Acursory reading of a recent issue of The Chronicle of Philan- thropy shows community colleges and other nonprofits are in for an extended bumpy ride in 2010. The publication notes that foundations, stung by investment losses, are likely to cut giv- ing or keep it at 2009 levels, citing a recent survey indicating that a quarter of grant makers plan to decrease giving. Corpora- tions are expected to follow suit.
Any funding that does continue to flow will probably come with more strings
attached, as funders tap into Charity Navigator, Give Well, and other watchdog
organizations to more closely monitor nonprofit performance. The federal government will also get into the act, asking nonprofits to justify their tax-exempt status
and monitoring resource management policies and pay for top college officials.
But for community colleges, the road to advancement will be made a little
smoother by the significantly increased visibility our institutions have received
courtesy of the Obama administration, the national news media, and leading
philanthropic organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
Lumina Foundation for Education, and others. Leveraging this higher national
profile and tapping into new funding sources through creative and entrepreneurial
approaches will go a long way toward allaying budgetary angst, say fundraising
experts in this issue of the Journal.
EXECU TIVE EDITOR Norma Kent
MANAGING EDITOR Corey Murray
ART DIREC TOR Brian Rees
PROJEC T MANAGER Jerry Parks
CONTRIBUTING Mary Spilde
WRITERS Joan Edwards
One sure road, and too often the road not taken, is planned giving. Authors Robin
Johnston and Al Penson point to the untapped potential of a functional planned
giving program, especially as we experience the “largest multigenerational transfer
of wealth in history” (“First, You Have to Ask,” p. 12). Joan Edwards, interim vice
president of institutional advancement for the College of Western Idaho, agrees.
In “Leaving a Legacy” (p. 10), Edwards notes that community college develop-
ment professionals need to stop thinking of planned gifts as “highly technical and
fraught with the problem of talking to people about their deaths.”
Entrepreneurship and creative thinking can nurture an “exhilarating and inno-
vative culture” with “unending opportunities,” says Central Piedmont CEO Tony
Zeiss (“Masters of Our Own Destiny,” p. 24). More than a decade ago, Zeiss vowed to
make his college less dependent on tax-based revenue, and now he’s urging others
to share that liberating ride.
Staying in touch and in step with alumni—long a challenge for community
colleges—has become significantly easier thanks to social media, says former
Journal editor Tom Halligan (“The Social Media Evolution,” p. 30). Community
colleges across the country are increasingly taking advantage of highly interactive and low-cost tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube to engage alums by
building communities of shared interest.
Such institutional loyalty can be a positive two-way street, especially when those
alumni move on to become, say, U.S. surgeon general or a NASA mission commander. Writer Ellen Ullman profiles outstanding community college graduates
who illustrate the value of “paying it forward” and burnish the reputation of the
colleges that gave them a first step on the path toward professional and personal
success (“Giving Back,” p. 26).
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