In January 1973, ARMA International, the association for records and information management professionals, created an education and scholarship Fund. This Fund was created for the sole purpose of granting scholarships to individuals enrolled full time in a higher learning institution, and following a course in the field of records management. In time, this restriction became a major drawback, as it became a challenge to market the Fund to prospective donors.
By the mid-1990’s, the Board of Directors of ARMA International realized that the Fund did not meet the needs of individual ARMA members, potential information practitioners, or the field of records and information management. Consequently, in January 1996, it was recommended that ARMA International change the education and scholarship Fund to a tax-exempt organization, i.e., a Foundation. A motion to create a Foundation was passed by the Board of Directors of ARMA International in March 1996. This change would broaden the funding opportunities beyond the very limited scholarships available for full-time students in approved program schools.
In August 1997, the ARMA International Educational Foundation (the Foundation) was incorporated, and received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in January 1998. Immediately, the creation of the Foundation broadened the funding opportunities for grants and scholarships to individual students pursuing practical and scholarly knowledge in the field of information management.
In addition to scholarship opportunities, the Foundation also sought to encourage research in the areas of information management. The Foundation would offer funding for research projects and serve as the conduit for sharing and distribution of the findings.
In September 2015, ARMA International withdrew its administrative support from the Foundation but continues to endorse the organization and its use of ‘ARMA International’ as a part of its name.
Today, the Foundation is an independent, self-operated organization. The Foundation helps to ensure the future of information management by funding educational forums to individuals for developing or improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities in information management; funding objective, scientific research; and awarding grants, scholarships and fellowships to individual students and educational institutions to further promote and develop information management.