Scholarships

Special District Leadership Foundation

SDLF offers a number of scholarships, designed to help special district elected/appointed officials and staff participate in the foundation’s programs and other educational offerings.

SDLA Scholarships

Special District Leadership Academy Scholarship

This scholarship is for registration fees for the Special District Leadership Academy Conference or Governance Foundations module and is open to elected/appointed special district board members. Returning attendees of the Special District Leadership Academy (must have previously completed all four modules of the SDLA).

Scholarship in honor of Dr. James Kohnen.

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CSDM Scholarships

Certified Special District Manager Scholarship

This scholarship is for registration fees for continuing education related to special district governance and operations for general managers and executive staff. Applicants must be currently pursuing their Certified Special District Manager(CSDM) designation. ​

Scholarship in honor of John Yeakley.

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Education Allowance Fund

Education Allowance Fund Scholarship

The goal of this fund is to provide special district staff and elected/appointed officials an opportunity to access new continuing education opportunities that promote professional development and encourage further involvement in SDLF’s programs (Certified Special District Manager, Certificate in Special District Governance, District of Distinction Accreditation and District Transparency Certificate of Excellence).

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Website Application

Special District Website Scholarship


The goal of this fund is to provide scholarships to cover the cost of a special district website for 15 months and increase transparency and accountability among some of California’s smallest special districts.

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Emerging Leaders

Special District Emerging Leaders Scholarship


This scholarship covers registration to the 2022 CSDA  Annual Conference for those currently in a supervisor position or higher – but not yet a general manager.

A generous grant from Five Star Bank makes this program possible.


Apply Now 


Tech Grant Image

Special District Technology Grants Funds Awarded


The Special District Leadership Foundation has created and funded a Technology Grant for 2022. The Technology Grant is open to districts with operating budgets of $1 million or less and will reimburse districts for up to $3,000 related to expenditures outlined in the grant focus areas. There is a total of $25,000 in Technology Grant Funds available. Applicants do not need to be members of CSDA to apply and receive funds. The initial 2022 Technology Grant availability will close on March 31, 2022.