The scholarship will grant a young professional (30 years of age or less) unlimited access to Association Forum's education offerings for one year. At the conclusion of the "field" study, the scholar will be responsible for detailing his or her learning experience. The scholarship includes education fees and travel expenses. 


The scholar must be local to the Chicago association community and will be selected annually by the Association Forum Foundation president & CEO and staff. Applicants must be active and engaged Association Forum members with a commitment to advancing the professional practice of association management.


  • The scholarship is effective April 1 through March 31 (Association Forum’s fiscal year).
  • The application for the scholarship is now closed. Should you have any questions, please email

D. M
ichael Ferguson Scholarship (MILLION DOLLAR ROUND TABLE)

The Association Forum Foundation annually awards one $1,000 scholarship to contribute towards the registration fee and related expenses to attend the Professional Convention Management Association's annual meeting, being held January 6-9, 2019. This scholarship is named after the late D. Michael Ferguson, who served as former senior director of programs and meetings at the Million Dollar Round Table, and is funded by the MDRT Foundation.


  • Applicants must be an Association Forum member.
  • Applicants must be employed at Chicago associations in the meeting planning field with a minimum three years of industry experience.
  • Applications will be considered based on financial need and contributions to the field of meeting planning.



The application for the scholarship is now closed and will reopen in late summer, 2019. Should you have any questions, please email

Phil Lesser scholarship, named for Philip Lesser, Ph.D., CAE, a Bostrom veteran of 24 years has served as the Vice President and lead consultant for Bostrom consulting practice. Dr. Lesser’s commitment and expertise in strategic planning, volunteer and staff development, organization structure and bylaws are just a few ideals and characteristics that potential applicants should embody.
The Association Forum Foundation will award this annual scholarship to four recipients to be able to attend Association 101 foundation courses in association management. This scholarship is made possible by Bostrom.


  • Applicants must be Association Forum members.
  • Applicants must be from a small association with less than a $4M annual budget.
  • Applicants may have up to three years of association management experience.
  • Applicants must submit a letter of interest outlining why they are attracted to association management as a career.
  •  No organization may obtain more than two scholarships per year




This scholarship was established in the name of the Million Dollar Round Table's retired chief executive officer, John J. Prast, CAE. Prast was an association professional for 37 years who was committed to excellence and strongly supported the value of the CAE. The goal of this scholarship is to honor Prast’s contributions to the industry, demonstrate Million Dollar Round Table’s support of both the CAE designation and the Association Forum’s commitment to the designation, and help an aspiring CAE candidate achieve this professional goal. This award covers the cost of the CAE application fee, CAE Study Course registration, and assistance with standard CAE study materials. Current employees of the Million Dollar Roundtable are not eligible for this scholarship. Scholarship Award: up to $1,250.


To be eligible for a CAE scholarship, you must:

  • Be a current Association Forum member.
  • Appear to meet the eligibility requirements to apply for the CAE designation.
  • Demonstrate financial need based on your organizational, not personal finances.
  • Current employees of the Million Dollar Round Table are not eligible for the John J. Prast Scholarship, but will be considered for all other scholarships offered.


Named after Bud Hermann, a past president of the Association Forum and ASAE, the P.D. Hermann Scholarship is funded through the Association Forum Foundation. The scholarship - which does not include room, board or transportation - covers the cost of one year’s tuition to Institute for Organization Management, the U.S. Chamber’s nonprofit professional development program.

This program is attended by more than 1,000 association and chamber of commerce executives in five locations annually. Course topics include courses on topics such as advocacy, media training, membership, finance, legal issues human resources, just to name a few. Each succeeding year's curriculum becomes more complex and diverse in the four-year program. Attendees earn 24 CAE certification points per week.

Institute is an invigorating break from the everyday pressures and routine of association office activity and will give participants from Chicago associations important tools and references to perform more effectively in their association management responsibilities.


  • Applicants must be Association Forum members.
  • The scholarship will be awarded based on financial need and career promise.


  • Applications will be accepted for the Midwest Institute in June 2018. Stay tuned for more details!