The Trials and Tribulations of Turning 85
by Lisa H. Brooks
Why are you throwing a fancy party during these dire times?
That is a question faculty and staff has been asking of Glendale College Foundation. Yes, Saturday evening, October 20th, will be a fancy party—black tie optional—which in LA means that women can squeeze into their evening gowns and high heels, and men can dust off their tuxes. It means great food and drinks. It means an elegant, lovely evening under the stars.
But this is more than just a fancy party. This is a concerted effort to raise funds for the college and to raise the college’s visibility in the community—which is, after all, the core mission of the Foundation. How better to do that than showcasing the college’s state-of-the-art Planetarium, the talented students from Culinary and Visual & Performing Arts, and our lovely, award-winning campus? Our honorary co-chairs, Dr. John Davitt and Gael Davitt, have really helped to bring in community support, as have our honorees: The Parikhs, Sevada Chamras, and Ruth Charles. We couldn’t have gone this far without each of their efforts.
We have thrown open a wide net, and guess what? Our 85th Anniversary has captured the interest of those businesses who already partner with the college and those who wish they could. It has captured the attention of our past donors and some of our Alumni who have not been back here for many decades. It is reassuring to know how many care about the future of this college. We are hoping to surpass our goal of $250,000, and it looks like we may just do that.
There are several ingredients that go into successful fundraising. First and foremost is having a cause that resonates with donors. Helping our students succeed at Glendale Community College is such a cause. The GCC STUDENT SUCCESS FUND fits right into this. It makes donors happy, but it also makes the people working on accreditation (Jill Lewis, Michael Ritterbrown, and others) happy because of how it ties into the college’s integrated planning process.
Here’s a bit of background on the GCC Student Success Fund. Now, through Program Review, departments submit resource requests for personnel, classroom upgrades, computer technology, equipment, supplies, training, etc. Unfortunately, given the current economic crisis, the college can only fund a small portion of these items. Last year, there were 107 non-personnel requests submitted through this program review process. These requests were then forwarded to the appropriate standing committees for prioritization and passed to the Budget Committee.
Unfortunately, because of our dire budget situation, only six requests were earmarked for funding. The majority of these non-personnel requests were for room upgrades, replacement of aging computers, software/technology, instructional equipment, training, and so on. Next year, the Foundation will help fund other requests to the extent that undesignated dollars from the 85th Anniversary allow. You might say that the GCC STUDENT SUCCESS TASKFORCE will step in where the college’s devastated budget leaves off.
The second ingredient in successful fundraising is having an engaged board who see fundraising as part of their commitment and who are willing to write checks themselves and ask their colleagues and associates to do the same. We wouldn’t be raising the kind of money we have without the active involvement of the Foundation Board. Other people have also stepped up to the plate: The GCC Board of Trustees, ASGCC, CSEA, GCC Professional Development Center, and all the faculty and staff who have bought tickets to attend, or who have offered to volunteer that evening. And let’s not forget all the extra work this has created for Dan Padilla and facilities staff; for Guido Giradi, who is building the stage, dealing with the lighting and electrical needs; Mike Petros and his department, who have been working on an anniversary video to be previewed that evening; campus police, who will make sure everything is secure; and everyone else who is supporting our efforts.
Glendale Community College only turns 85 once! Although these are dire times, this anniversary is also serving as an impetus for the campus and outside community to show its support—and we thank all our supporters!
Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/85thanniversarycelebration