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"Dave Dollars" are affectionately named in honor of our founder, Dave Thillen. These earned scholarship and financial assistance dollars are awarded, meticulously tracked, and set aside for students via a points-for-participation initiative beginning in a student's freshman year.

Whether a student is striving to become a skilled tradesperson, community worker, or a college scholar, all are eligible for earned scholarship and professional supplies financial assistance.

To recognize students for noteworthy achievements, additional financial assistance for scholarships and professional supplies may be publicly awarded by coaches and teachers at quarterly student recognition receptions. This recognition by their coaches, teachers, and peers has proven to be a great motivator for students.


At the end of the junior academic year, additional financial assistance for scholarships and professional supplies may be earned in the senior year through incentive-based challenges that might include hands-on work experience, reaching a stretch goal, and college or professional certification program acceptance.

Dave Dollars

Scholarships & Professional Supplies

Our foundation provides earned financial assistance dollars for scholarships or professional training. We also provide supplies for every student who participates in the GCCA coaching program and successfully graduates from Greene County High School in Greensboro, Georgia.

Once a student has been accepted and committed to attend a college, advanced learning initiative, or professional certification program, earned financial assistance dollars are paid by the foundation on the student's behalf directly to the institution in which the student is enrolled.

Earned financial assistance for professional supplies will be awarded through Amazon or other on-line purchasing site to convert earned financial assistance dollars into the essential supply purchases required to launch a student's skilled trade or military career.

If a student elects to take a gap year before committing to advanced learning, earned financial assistance is held for up to two years until that student is successfully enrolled in a college, advanced learning initiative, or professional certification program, or begins their skilled trade career and submits a formal request for specific professional supplies.

If a student enlists in military service before advanced learning or beginning their career, they automatically receive an additional $1,000 that can be used fro professional supplies funding available to support basic training required purchases. Or, earned financial assistance may be held for a total of six years on behalf of the student until he or she enrolls in a qualified advanced learning program or submits a formal request to use earned financial assistance for additional career-related professional supplies.

Financial Assistance

Charitable gifts are deeply personal. We understand. Every gift will help the Thillen Education Foundation pursue its mission and greater vision in using earned financial assistance money to empower future acceleration in a young person's personal and professional lives. Every gift will also help us draw nearer to our goal of ending generational poverty in Greene County, Georgia.​

Career Start Program

One-time awards of up to $4,000 will be granted to financially assist Greene County High School graduates who choose to start their careers as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the calendar year of their high school graduation.  The award is intended to assist with the costs of starting a business or entering employment that is on the applicant’s career path.

Scholarship Program

A scholarship of up to $4,000 per year may be awarded to an applicant who is enrolled in a qualifying post-secondary school by the end of the calendar year of high school graduation.  All payments will be made directly to the post-secondary school that the scholarship recipient will attend and will be applied to tuition, room and board, and/or required fees.

To maintain the scholarship each semester for up to 4 years, the recipient must qualify as a full-time student, provide a transcript to the TEF Financial Assistance Committee at the end of each semester and maintain Hope Grant or Scholarship eligibility.  The recipient must also meet with a representative of the TEF Financial Assistance Committee prior to the start of each semester.

Next Step Funds

Ways to Give

*Our Fiduciary Promise: Thillen Education Foundation utilizes unbiased, third party financial advisors to process all financial donations, including managing investments for future allocation to students by disbursement of financial assistance and professional supplies funding.

For more information, please contact us.

Give Every Time You

Shop on Amazon

Every penny matters, and it's simple to give while taking care of your everyday shopping on Amazon.


Through Amazon Smile, customers may choose Thillen Education Foundation as their designated charity for which Amazon will contribute to the Foundation a small percentage of each qualifying order. 

The Thillen Education Foundation gratefully accepts monetary donations and gift-in-kind contributions to support its mission to empower Greene County High School students through earned financial assistance for post-secondary education and career launches, including military service. Our secondary objective is to enable Greene College & Career Academy to implement the coaching, life planning, and mentoring opportunities for higher learning and advanced training for a skilled career. We are happy to discuss your desire to contribute and develop a customized program that works for you or your company. Thank you in advance for considering your donation to Thillen Education Foundation, a Georgia-registered nonprofit organization.  Contact us to learn more.​​​

  • 100% tax avoidance on IRA distributions to Thillen Education Foundation

    Distributions from IRA accounts for anyone over the age of 70 ½ can be tax free (federal and state) if deposited directly into a qualifying 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, such as Thillen Education Foundation (up to $100,000). This includes RMD (Required Mandatory Distributions) for anyone over the age of 73.

    Also, the non-taxable event may lower your tax bracket and possibly Medicare premiums.

    Please contact Dave Thillen for further information at 706‑347‑0572 or

  • Support students over time using the Thillen Education Foundation "DDF" (no tax/no fee)


    Donor Advised Funds have 3 advantages - 1) make a tax-deductible donation, 2) grow your donation, tax-free and 3) support your charity(s) now or over time.

    The Thillen Education Foundation "Donor Designated Fund" provides all 3 advantages 

    •  If you itemize deductions, IRS will allow a charitable tax deduction for the total amount of your TEF donation up to 60% of AGI (30% limit for stock).

    • The donation to TEF is placed in an account that realizes growth (on the undistributed amount) at the same rate as overall TEF and reported annually.

    • The donor may participate in the naming and amount of a scholarship or Career Start Package at the annual Senior Honors Night

    • The granted amount will be deducted from the donor account which will continue to grow and remain available for future awards to graduating students.

    In the event a donor would like to make a donation to another qualified 501(c)(3) using funds from their TEF "DDF", that can be accommodated. 


    Growth of your fund will be managed under Wells Fargo Investment Advisors and distribution of your funds will be managed by the Thillen Education Foundation Financial Assistance team and tracked in Salesforce. Investment of Thillen Education Foundation funds (including "DDF") are managed in 4 tiers – Tier 1 is cash (and Money Market), Tier 2 is conservative (mainly bonds), Tier 3 is conservative diverse mutual funds and Tier 4 is aggressive diverse mutual funds.

    Financial Assistance amounts are determined by students’ Dave Dollars earnings during their 4 years of high school and students’ applications for Next Step Funds in their senior year.  Next Step Funds amounts are determined by a process involving review of applications for specific financial needs, references from their career coach and/or teachers, essay content, and in-person interviews. Distribution of Thillen Education Foundation funds are tracked through the market-leading Salesforce customer relations management system.


    "DDF" participants (minimum $20,000) may choose to participate in the award name, amount, and student selection for a scholarship or Career Start Package to be announced at the annual Honors Night event.  Participants will be invited to attend the Honors Night ceremony.
    Please contact Dave Thillen for further information at 706‑347‑0572 or

  • All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” - Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. 

    The process of setting up a charitable bequest begins with you and your estate-planning attorney drawing up a comprehensive will. The rest of your wealth planning team may also be involved: your financial planner, your accountant and your tax advisor.

    Creating a will with a charitable component typically entails a conversation about what you want to do with your assets, and a more specific discussion about what charitable causes and organizations you hope to support.

    If the goal of "Ending Generational Poverty in Greene County, Georgia" aligns with your philanthropic legacy, the Thillen Education Foundation with its 180 volunteer career coaches in partnership with the Greene College & Career Academy will use your donated assets to reach our mutual goal.

    To bequeath a portion of your estate or Trust, please contact Dave Thillen at 706‑347‑0572 or

  • To donate stock held in a brokerage account, stock certificates in your possession, mutual funds, or closely held and other stock gifts, please contact Dave Thillen at 706‑347‑0572 or

  • A gift-in-kind noncash contribution of goods or services can include, for example, website development, photography or video services, invaluable reference materials, books, subscriptions for a new student resource library, school supplies or hygiene items for the Wraparound Care Center at Greene County High School, and other non-cash charitable donations. If you would like to make a gift-in-kind charitable contribution please contact us.

The way out of poverty is through education and personal coaching.

This one-on-one approach is the absolute best solution

to ensure a successful future for our next generation.

Dave Thillen

Founder, Thillen Education Foundation

Donate by Check (Preferred)

Please make checks payable to:

Thillen Education Foundation

1101 Hawthorne Heights

Greensboro, GA 30642

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Donate Online

You can make a secure tax deductible donation‏ via credit card, checking, or savings account via PayPal.

Donate by Phone

To donate by phone please call Elaine Thillen at 404-281-2453.

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See Us in Action

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Join Our Impact

Experience the rewards of preparing a hard-working teen for college, the workforce, or military service, and ensuring a guided, financially-assisted path to their future.

Become a Partner

Activate your business mission by partnering with us to advance student opportunity through earned financial assistance and respectful diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

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Ways to

Pathway to a Million Campaign

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