SHDF has three main operating principles:
Transparency: SHDF operating methods, including selection of students for award of scholarships, are well publicized and fully and consistently adhered to.
Accountability. SHDF accounts are annually audited and the audit report is available to donors. The SHDF accounts with its major cooperating institution in India (Nishkam) are also annually audited.
Low administrative costs. The members of the SHDF provide their services free. Its cooperating institutions in India (Nishkam and university administrations) do the same.
In India, Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council serves as our partner by handling all work in accordance with previously agreed prescribed guidelines. Nishkam has undertaken the task of inviting applications, conducting written moral science tests and interviewing applicants at five separate locations and last but not least, recommending scholarship recipients to SHDF. Members of our Executive Council visit India on a periodic basis at their cost to renew contracts with students and universities.
In USA, mobilization of funds is achieved primarily through community support by appeals at local Gurdwaras as well as by word of mouth. Additionally, SHDF has been successful in attracting several benefactors from around the United States who have placed their trust and ability in SHDF by donating large sums of money. They have been attracted by the organizations excellent track record in governance, proven institutional capacity to deliver, its unflagging commitment as well as its well crafted procedures and systems.
SHDF establishes the rules of the game, application formats, selection criteria and determines the amount of need-based scholarship to be extended to each applicant. Furthermore, SHDF prides itself on its three operating principles: Transparency, Accountability and Low Administrative Costs. SHDF has zero international travel cost.