It 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
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 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
It was a pleasure to appear before the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education last month to report on the tremendous progress and growth of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, one of my firm‘s clients. Accompanying my report is the announcement by Foundation Executive Director Linda Greenberg Gross of a new $500,000 gift to the Foundation.
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).
He’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
Jackson Browne helped launch the annual Artists for The Arts concert in Santa Monica 10 years ago, and a decade later he’s still volunteering his time to support arts education.
Last month I attended a Jackson Browne concert in Santa Monica. As great as Jackson Browne is, that may not sound remarkable on its face, even when I add that another 1970s icon, Gary Wright, was also on the bill, and the “house band,” Venice, is a highly accomplished group with numerous albums and world tours to their credit.
No, what made this evening an indelible memory for the packed house who saw the show was the fact that these stars shared the stage with high school students, and those students delivered some knockout performances on par with any pro. Continue reading
The California Consortium of Education Foundations convened at Stanford University on March 19.
I was honored to serve as a keynote speaker at the California Consortium of Education Foundations annual conference at Stanford University last month. Attendees included representatives from school districts and foundations all over Northern and Central California (a similar gathering for Southern California was held a week prior in Anaheim).
What was remarkable about this group was the wide disparity in size and structure of the foundations represented. Whereas a few had full-time staff, highly engaged boards, and strong public presence, others had no staff at all and are being run solely by volunteers serving on a small board. One thing all held in common, though, is the knowledge that our public schools must be supported by private gifts and other revenue sources beyond state budget dollars if we are to adequately provide staffing, professional development, and programs and services to ensure that all children have an opportunity to succeed. Continue reading