Brookfield, Wis. The Funeral Service Foundation is now accepting online applications and submissions for select Foundation ’45 Awards, which help funeral service professionals transform their careers through academic and professional development scholarships, awards and opportunities. Dates and deadlines vary.

NFDA-FSAC Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships

New this year, the Funeral Service Foundation will award up to five scholarships to women to attend the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Professional Women’s Conference, held in partnership with the Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC), and taking place November 16-18 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.

The continuing education scholarship will cover the recipients’ conference registration fees and provide up to a $1,000 USD travel and accommodation stipend.

Earlier this year, NFDA hosted the annual Professional Women’s Conference in Atlantic Beach, Fla.; the Foundation awarded scholarships that enabled ten women to attend the conference.

According to Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill, “2018 marks the 20th year of Foundation support for this annual conference. The Foundation is honored to support even more women in the profession as NFDA and FSAC bring this noteworthy conference to Canada.”

All women in funeral service, including students, are invited to apply. Submissions must include a brief essay and video. Please visit for more information and to apply. Applications are due September 16.

Academic Scholarships

The Foundation will award up to nine academic scholarships this fall, ranging from $1,000-$5,000, to full- and part-time students pursuing a degree in mortuary science from ABFSE-accredited schools or, new this year, accredited Canadian schools. An additional nine scholarships were awarded earlier this year.

“Our goal is to make education accessible for as many students as possible,” said O’Neill. “Whether a student is enrolled an 18-month program, on a trimester schedule, or pursuing a four-year degree, awarding scholarships in both spring and in fall means more students across all program types are eligible to apply.”

Available scholarships include:

  • Foundation ’45 Scholarship
  • Steve Lang Scholarship (new this year)
  • Memorial Classic Scholarship
  • Shipley Rose Buckner Memorial Scholarship
  • Joseph E. Hagan Memorial Scholarship
  • Dennis Schoepp Memorial Scholarship

The Foundation also promotes the Brenda Renee Horn and Steve Mack Memorial Scholarships in partnership with the SCI National Scholarship Program.

Those interested may apply online. Applicants are asked to submit a brief essay and video. The application deadline is November 30.

Career Development Awards

The Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees will select 20 Career Development Award recipients during its annual board meeting in October, held during the NFDA International Convention & Expo.

Available to all licensed funeral directors looking to grow through professional development and continuing education, Career Development Awards underwrite registration fees for a single NFDA Cremation Certification, Arranger Training or Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) session of the recipient’s choosing.

Up to 60 names are selected each year. The Board of Trustees selected 20 names at its January and July meetings. A list of all Career Development Award winners is available online.

“Awareness of Career Development Awards continues to grow, and submissions run the gamut from newly licensed professionals to those who have been in the profession for decades,” said O’Neill. “Our goal is to help funeral service professionals throughout every stage of their careers, and it’s especially exciting to see submissions from those funeral directors who’ve also benefitted other Foundation initiatives, scholarships and programs.”

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 at Information about each of these innovative training programs is available on the NFDA website,

Additional Opportunities

Information about 2019 Foundation ’45 Award opportunities including academic scholarships, NFDA’s Meet the Mentors program and scholarships for the association’s 2019 Professional Women’s Conference 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.

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