A new focus on fundraising at community colleges

Some community colleges are launching or expanding advancement programs to achieve their revenue goals, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reports for KPCC.

Community colleges have traditionally been heavily dependent on state funding. But as state funding dries up, they are beginning to search for other sources of revenue, Guzman-Lopez writes.

Jose Fierro, president of Cerritos College, says he recently hired the college's first director of alumni relations. The first task he gave the director was to create a database of alumni that could be sorted by fields. In the process, officials say they discovered that Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California Assembly, attended the school, in addition to an actress and a California Chief Justice.

Community colleges can use notable graduates as examples of the school's track record of creating successful alumni. They can also use their databases for advancement and fundraising purposes, Guzman-Lopez writes.

Los Angeles City College (LACC) has begun making more efforts to engage its alumni as well. It recently hosted lectures by film directors and an artist who are alumni, according to Carole Wenger, director of alumni relations and development. The college has also made a bigger push toward fundraising from its alumni recently, but has been doing so for over a decade, Guzman-Lopez writes.

Because of the recent emphasis on community college alumni engagement, alumni fundraising will be a central topic at the next conference of the Foundation for California Community Colleges (Guzman-Lopez, KPCC, 8/16).

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