Foundation For Excellence

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Foundation For Excellence
Foundation For Excellence.png
Founded 1994
Founder Dr. Prabhu Goel
Mrs. Poonam Goel
Type Non-profit
Focus Provide funds for higher education to students in India who are academically gifted and come from very low income families
  • Sunnyvale, CA, USA & Ba ngalore, India
Area served
Product Scholarships
Key people
Dr. Prabhu Goel
Mrs. Poonam Goel
Mr. Kanwal Rekhi
Dr. Romesh Wadhwani
Slogan "No Scholar Left Behind"

The Foundation for Excellence (FFE [1]) is a publicly supported, non-profit organization. FFE's focus is to provide funds for higher education to students in India who are academically gifted and from very low-income families.

Since inception, the foundation has provided over $11.4 million in over 38,168 scholarships to 14,895 deserving students across 25 states in India, over 40% of whom are girls.


The objective driving the programs is "No Scholar Left Behind". FFE truly believes that these young people will be a significant part of a socially and economically stronger India in the near future.

With the help of donors and volunteers, FFE plans to keep on with its efforts until every deserving student in India gets the education that she or he deserves.


The mission of Foundation For Excellence (FFE) is to help exceptionally talented but economically underprivileged students in India become doctors, engineers, and computer scientists. FFE awards scholarships to recent high school students who have overcome the adversity of their family's circumstances to be among the top rankers in national/state level common entrance tests, based on which they have secured admissions to quality engineering and medical colleges.


  • Dr. Prabhu and Mrs. Poonam Goel establish FFE as a project of Indians of Collective Action, a non-profit organization based in Santa Clara, California - 1994
  • Venktesh Shukla becomes 1st President and co-founder of FFE - (1994-2012)
  • First scholarship awarded – October 1994
  • Foundation for Excellence, Inc. incorporated within California – December 1997.
  • IRS grants tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3) status effective from December 1997 – March 1999
  • Mr. Kanwal Rekhi joins FFE as major supporter and trustee – December 1999
  • Foundation establishes formal administrative office in Mumbai, India - May 2000
  • Dr. Romesh Wadhwani joins FFE as major supporter and trustee – September 2002
  • FFE’s first chapter is established in New York, NY – November 2002
  • FFE promotes and registers Foundation for Excellence India Trust as a public charitable organization in India - July 2003
  • FFE India Trust receives recognition as a tax-exempt organization under section 12A of the Indian income tax Act and as an organization eligible for tax deductible contributions under section 80G

Since its inception in 1994 and until end of academic year 2014-15, the Foundation has provided around 38,168 scholarships to 14,895 students for an amount of US$11.4 million.

The Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) as an organization described in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is also exempt from state franchise or income tax under section 23710d of the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California. The Foundation's employment identification number is 77-0474749.

FFE's principal office is located in Sunnyvale, California. An office in India is located in Bangalore city.

The scholarship program[edit]

The Foundation offers scholarships to students who have a proven financial need to enable them to pursue their studies at the high school or graduate level. The scholarships are awarded on an annual basis with renewal dependent on continued academic excellence and financial need.

Students can apply by filling up our preliminary application form. Scholars are selected based on a set of eligibility requirements. The requirements are based on approved courses of study, eligible institutions, academic standards and financial need.

The applicants are pre-qualified by volunteers called Facilitators who complete all the background verification. More than 500 volunteer Facilitators are part of the FFE network spread across the country in 25 states. The entire process, from application to decision making typically takes 2–4 months. The scholarship program is available to students from all over India, for studies in India. No discrimination is made on the basis of caste, religion, region and gender for the award of scholarships.

Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis. Renewal of a scholarship is dependent on continued academic excellence and financial need. The scholarship is directly awarded and paid to the student.

The program so far has awarded more than 38,168 scholarships. Students who have graduated with the Foundation scholarships have proven themselves to be highly successful in their careers and personal lives.

The India Trust[edit]

FFE has established an organization in India called the Foundation For Excellence India Trust (FFEIT). FFEIT is recognized as a charitable trust under section 12A(a) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1961. Donations to the Trust are eligible for tax deduction under section 80 G of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1961.

FFEIT has the same mission as that of the Foundation For Excellence (FFE), that is, to bring about a transformation in the lives of economically underprivileged and academically brilliant students in India. This mission is accomplished providing scholarships and other forms of assistance to students pursuing higher education at the higher secondary school, college degree and professional course levels in India. The Trust’s program is open to any student in India and there is no discrimination on the basis of caste, community, gender, religion, region or state.

FFEIT is a member of Credibility Alliance,[2] Mumbai. Credibility Alliance is an initiative of voluntary organizations in India that seeks to enhance accountability, transparency and good governance within the voluntary sector.

A Board of Trustees under the overall guidance of the FFE India Advisory Board manages the Trust.

The Trust’s registered and administrative office is located in Bangalore, Karnataka.


FFE receives its financial support from public charities, corporate foundation and individual donors.

Trustee donors[edit]

A list of Trustee donors is provided below:

Institutional donors[edit]

Individual donors[edit]

The foundation also receives donations from individual donors, well-wishers and FFE alumni.

Adopt a Scholar Program (ASP)[edit]

Various fund-raising programs and activities are under development to meet the growing needs of the Scholarship Program. One of these is Sponsor A Student/Adopt a Student Program (ASP).

The Sponsor/Adopt a Student Program provides an opportunity to donors to make contributions directed towards students with characteristics meeting the donor's preference. For example, the donor could indicate that the student to be sponsored be studying at a specified educational level, or be of a particular gender, or be studying for a particular course of study, or hail from a particular state/district/town in India. The Foundation will periodically provide donors with information on the students funded from out of the donor's contributions. The program:

  • Enables individuals, corporate and institutional donors to earmark their donations for scholarships to specific applicants
  • Donor's preferences of adopting student(s) from a specific state, course of study, gender, educational institution or other preferences can be instituted.
  • 100% of the donor contribution is used for scholarship for the sponsored students.
  • Donors are provided an opportunity to maintain contacts with their adopted students and meet them and their parents at their home or other convenient locations.
  • Donors are also kept informed on the progress of the students whose education they are sponsoring under the Program. More than 350 donors participate in the program.

FFE in news[edit]