Publications & Products
Volume 1, Issue 8

Calif. Colleges Turn to CASE for Professional Development

Amid ongoing state budget cuts to education, advancement professionals at community colleges in California face growing pressure to raise more private funds and increase alumni interest to support the operations of their institutions. Thanks to a new partnership between CASE and the Network of California Community College Foundations, advancement professionals at the state's 112 community colleges will receive even more professional development, services and support at this critical time in their history.

The partnership, which was announced last month and made possible via financial support from the Foundation for California Community Colleges, extends CASE membership to all network members. CASE and the network plan to work closely together to plan programs and services for advancement professionals at California's community colleges.

Keetha Mills, interim president and chief executive officer of the foundation, explains that California's community colleges have a long tradition of providing open-access to education. She adds, however, that this has become more difficult to maintain given continued budget cuts to higher education—and the fact that a majority of the funding of California's community colleges has historically come from state budget support. For example, state community college officials recently estimated that around 200,000 students could be denied entry next year due to course reductions as a result of budget cuts.

"The importance of elevating efforts around fundraising is more necessary than ever before," Mills says. "And the system as a whole is focused on bringing in more private dollars. The foundation has had a long partnership with the network, and the primary reason we chose to support this partnership [with CASE] is we think it'll provide greater benefits to our community colleges. I think that's especially important in today's economic climate."

Kenneth G. Cooper, president of the network, says California community colleges consider their resilience in the face of the steep budget cuts of recent years somewhat of a "badge of honor." He believes this resilience is one reason why people should consider investing money in them.

"We've been able to do more with less for a long time and, in my opinion, we've done it pretty well," Cooper says. "We provide a good return on investment, and that's why our campuses are a good place for donor dollars. We need to get that message out there more. I think this partnership will help with that effort. I'm excited about the possibilities."

Not only will this partnership benefit California's community colleges, Mills says she believes it will also benefit CASE's community college members around the country.

"We're the largest higher education system in the nation," Mills says of California's community college system. "The sheer experience of dealing with those large numbers of students is really powerful. Also, I think California is known as an innovator for all of the issues that we've had to face with our budgets and maintaining open access. New best practices come out of our system all of the time."

CASE's inaugural Conference for Community College Advancement will take place in San Diego this October. There is currently a call for session proposals, which are due March 16.

This article is from the February 2012 issue of the Community College Advancement News.


Connect with peers on the community college advancement group on CASE Communities.

Follow CASE on Twitter.

Join the LinkedIn group:
CASE Community Colleges.


Fundraising Strategies for Community Colleges: The Definitive Guide for Emerging Institutions

Preorder now! Available April 2012.

This comprehensive guide, written expressly for community colleges, offers practical advice and concrete steps on how to build a strong advancement program that encompasses annual funds, grants, major gifts and planned giving.




Upcoming CASE District Conferences

20th Annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations

April 18 - 20, 2012
Chicago, Ill.

The theme for this conference is "The Basics, the Best, the Next" as CASE and its foundation members reflect on two decades of helping to strengthen the IRF field and look ahead to what foundations and foundation leaders can expect in the future. The conference is designed primarily for executives at foundations affiliated with four-year public institutions and community colleges.

More Community College Resources
See the full list of CASE resources for community colleges.