Scholarship foundation sees structural change

Nonprofit grant system shuffles director positions, reduces workload

By Benjamin Bassham, Circulation Manager

The Contra Costa College Foundation is being reorganized and tied to the college foundations of Los Medanos and Diablo Valley, but will remain fundamentally the same.

Foundation Advancement Manager Jennifer Dyment said, “Each college has had one foundation, now there is  going to be one executive director and three development directors under them.” Each development director will serve their assigned college exclusively.

The college foundations are nonprofit organizations that support scholarships and programs across their associated campus. Cindy Goga, the new executive foundation director for the three foundations, said that all three remain separate and will not share accounts. Each dollar that comes to a foundation belongs to that foundation. Dyment said each foundation will still have its own board of directors.

“Maybe 90 percent of scholarships are awarded because of the foundation. We bring in money from donors like Chevron and the City of San Pablo,” Goga said.

Both Dyment and Goga independently said that the foundation office at their respective college is staffed by about “one and a half” people. Goga said, “Business services at the college (DVC) oversees the accounting.” But she said that now “all financial matters will be handled at the District Office starting July 1 of this fiscal year.”

Tim Leong, district director of communications and community relations, said, “The foundation structure was consolidated at the District Office to reduce expenses.” DVC has had the most success at fundraising, so Goga was chosen from DVC.

Goga said, “We haven’t had enough resources to be really successful at fundraising. It’s been a long time coming (and) it’s an amazing commitment from the district.”

Dyment said this is closer to how most community college foundations are structured throughout California. She said most students wouldn’t notice the difference and neither would most donors.

Dyment said donations typically come from individuals, corporations, or other foundations sometimes. “We collect donations and we put them into scholarships and programs.”

Leong said, “We focused on one major fundraiser, which was the golf tournament. We’re going to do more.”

It is hoped that this new structure will allow more money to be raised.