Category Archives: Higher Education

Trustees, Presidents, and Fundraising

“…Trustees choosing a new president should focus on personal trustworthiness in judging the candidates. Would they themselves be inclined to make a major gift if that person came calling? With time and familiarity, might they do so?”

An important consideration…and an important acknowledgment that fundraising is central to the role of a college or university president in today’s world.

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Training tomorrow’s workforce: Where industry and academia meet

STEMNo longer is a college education simply students taking notes in lectures, reading books, and regurgitating on exams and in term papers everything they have heard and read over the preceding weeks. Today, the focus is much more on preparing students for the “real world,” including the ability to enter the workforce as experienced practitioners in their chosen disciplines. This is true in a host of fields including the grocery industry, where advances in technology have impacted every segment of the industry. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is the buzzword, but the story behind the acronym is core to the future of public-private partnerships in higher education.

Today we are in the midst of one of the greatest demographic shifts in this country’s history began: the retirement of the Baby Boomers. It took 30 years – from 1980 to 2010 – for the 65+ population to grow from 28 million to 42 million, or from 11.3% to 13.0% of the country. However, by 2020 that group grows by 15 million people, to 16.1% of the population; over the next 10 years, they add an additional 17 million people and grow to 19.3% of the US population. In years 2040 and beyond, this cohort will continue to represent 20% or more of the country. Continue reading

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K-12, higher education…”fundraising is fundraising”

CCEFIt was a pleasure to serve as a panelist at 2014 California Consortium of Education Foundations annual conference, held at UC Irvine this week, to discuss lessons K-12 fundraising professionals can glean from their higher education counterparts. The panel, moderated by Andrea Sala of the Peninsula Education Foundation in Palos Verdes, also included Dr. Sylvia Acosta, Assistant Vice Chancellor at UC Irvine.

Our discussion was wide-ranging, but focused primarily on the importance of inspiring donors through storytelling, providing clear and concise messages, and creating a culture of giving. Continue reading

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Louder doesn’t always equal better

One of the great challenges for underserved populations in our country is of course access to higher education, which can be the determining factor in escaping poverty.  For example, only 5% of Native Americans living on reservations can afford to go to college.

There’s an TV ad campaign that’s been running for awhile now seeking to entice donors to give to the American Indian Scholarship Fund. Continue reading

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“It’s important to give back what I’ve been given”

I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Omar Viramontes, the 2013 recipient of the Tom Tucker Leadership Scholarship, the single largest scholarship awarded annually by the UCSD Alumni Association. The Tucker Leadership Scholarship comes from an endowment established by a group of UCSD alumni in 2011, and Omar is the second recipient of the award. He will graduate in the spring from UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College, the same college I graduated from many years ago. Speaking with Omar about his experiences at UCSD not only stirred fond memories of my own time there, but also served as a stark reminder of the value of hard work and determination, and of the importance of family. Omar has clearly earned everything he’s been given, and he’s determined to improve the lives of others. Here is his story:

Omar Viramontes

Omar Viramontes hopes to put his scientific training to use to improve public health in underserved communities.

Behind every successful student is a story of how he or she got there. Sometimes it’s innate ability; sometimes sheer determination. And sometimes, it is through sacrifices parents make to see their children have opportunities they never had. Parents rarely advertise their commitments as parents. They simply make them. Continue reading

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It’s always fun to deliver good news…

I just had the great pleasure of calling a UCSD student to inform him that he will be receiving the 2013-14 Tom Tucker Leadership Scholarship, the single largest scholarship at the University ($10,000 to cover tuition, fees, books, and more).

UCSD AlumniHe’s receiving it as a result not just of his extreme financial hardship, but also his tremendous academic performance over the past three years, his significant record of leadership and volunteerism on campus and in the community, and his perseverance through some amazing challenges to get to the point that he will graduate next spring. Continue reading

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Planting A Tree of Life in The Galilee

“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.” – Dr. David Trueblood 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at a ceremony placing the cornerstone for the permanent Medical School campus, November 2012.

In fundraising, sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes we get to work on a fundraising campaign that means even more than the buildings it funds, the programs it underwrites, or the students it helps. And sometimes a project presents donors with the rare opportunity to change not only an institution or its constituents, but an entire population and an entire region of the world.

One such example: the Bar-Ilan University School of Medicine in Israel. The University is in the early stages of a $400 million capital campaign to fund construction of a permanent campus for Israel’s first new medical school in nearly 40 years. The campus will be built in the Galilee, in the underdeveloped northern region of Israel, where multiple ethnic populations (both Israeli and Arab) live without access to the same levels of infrastructure, health care, job opportunities, and other assets that exist in the center of the country.

Why does this matter? Several reasons, and they stretch well beyond the impact the medical school will have on the University and its students. Continue reading

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