Delta Foundation looks to revamp college fundraising efforts

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The Delta College Foundation discussed its role in helping Delta groups raise and manage funds, as well as how to support the Student Food Pantry and ideas for an alumni association, at its Sept. 14 board meeting.

Director Chuck Bloch expressed concern about money for Delta groups going unused due to lack of oversight, a concern echoed by director Charles Jennings.

“We found that there are some councils that don’t know that they exist and that they have quite a bit of money on deposit that they didn’t know they had,” Jennings said.

Jennings displayed a list of proposed policies that would aid in the establishment of councils and to help those councils allocate their funds.

“It’s not the intention of the Foundation Board to micromanage the operations of the councils, but merely to provide a mechanism whereby the foundation can hold those funds on behalf of the councils and can see that those funds are distributed in the way that those councils had always intended them to be distributed,” said Jennings.

Delta President/Superintendent Dr. Omid Pourzanjani questioned whether it would be too much work for the foundation to try to manage how funds are being spent.

“At least if there’s some communication with council owners as to what’s appropriate and not appropriate, it might be helpful,” said Pourzanjani.

Pourzanjani and Jennings concluded that there should be an understanding between the foundation and the councils that if Delta wouldn’t spend funds on a certain activity, then the councils should not spend their funds engaging in those activities and that any exceptions would need to be approved.

Bloch added that another goal of the Foundation is to help the councils separate their raised money from other Delta accounts.

“The foundation is a means of protecting their monies so it doesn’t get commingled with general funds of the college. All of it is designed to protect the councils and the integrity of their monies,” said Bloch.

Bloch also said that the foundation should try to help the councils with fundraising if they need it.

“The foundation obviously has some resources including alumni solicitation and the encouragement of private, corporate and outside foundation support, and other government agencies,” said Bloch.

Bloch discussed the possibility of receiving food donations from Savemart Supermarket for Delta’s Food Pantry.

He said that his takeaway from his conversation with one of Savemart’s executive foundation members regarding their willingness to help the food pantry was that there are larger corporations willing to help the college.

“We as a foundation are missing the boat if we don’t try to learn more and more about our community and what is available in our community in terms of fundraising, large corporate fundraising or other foundations that might be able to help programs in the college,” said Bloch.

The foundation also discussed the importance of alumni donations and how they could appeal to Delta alumni to want to be more involved in supporting the college.

Amanda Preston, Delta alumni and vice president of Administrative Services, was in attendance of the meeting and offered ideas on how to gain graduates’ interest in the alumni association. 

“I think making it more of a community welcoming event and then rather than just [writing] emails or [making] phone calls, just invite us back and show us all the changes,” said Preston.

Coordinator Katrina Jaggears said that the Alumni Engagement Subcommittee discussed engagement events such as a “Pay it Backward” campaign, an alumni newsletter, member recruitment and an Alumni Association website redesign at it’s first meeting on Sept. 10.

She added that they’re planning an alumni engagement webinar regarding the food pantry.

“The purpose of this event is to reach out to alumni, number one. Number two: to let alumni know about an important issue that our current students are dealing with,” said Jaggears.

The goal of the foundation’s idea to redesign the alumni association website is to focus on alumni and current student’s needs. 

Their plan is to showcase alumni stories, give information about upcoming events and activities at Delta that would interest alumni, and highlight a few campaigns in which they can donate. 

“Our goal too is to make it simple for alumni to donate to the college,” said Jaggears. 

The committee plans to meet again to discuss the progress of the website. 

The Food Pantry webinar will be held on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m.: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/94373593367