Funeral Service Foundation Accepting Academic Scholarship Applications and Career Development Award Submissions

Brookfield, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation is now accepting online academic scholarship applications and Career Development Award submissions at The scholarships and awards are part of the Foundation ’45 Awards, which are transformative academic and professional development scholarships and programs that make education accessible and help funeral directors unlock their potential and take their careers to the next level.

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has fueled the careers of more than 6,000 funeral service professionals in alignment with its mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves. “Students and seasoned professionals alike value continuing education, but often lack the financial means to access the opportunities,” said Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill. “The Foundation ’45 Awards help us carry forward the profession’s next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers.”

Academic Scholarships
Awarded twice a year, the Funeral Service Foundation offers up to 12 scholarships, ranging from $1,000-$2,500, to full- and part-time students pursuing a degree in mortuary science from ABFSE-accredited schools. Candidates are evaluated based upon a written essay and brief video submission. The ideal candidates are those who demonstrate a clear commitment to the profession and to their communities. Those interested may apply online at The application deadline is November 30.

Available scholarships include the Foundation ’45 Academic Scholarship; the Shipley Rose Buckner, Joseph E. Hagan and Dennis Schoepp Memorial Scholarships; and the Memorial Classic Golf Tournament Scholarship. The Foundation also promotes the Brenda Renee Horn and Steve Mack Memorial Scholarships in partnership with the SCI National Scholarship Program.

Career Development Awards
The Funeral Service Foundation will offer up to 60 Career Development Awards to all licensed funeral directors. The awards underwrite registration fees for a single NFDA Cremation Certification, Arranger Training or Certified Preplanning Consultant seminar of the recipient’s choosing. Twenty names were selected in both April and June; the remaining 20 will be selected during the NFDA International Convention & Expo in October in Boston. Recipients have one year to redeem their career award.

“As a Career Development Award recipient, I’m grateful for everything the Foundation has been doing for average, hardworking funeral directors across the nation and beyond,” said Anne Cotter, a funeral director at Welch & Cornett Funeral Home in Linton, Ind. “Sometimes it’s that little recognition that pushes that person to excel.”

The Foundation accepts names for Career Development Awards throughout the year. Submissions are good for three selection cycles. Those interested may submit their names online  Information about each of these innovative training programs is available on the NFDA website,

Additional Opportunities
The Foundation ’45 Awards also include NFDA’s Meet the Mentors program and scholarships for the association’s annual Professional Women’s Conference. Information will be available later this year. 

About the Funeral Service

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the profession’s philanthropic voice. As the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997, the Foundation receives operational support from NFDA and donors across the profession to help advance its mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.