For those overseeing the donations to the Glendale Community College Foundation, recent gifts to the organization hint at brighter days for the organization that works to benefit the college and its students .
The foundation’s total assets tallied $10.5 million in the first quarter of the current school year, up from $9.4 million at the same time in 2012, according to a foundation report.
From July through September this year, the donations the college received totaled $95,224, compared to a little more than $73,000 in the first quarter of 2010 and about $71,100 in 2011. Those monies are from donors who supported student scholarships, facilities or donated the money with no strings attached.
The total donations from the first quarter is down from the $170,000 the college reported during the same time in 2012, though officials said much of that could be attributed to events that year surrounding the college’s 85th anniversary.
Donations to the foundation’s general fund, known as undesignated dollars, that give the foundation freedom to assign the money to various causes, however, are slightly lower so far.
In 2012, donations to that fund totaled more than $65,500 in the first quarter, compared to about $41,000 so far this year.
For Lisa Brooks, executive director of the foundation, said undesignated donations play a crucial role at the college as it begins to emerge from the toll of the economic downturn. The funds , she said, help pay for everyday necessities for students such as computers, books, or science lab equipment.
In some cases, the foundation has used the funds to replace broken chairs in classrooms.
“Maybe in three years’ time, the infrastructure will be wonderful again,” Brooks said. “Right now, that’s kind of our big push -- to fix all the things that need to be fixed.”
Brooks said the foundation has seen steady success, in part because donors grasp how far their money can go – something Brooks said is unique to community colleges.
“We can do so much with donors’ money,” she said.
The college has also amped up its outreach to college alums in the last three years.
In addition to modest gifts, the foundation still seeks large donors under a relatively new program established in 2012 that promises to place donors’ names on offices or buildings for the exchange of at least $7,500 or up to $3 million.
A $2.5 million gift could earn a donor’s name on the college’s nearly $40 million lab building that crews broke ground on earlier this year.
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.