Foundation For Excellence

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Foundation For Excellence
Foundation for excellence logo.JPG
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
  • Santa Clara, CA, USA
Area served
Product Scholarships
Key people
Dr.Prabhu Goel
Mrs. Poonam Goel
Mr. Kanwal Rekhi
Dr.Romesh Wadhwani
US $ 4,350,000
Slogan "No Scholar Left Behind"
Orkut community
LinkedIn group
Facebook group
ffe-sjce alumni India

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 $4.35 million in over 20,900 scholarships to deserving students in the 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.


  • 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
  • FFE Scholars Alumni Association formed in India – July 2003.

Since its inception in 1994 and until end of academic year 2006-07, the Foundation has provided around 20,911 scholarships to 8,996 students for an amount of US$4.35 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 Santa Clara, California. An office in India is located in Mumbai 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 are selected based on a set of eligibility requirements which are explained below. The requirements are based on approved courses of study, eligible institutions, academic standards and financial need. The application process is managed by program run by volunteers who are designated as "Coordinators" and "Facilitators". The roles of these volunteers are explained below. The applicants are pre-qualified by the Facilitators in India. They then work with their Coordinators in the US to discuss the merits of each application before coming to a final decision. 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 20,911 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 office is located in Bangalore and its administrative office is located in Mumbai, at the same address as the FFE India Office.


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.

Fund-raising programs: Sponsor a Student program[edit]

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

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.

Sierra Atlantic sponsors students under the Adopt A Scholar Program

At the initiative of its CEO, Mr. Raju Reddy, Sierra Atlantic Inc.,[3] became the first corporate organization to adopt students under the Adopt A Scholar Program. Starting with academic year 2006-07, the company agreed to sponsor the education of 10 engineering/technology students from rural Andhra Pradesh. In addition to funding the scholarships of the 10 students, the company will mentor the students during their study period and consider them for employment upon completion of their studies.

The selected students were invited to Sierra Atlantic offices in Hyderabad, India, for an orientation meeting on October 27, 2007. Senior company officials briefed the FFE scholars on the company background, its management philosophy, corporate culture and expectations. The scholars were introduced to their mentors and taken around the company premises.

A second meeting with the scholars was held on February 2, 2008 on the occasion of the celebration of Sierra Atlantic's Annual Day.

FFE in news[edit]