What is the “HerbRally Herbal Education Scholarship Fund”?

by Mason Hutchison

What is the “HerbRally Herbal Education Scholarship Fund”?

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I was recently asked this question, because I mention on most of my Facebook product posts “20% of all profits to be donated to the HerbRally Herbal Education Scholarship Fund”.  

Here’s my answer…

I held off on creating HerbRally for a LONG time (well, probably close to a year and a half) because I was waiting for all of the ducks to fall in a row. Obviously, that never happened. One of those ducks was, "I want to start an herbal scholarship fund, because I don't know of any, and it would be awesome if one were available". I thought I needed non-profit status. I thought I needed to comply with all of these bureaucratic details. Then I just thought, "sheeit, I don't need any of that, I just need money!" So, I combined the scholarship idea with my "herbal events page" idea, along with my "cool botanical illustration t-shirt" idea, and just said that 20% of my profits will be donated to MY OWN scholarship fund. I wasn’t able to think of a good reason why I couldn’t create the fund, so I just decided to go for it.

At this point, HerbRally has been alive for about 8 months. Between affiliate sales, t-shirt and product sales, and one donation from the kind owner of an herb farm in Wisconsin, the website has generated approximately $300 for the scholarship fund. Come June (that's my 1 year mark!), I will be officially giving away all of the money (the 20% of the profits, that is). I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be close to $500.

Since $500 clearly isn’t enough to send someone to an entire year of an herbal apprenticeship, I will be donating the money to one particular school (I already have one in mind), and they can disperse the money to student(s) how they see fit.

Herbalism has so profoundly changed my life and the way I view the world that I found it to be one of my missions to help other people afford this type of education, who may have otherwise passed on it based on cost (I have spent close to $8000 on my herbal education). One of my hopes with the fund is to increase diversity within the herbal community.

I did want to mention that I have since heard of some herbalism scholarships besides the one that I have created. I know that the Florida School of Holistic Living has one. They even have a “Prison Education Program”, which is amazing. The Eldberberry School of Botanical Medicine in Portland, OR also has a scholarship program. Various events have scholarships and work-trade opportunities, such as the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference and the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. Read this wonderful post by herbalist Mel Kasting for reasons to attend herb conferences. If you know of any other scholarships, please let us know in the comments below. Perhaps HerbRally will have a page dedicated to these in the future…

Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference (2015)

Since “HerbRally Herbal Education Scholarship Fund” is a mouthful, I will now refer to it as “HerbRally Scholarship Fund”. I think that “herbal education” is still implied, don’t you?

Looking for a way to support HerbRally and its mission? Here are a few ways:

  • Purchase some rad botanical illustration apparel from the shop. Make sure to check out the brand new dandelion hoodie! www.herbrally.myshopify.com
  • Become a “patron” of HerbRally by visiting the Patreon page and donate as little as $1/month: www.patreon.com/herbrally
  • Shop at Mountain Rose Herbs through our affiliate link. You will not pay anything extra, and HerbRally will get a 15% commission on what you spend.  As of now, it is located on the HerbRally resources page (needs to be updated, for sure). Here’s a link to that: http://www.herbrally.com/herbrally-resources/. To read the affiliate disclosure, please go here: www.herbrally.com/affiliate
  • Buy some herbal goodies on the HerbRally “Wortcunning page”: www.herbrally.com/wortcunning
  • Start you own herbal education scholarship fund!
  • Get out in nature with some friends.

Holler at me if you have questions/comments/ideas/etc.

Thank you all for your support!

Mason is the creator of HerbRally and the Event and Outreach Coordinator for Mountain Rose Herbs. He studied herbalism, wildcrafting and botany at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, OR.