 18). Urge the students in your life to apply now at It is not too late.

In 2019, more than $110,000 is expected to be awarded from scholarship funds held by or administered by New Braunfels Community Foundation. Those include two GVTC Foundation scholarships – the Ola Armstrong Scholarship (for community service) and the Ritchie T. Sorrells Scholarship for Leaders – in the amounts of $20,000 each.

Several new scholarships this year include a third GVTC Foundation scholarship – the GVTC Technical/Vocational Scholarship; the Arline Dierks Echols Memorial Scholarship; and the Janet Sweet Scholarship.

The GVTC Technical/Vocational Scholarship (two scholarships up to $5,000 each) is open to applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to continuing their education in pursuit of a degree or certification in a vocational or technical field. The GVTC Foundation’s goal in offering these scholarships is to enable members of our community to reach their career goals and continue to grow the skilled workforce where we work and live.

Rosie Miner created the Janet Sweet Scholarship in honor of her friend.

“Janet served the youth of Comal County for more than 30 years, providing support, love and guidance to 4-H’ers and their families as a Comal County employee working with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The Janet Sweet Scholarship continues Janet’s lifestyle of service by providing financial assistance to graduating seniors who have been involved in 4-H,” Rosie said.

Donna Hammack created the Arline Dierks Echols Memorial Scholarship in memory of her mother, who graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1954.

“Since she loved music and was active in choir all through school, the scholarship is open to graduating seniors at NBHS who are pursuing a degree in choral or music,” Hammack explained.

Scholarships are the New Braunfels Community Foundation were first awarded in 2015, and the number of scholarship funds has continued to grow each year. The NBCF scholarship program uses an objective online scoring process with the help of more than 50 volunteer evaluators, all with education or scholarship committee backgrounds.

Their expertise and willingness to volunteer their time is invaluable. There would not be a scholarship program here without them. It is all part of the process to make sure we are providing the necessary resources for the next generation, and the next, and the next.

Learn more at

Donor advised funds offer flexibility, thoughtful giving

Did December sneak up on you?

Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to research nonprofits for your charitable giving?

A donor advised fund provides the flexibility you may need for thoughtful giving.

Donor advised funds, sometimes called charitable giving funds, allow you to make a charitable gift when and how you need to while maintaining your contributions. When you are ready, you decide which charitable organizations you want to help.

How do donor advised funds work?

These charitable giving funds operate on a Give, Grow and Grant process. Specifically:

Give – you give to a fund and receive a tax deduction
Grow – you grow your charitable assets
Grant – you grant to the causes that are important to you

Under the new tax laws, the standard deduction for those filing jointly went from $12,700 to $24,000 in 2018. Charitable gifts are still tax deductible, but it will be more difficult to realize those benefits from itemization.

A donor-advised fund can be used as your philanthropic funding tool. If you have the ability to compile several years of charitable giving into one year, you can take advantage of the tax benefits this year and then fund your charitable giving at your chosen pace.

Charitable giving funds operate much like private foundations but without the administrative burdens or paperwork.

Donor advised funds offer several advantages, including the following:

Reduced tax liability in a year of abundance – If you have experienced a “bumper crop year” through an inheritance, sale of a business or great year of investments, you may be able to offset some tax liability by creating and contributing to a donor advised fund. You can take a tax deduction this year and grant monies to your favorite charities over time.

Appreciated assets – You may donate appreciated assets. Any appreciated assets held for more than one year may be donated at fair market value, and those gifts will not be subject to capital gains tax. A tax deduction up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) is given to the Donor and can be carried forward five years (if greater than 30 percent of the AGI).

No administrative burdens – New Braunfels Community Foundation handles the paperwork for you by issuing payment to your chosen charities.

Donor options – Donor advised funds offer select recognition or anonymity on a grant-by-grant basis, or for all of your activities.

Paying it forward – Involve your children and other relatives to preserve a family tradition of giving back to the community.

Flexibility – These giving funds offer select investment portfolio options, including personalized options with your own investment manager.

Maintaining your giving level – Build up your funds so that when income declines upon retirement, you can continue to support your favorite charitable organizations at the same level.

A charitable giving fund is ideal for the “bunching” of charitable contributions that many CPAs are encouraging under the new tax law. It can also be ideal for those in these circumstances:

            • Retiring and recognizing deferred income
            • Exercising stock options
            • Anticipating a sale of real estate or business
            • Wanting to diversify a concentration of a low basis asset
            • Companies and organizations wanting to promote giving among its employees or membersDonor

            Learn more about opening your charitable giving fund with New Braunfels Community Foundation by contacting us at (830) 606-9536 or Find us online at

Beyond the fundraising: Creating the lasting gift

As 2018 winds down, many nonprofits will begin taking a look at their year-end numbers, donation totals, and fundraising results for this year. But the New Year may bring a sense of foreboding, even for those nonprofits which experienced successful fundraisers in 2018. Nonprofit fundraiser professionals know that even after a successful season, the cycle of fundraising begins all over again the following year.

A typical nonprofit funding model begins with nonprofits scrambling all year to raise dollars, with much of it going to operations and programs. Numbers are assessed at the end of the fundraising season, and the fundraising cycle begins all over again the following year.

Creating an endowment fund helps nonprofits get off the hamster wheel.

An endowment fund is a permanent fund bestowed upon an institution, by one or more donors, to be used for a specific purpose. The goal of the fund is to be a long-term funding source for the named agency.

An endowment fund creates a new source of revenue for nonprofits. It breaks the cycle of nonprofits having to depend on the donor giving levels each year in order for the nonprofits to survive.

While the need for annual fundraising never really goes away completely, an endowment can relieve the burden of annual fundraising. An endowment fund, because it provides for giving in perpetuity, provides more stability and prestige for a nonprofit. It can allow for the expansion of programs, and creates a vehicle for accepting future gifts.

From the donor’s perspective, gifts to an endowment fund provide a way to leave a legacy. It allows the donors to give to the causes they care most about and ensures a way that those causes are taken care of forever.

For the fundraiser staff, the endowment fund provides one of the most important tools for connecting passionate donors to nonprofits. It establishes permanent donor relationships and funding sources that go far beyond the annual fundraiser. It creates a legacy of giving and permanent funding source for nonprofits.

Learn more about creating an endowment fund with New Braunfels Area Community Foundation at, or call us at (830) 606-9536.

Applications now open for arts grants

The New Braunfels Area Community Foundation is excited to open the application process for the second-annual Community Endowment for the Arts Fund grants. Up to four $1,000 grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations grounded in the visual, creative or performing arts in New Braunfels and Comal County.

Applications will be accepted online at The deadline to apply is noon, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

In 2017, NBACF, in partnership with the Greater New Braunfels Arts Council and Canyon Lake Arts Guild, awarded grants to four local arts nonprofits. Each of the following four grant recipients received a $1,000 grant:

  • Historic Outdoor Art Museum/NB, Inc.
  • Mid-Texas Symphony Society, Inc.
  • River City Advocacy & Counseling Center
  • S.T.A.G.E., Inc. (Spotlight Theatre & Arts Group, Etc. Inc.)

“The long-term goal for this fund, which was established with NBACF in 2016, is to create a resource that provides a recurring funding source for the arts. This will lead to a sustainable, culturally rich environment and arts education in the community, leading to overall healthy wellbeing in the community,” said NBACF President/CEO Brit W. King.

Through matching funding from the McKenna Foundation, and the Fall into Art Month activities in October, the fund has continued to grow, allowing for the first grants to be awarded to nonprofit arts organizations in 2017.

Fall into Art Month:

The Community Endowment for the Arts Grants will be awarded at the Fall into Art Wearable Art Fashion Show and Luncheon on Oct. 18, 2018, at McKenna Events Center. The fashion show is one of the many activities scheduled in October as part of Fall into Art Month. The 3rd Annual Fall into Art Festival will take place Oct. 27-28 at Gruene Lake Village. Learn more about Fall into Art Month at

“Since 1979, the Greater New Braunfels Arts Council has supported and promoted the arts in the New Braunfels area. We are excited and honored to continue our partnership with NBACF to further our mission to support the arts for future generations in our community,” said Lisa Heymann, president of the Greater New Braunfels Arts Council.

How to become a philanthropist and donate thousands in your first year

Ever wanted to give back to a charity but thought you might not be able to give enough to make a difference?

Every little bit counts, but two local groups are using a process of collective giving to make sure a little bit goes a long way.

Both groups will kick off their membership drives in September and provide the opportunity for philanthropists to donate thousands to local nonprofits in 2018-2019.

NB Next and NB Women GO, both with the New Braunfels Area Community Foundation, utilize pooled giving to allow individuals to collectively make larger grants to local nonprofits and make a bigger impact.

NB Next
NB Next will host its membership drive on Sept. 13 at Villa at the Gruene. Open to emerging leaders ages 21 and older, NB Next offers a $200 annual membership. Couples may join with one $200 membership, which counts as one vote. Members are involved in accepting, evaluating and awarding grants. Each member has a vote on how the grants are awarded.

In 2017, NB Next awarded $5,000 to the Weekend Food for Kids program, allowing for increased service to area children who are food insecure.

The grant funds awarded to the Weekend Food for Kids Program supported food purchases from December 2017 through April of 2018, and a portion of May as well for seven schools. Upon receiving the NB Next grant, the program put out the word they could serve more families and their numbers steadily grew!  In December 2017, the program was serving 53 households with 161 children. By May, the numbers were up, and the program was serving up to 76 families with 231 children.

“We were thrilled to have the chance to make our first grant last year. As momentum builds with NB Next, we are excited to not only seek opportunities to award annual grants, but also focus on engaging the various service organizations by helping them wherever needed,” said NB Next Executive Committee Chair Travis Taylor. “There are many in our community in need, and NB Next serves as a chance to connect people with nonprofits for the enduring benefit of New Braunfels and Comal County.”

NB Next membership provides:

  • Opportunity to give back to local nonprofits;
  • Access to educational events; and
  • Connections with nonprofits.

NB Women GO
On Sept. 18 at Saengerhalle, NB Women GO, a women’s giving circle, will host its membership drive in preparation for its second grant season.

In spring of 2018, the NB Women GO members awarded $37,500 total in grants to six local nonprofits: S.T.E.P.S., Tejas Smiles, Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area, CASA, Comal County Habitat for Humanity and River City Advocacy.

This year, NB Women GO members are encouraging each other to bring two friends to the membership event, with a goal of doubling membership to 100 and doubling the amount of grant awards.

Any woman interested in helping to do good in Comal County can become a member of NB Women GO. Membership costs $1,000 annually. Each membership gets one vote and may nominate a local nonprofit to receive a grant. Membership may be shared by up to four women.

The 2018-2019 grant categories include:

  • Family Services – Adult
  • Family Services – Children
  • Preservation/Environment
  • Animal Welfare
  • Small Budget/Big Impact
  • Arts/Culture
  • Education

NB Women GO has only been in existence for a short while, but is already making a difference for area nonprofits. The group offers a prime example of how collective giving can make a significant impact.

“We believe we are stronger and more effective when we work together as opposed to working alone.  A community foundation is a great example of that and giving circles are too,” said Brit W. King, NBACF President/CEO.

NB Next Membership Drive
Appetizers and beverages
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13
Villa at Gruene

RSVP by Sept. 6

NB Women GO Membership Drive
Wine and appetizers
6 to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 18
Saengerhalle, 255 Saengerhalle Road

RSVP by Sept. 11

To learn more or send an RSVP, visit, or call (830) 606-9536.





Scholarship fund pays it forward by jump starting education

Submitted by Karl and Beth Hittle

In 2015, my wife Beth and I created the Karl and Beth Hittle Scholarship Fund with the New Braunfels Area Community Foundation.

We love New Braunfels, and we wanted to give back to the community while promoting education.

It was a way for us to give back to the community we love and assist those interested in bettering themselves through education. We believe education is one key to being successful in almost any career.

We visited with Brit King, NBACF President/CEO, and set up a scholarship fund with parameters that were important to us.

The Hittle scholarship is unique in its criteria.

It is open to students who have graduated from New Braunfels or Canyon High School; have a good grade point average; and have been accepted to Texas Tech University, an accredited seminary or a trade school.

It made sense to us to support our alma mater, as well as anyone interested in ministry or anyone interested in learning a trade.

Beth is a third-generation graduate from Texas Tech University. I am also a Texas Tech graduate. Our daughter and son-in-law are more recent graduates.

We enjoy the award process each year.

Past recipients have included Tori Pencsak (2016) and Ashley Newsome (2017).

We continued to grow the fund after creating it; and in 2018, we were able to award two $1,000 scholarships. The 2018 recipients were Adyson Lincoln and Blake Fain.

“I feel honored,” Adyson wrote in a thank-you letter.

Adyson said her dad was a Texas Tech graduate, and her parents met in Lubbock. She plans to study psychology at Texas Tech, with long-term plans to earn a master’s degree in educational psychology.

“Growing up, my dad always told me stories about his work in mental health and with “at risk” students at school,” Adyson wrote. “My mom is also a teacher . . . When it came time to choose a college and a major, naturally, I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

Blake will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall with plans to study physical therapy.

“I appreciate what you do for students and the community,” Blake wrote.

“After experiencing a serious sports injury during my junior year, I was treated by a team of medical professionals including an outstanding physical therapist at New Braunfels Sports and Spine. They have inspired me to combine my love of sports, science, and business to become a physical therapist. I plan to establish my own practice specializing in working with athletes of all ages,” Blake wrote.

Setting up the scholarship fund was an easy and enjoyable process. NBACF manages the fund, and a team of volunteer evaluators score applications. As donors, we stay involved and are able to change the criteria and amounts, if applicable, in the future.

If you have an interest in paying it forward by supporting education, Beth and I would encourage you to consider setting up a scholarship fund with NBACF. They will work with you to create a fund with the criteria that are important to you.