What is the SEDS Endowment?

The SEDS Endowment will be a sum of money invested in a mutual fund or other similar portfolio, the interest from which will fund SEDS’ annual operating expenses. Only the interest from the endowment will be used: the principal will remain in the endowment, providing operating funds for SEDS for generations to come. The goal is to raise $300k by the 30th Anniversary of SEDS in 2011.

What is the money for?

It has been determined that money is needed in the following areas to support SEDS-USA:

  • Funding for national projects: administration, prizes for competitions, start-up monies, etc
  • Starting student teams: seeding teams to compete in challenges such as the NASA Centennial Challenges
  • Travel fund: supporting students in travel and lodging to conferences, namely first-time conference attendees and chapter representatives and presidents
  • Scholarships: funding for outstanding high school students and college students for their work in promoting and furthering the exploration and development of space
  • Publicity: printing posters, fliers, and making other promotional items for booths at conferences and expansion mailings
  • Publications: Providing resources for printing and producing of newsletters and other status updates.

Why the Endowment is critical:

The money for the above activities and programs has in the past often come either from individual chapters or members. In the case of large projects, fundraising was done specifically for those projects, but seed money from an endowment fund would facilitate the fundraising process greatly as it is easier to fundraise once some progress has been made. Travel funding sometimes comes from universities, organizations such as Space Grants, and, for the SEDS National Conference SpaceVision, from the conference organizers if money is left over. Publications currently receives minor advertisement funding, but could be enhanced greatly by funds to produce and publish copies for donors and friends of SEDS. In general, the national organization is capable of running without an Endowment Fund, but the board’s ability to support its chapters and members and ability to reach out to the community would benefit greatly from a yearly cashflow.


The success of the endowment fund is therefore dependent upon the generosity and vision of those who support SEDS and its mission to support the exploration and development of space by engaging the next generation while still in school. Furthermore, donors will receive recognition on the national website http://seds.org , at the national SEDS conference SpaceVision, and exposure to many of the brightest and most dedicated students who will soon be entering the workforce dedicated to the exploration and development of space.

Utilizing the strategy described above, we are working to raise the necessary money for the endowment fund from alumni and companies. If you would like to contribute, please contact endowment@seds.org today!


In order to check the amount of money that is used from the fund each year, a budget will be drafted. This budget will be submitted to the SEDS-USA Board of Trustees and must be approved yearly by three quarters of the trustees. It will be submitted by the Executive Board to the Board of Trustees by December 12th and the Board of Trustees has until January 1st to approve or stipulate changes. If, at any other point in time, three quarters of the SEDS-USA Board of Trustees decides that the mutual fund budget should be changed, then the Vice Chair must submit a revised budget to the Board of Trustees for review. The budget may be changed only if at least three quarters of the Board approves. The amount budgeted each year shall never exceed the yearly interest of the fund minus expenses.

Current Contributors

SEDS-USA would like to recognize our major endowment contributors in every way possible.  To thank these extrodinary individuals, foundations, and companies, we have added adonor recognition page to our website where we will recognize major donations to the endowment fund.  Please join us in recognizing the donors who are helping to secure the future of SEDS-USA!

How do I Contribute?

If you would like to make a contribution to the SEDS Endowment, please contact our current Vice Chair at vice-chair@seds.org or endowment@seds.org

SEDS is recognized by the IRS as a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Endowment Fund Packet