CNCC more than halfway to fundraising goal | CraigDailyPress.com

CNCC more than halfway to fundraising goal

Fundraiser's internal phase raised between $1.5 and $2 million in Craig

Bridget Manley

John Whipple scales Telluride's Via Ferrata earlier this year. Whipple

Businesses in the local energy industry are being asked to pick up slack in a local college fundraiser.

As of Friday, a campaign to raise money for system-wide projects at Colorado Northwestern Community College had raised about $5.4 million, or 65 percent of its goal, said John Boyd, CNCC president.

A majority of those funds came from the campaign’s first, internal phase, which allowed employees, board members and other residents associated with the college could contribute money for college growth. During this stage, CNCC’s Craig campus donated between $1.5 million and $2 million, Boyd said, leaving another $2 million to $2.5 million for CNCC to collect.

Enter the local industry.

CNCC has identified major players in the area energy sector as potential donors in the campaign’s second stage, which began Oct. 1.

The college made its list of possible contributors after a feasibility study conducted last year by The Clements Group, L.C., a Utah-based consulting firm, found strong support for career and technical center construction in Craig.

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“This campaign is based very much on not what the college just wants to do, but what the community wants the college to do,” Boyd said.

First corporate donors and, eventually, community members will be asked to provide half or more of the combined $4 million expense for the building and program support in Craig.

The campaign still has two more phases in which businesses and, eventually, local groups and community members could boost lagging numbers. Results from the feasibility study show some members of those groups favor having a career and technical building in Craig.

“We had overwhelming positive response on this” project, Boyd said, adding that construction of a career and technical building received a 92-percent approval rating from those surveyed.

“Basically, what we’re told by the community and the business and industry leadership is that we need these facilities in order to provide them with quality workforce that they want,” he said.

Contributing in the college could pay off for donors. Some contributors may be eligible for a 25-percent Colorado tax credit, according to fundraising campaign literature.

But Boyd thinks energy companies could have another reason for supporting the college.

In his view, an investment in campus expansion would eventually benefit the local energy industry because the college provides programs geared toward providing skilled workers in the field.

Boyd said the second part of the campaign has raised some money for the college but added that he couldn’t estimate how much.

College officials hope to raise $4 million for the Craig campus, with $3 million funding construction of a career and technical building and $1 million paying for program support.

CNCC also will approach several granting organizations for funds.

Ultimately, the gift campaign is designed to bring in a total of $8.3 million from the private sector to fund capital improvements and program expansion throughout the college’s service area.

Those dollars will be put to work throughout six phases, which include building renovations at CNCC’s main campus in Rangely and allocating $300,000 for service center support at its Hayden, Meeker and South Routt satellite campuses.

Cost of all projects adds up to $40.6 million.

Phase three of the campaign is scheduled to launch this spring. At that time, local groups and community members will be asked to make donations.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com