Craig Community College Foundation ready to roll | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Community College Foundation ready to roll

Lee Harstad

Founded to help expand Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) resources, the CNCC Foundation is examining grant funding requests, corporate and individual solicitation activities, and special fund-raising activities to ensure financial stability.

Led by director and grant writer Gay Saunders, who was named to her executive position in May, the foundation is progressing to broaden its base of members and make CNCC more visible in communities.

“We are trying to get the foundation going again by recruiting new members,” said Saunders, whose executive position is part-time while she also works as a consultant. “We are attempting to attract movers and shakers who are more visible in the community, making it easier to find resources.”

“The foundation generates financial support that extends beyond student tuition, fees and other taxing entities,” said CNCC President Robert Anderson. “The Foundation can have a broader role.”

According to Saunders, as economic conditions within the Rangely area have shifted from a heavy dependence upon the petroleum industry, CNCC has taken steps to secure its financial viability by joining the state college system, and the necessity for more aggressive fund-raising is expected to increase.

More visibility could help CNCC in a variety of ways and foundation members are from throughout the state. That visibility could lead to more monetary resources and students. According to Saunders, much of the fund-raising success of an entity is dependent upon the visibility, prominence and strength of its members. Facilities having well-known, “connected” and powerful administrators have a distinct advantage.

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“People on the foundation board have finances of their own or they know others who do and play the role of connectivity,” Anderson said. “We are very fortunate with our local representation.”

Saunders and the foundation will attempt to obtain funds from both public and private sources. These include federal government grants, which represent a significant funding source for most educational programs; private foundations, which account for only 6 percent of giving in the United States, according to the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) of Utah; state funds; miscellaneous sources; corporations, which represent 2 to 3 percent of giving in the United States, according to NSFRE; and private individuals.

“The foundation can extend itself beyond traditional boundaries,” Anderson said.

Saunders expects to see results in the coming months.

“The foundation may take a while to get rolling because it will take a firm commitment,” Saunders said. “We will see a great amount of progress in the next year.”

The next step for the foundation will be a feasibility study which is getting started and will look into donor potential. According to Anderson, it is a formalized campaign to find representatives to assist the college.

“I see a lot of opportunities here,” Saunders said. “This is a wonderful school and a professional staff.”