Ways to Give

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Make an impact in the life of an individual student or on the campus of SOWELA Technical Community College. Either way, you’re inspiring others to reach their potential through education and training opportunities that without your support would not be possible.

The Foundation offers a variety of giving options. All gifts are processed through the SOWELA Technical Community College Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization responsible for receiving and administering private donations to benefit SOWELA Technical Community College.

As a donor, you may specify how your gift should be used, including the following designations:

Area of Greatest Need

As SOWELA grows and changes to meet the needs of the economy, it is imperative that the College maintains adaptability to meet those changes. Contributions made to the area of greatest need provide executive leadership the flexibility that is often needed in decision-making regarding allocation of scarce resources.


NOW Scholarship

Donors may wish to create and name a NOW Scholarship with a one-time minimum contribution of $4,000 or with an initial $1,000 contribution and a pledge commitment of the same gift or higher over the following three years. Once the proceeds from the NOW Scholarship have been awarded to a student(s), the fund is depleted and the scholarship ends. Donors have the option of contributing to the NOW Scholarship on a recurring annual basis to ensure that the fund remains in effect.

The SOWELA Executive Director of Institutional Advancement (EDIA) will work with the donor to determine the criteria for awarding the named NOW Scholarship. For example, a donor may choose to create the John B. Doe Scholarship in Aviation for an entering student in a credit program from the surrounding five-parish area, or the donor may, instead, wish to leave the determination of the award criteria to the SOWELA Financial Aid Office.

Endowed Scholarship

A donor may wish to create and name an Endowed Scholarship by making a one-time or pledged contribution (payable over a period of up to five years) of a minimum level of $10,000. Once the minimum endowment level of $10,000 has been reached, the funds are invested for one year. After one year, the interest earned from the funds may then be awarded to the student(s). The principle will remain intact in perpetuity. Funds may be added to the named endowed scholarship at any time.

The SOWELA EDIA will work with the donor to determine the criteria for awarding the named endowed scholarship. For example, a donor may choose to create the Jane P. Smith Scholarship for a student studying nursing with the scholarship available during the duration of their studies as long as they maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. The donor may, instead, wish to leave the determination of the award criteria to the SOWELA Financial Aid Office.

Click on Scholarships to view the current list of funding opportunities available to students.

Program or Department Support

SOWELA provides classroom instruction, hands-on training, and field experiences that are unmatched in many higher education settings. As such, the financial needs for supporting these programs vary according to technology needs, equipment requirements, instructional costs, supply expenses, etc.

The SOWELA EDIA will work closely with the donor to identify the area within the College that would best benefit from the donor’s generosity.

SOWELA Paves the Way

Engraved pavers provide a way to leave a lasting legacy on the campus of the area’s oldest higher education institution – SOWELA Technical Community College – established in 1938. Whether you are a student, an alumnus, a faculty or staff member, or a community supporter, SOWELA is pleased to display your brick. You may also wish to honor or remember a loved one with a tribute brick. Proceeds from SOWELA Paves the Way benefit student scholarships and enhancement.

Your brick will be placed in front of the new Sycamore Student Center across from the Charleston Building, and huddled between the Cypress and Chennault buildings, two of the original hangers that were part of the Chennault Air Force Base before it closed in 1963. This area is strategically located in a heavily trafficked area of campus. The SOWELA Technical Community College Foundation reserves the right to determine brick placement in front of the Sycamore Student Center. Special requests will be considered; however, they cannot be guaranteed.

Each brick is guaranteed to withstand blistering heat, sub-freezing cold, and remain beautiful for generations to come.

Faculty Development

Providing adequate financial support for faculty development assists the College in recruiting and retaining competent and skilled instructors. In order to remain current in their specific field of study, faculty must take advantage of training opportunities by attending industry-specific conferences and peer institution workshops. Faculty also needs access to industry-specific books, publications, periodicals, or other research. Since state-appropriations for higher education have eroded over the past decade and travel funds for state employees are often frozen or the first to be cut from the budget, securing outside funding to support faculty development is imperative.

The SOWELA EDIA will work closely with the donor to identify which faculty can most benefit from the generosity of the donor.

Facilities with a Purpose (ACT 360)

In May 2013, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 204 (SB204), now called ACT 360 of the 2013 Louisiana Legislative session, as a statewide initiative to improve Louisiana’s Community and Technical College facilities, providing increased training capacity and opportunities for students and business and industry partners throughout Louisiana.

The legislation authorizes financial support and construction of 29 facilities in the amount of $251.6 million. Of the total cost of the construction projects, 12 percent or $34.3 million must be provided from local, private, matching funds. Two of the 29 construction projects have been designated for SOWELA – the new Student Services Building and the new Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism Management Building, which will also be home to the Culinary Arts Institute.

Contributions that will serve as matching funds for ACT 360 ensure that SOWELA benefits from the $251.6 million in construction funding available. Since the funding is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis, it is imperative that the match be obtained as soon as possible.

SOWELA may accept pledges for ACT 360 paid out over time; however, all required funds to complete the construction project must be in hand prior to the project being placed on the construction list.

Tribute Gifts

Gifts given to the SOWELA Foundation in memory of, in honor of, or in special recognition of an event, such as someone’s birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc., are a generous and thoughtful remembrance of that person. When you make a tribute gift, the honoree or family member is notified that the gift has been given in their name. (The dollar amount of the gift is never revealed.)

To make a tribute gift, simply include the tribute information as an enclosure or attachment with the gift. Please include the individual’s name, address, city, state, zip, and the reason for the tribute. If you choose to make a memorial gift, please include the name and full address of the person(s) whom we should notify that the memorial gift has been made.

Matching Gifts

Many employers sponsor a corporate matching gift program that allows you to double, triple or quadruple the amount of your gift. Matching gift programs are not always limited to the corporate employee; they are often also available to widows/widowers of the employee and retirees. The impact of your gift can grow considerably when tied to a matching contribution from an employer.

If your company is a matching gift employer, request that they provide you with a matching gift form. Once you have completed the form and signed and dated where appropriate, submit the form along with your gift to the SOWELA Foundation, P.O. Box 16950, Lake Charles, LA 70616.

To inquire about whether you or your spouse are employed by a company that offers a matching gift, contact your employer directly or speak to the SOWELA Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, at (337) 421-6903 or email foundation@sowela.edu.

Planned Gifts

Planned gifts or planned giving is another way to support the SOWELA Foundation and often enables the donor to make a larger gift than normally might be made through annual income such as wages. A planned gift may be made during one’s lifetime or at their death as part of an estate plan. Planned gifts may come in the form of appreciated stock, real estate or proceeds from a life insurance policy, an IRA beneficiary designation or a retirement plan designation. It is important that the donor notify the SOWELA Foundation of the gift to ensure that it will meet the criteria of the Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Policy.

The donor is encouraged to discuss the planned gift with a qualified charitable gift planner or other professional advisor to determine the most appropriate gift that will meet their needs as well as the goals of SOWELA Technical Community College.

Bequest Language

The following language may aid you and your attorney in preparing your bequest to the SOWELA Foundation for the benefit of SOWELA Technical Community College:

I, [name], of [city, state, zip], give, devise and bequeath [written amount; percentage of the estate; specific asset; or description of property] to the SOWELA Foundation, a nonprofit corporation organized in accordance with the laws of the State of Louisiana for the unrestricted use and purpose of supporting SOWELA Technical Community College, an educational institution, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The property comprising this gift may, for investment purposes, be merged with any of the general investment assets of the SOWELA Foundation. The gift shall be entered in the Foundation’s books and records as the [desired name of fund] Fund, and shall always be so designated. The distributions from the fund shall be:

a) unrestricted, unless directed by a separate gift agreement; or

b) used to…[After consulting with the Foundation, include specific gift-use preference(s) here.]

If, in the judgment of the SOWELA Foundation Board of Directors, circumstances change which renders the designated use of this bequest to be no longer appropriate, the Foundation’s Directors shall direct use of this bequest to further the mission of SOWELA Technical Community College, giving consideration to the donor’s special interest as evidence by the purpose described above.

Share your Plans

If you choose to name the SOWELA Foundation as a beneficiary, please let us know of your plans by contacting the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. This will enable us not only to show our appreciation of your generosity, but also to include your support in planning for the future of SOWELA.