With states slashing their higher-education spending, community colleges have stepped up fundraising efforts, with many taking a page from private and four-year public universities and soliciting past graduates, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“More [two-year] schools are coming to the realization that there are philanthropic dollars at hand” and taking initial steps to reach out to alumni, said Paul Heaton of the Washington-based Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Experts say community colleges face special fundraising challenges compared to universities, which command greater alumni loyalty and often have high-profile sports or scientific programs that draw attention and dollars. Several California colleges have in recent years expanded development staffs, established alumni associations, or begun holding fundraisers.
“Community colleges are definitely taking huge steps in fundraising that they have not in the past. Ten years ago, you would never hear of us raising money for this kind of thing,” said Bobbi Abram, executive director of Pasadena City College’s foundation, which has sought donations to save courses threatened by budget cuts.