The KC Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the college and is a recognized charitable organization by the state of Texas. Generally, the Foundation raises funds for scholarships.
Endowed scholarships can be established by a minimum donation of $15,000, and roughly $3.5 to $4 million are allocated by the Foundation for scholarships alone. More recently however, the organization has shifted its focus to growing the money in its general needs funds, or unrestricted funds.
Money raised for general needs funding is put into what is called The Partner and Excellence Fund, which is intended to be used for KC building purposes and covering Foundation office expenses. So far, the money has been used by the Foundation to purchase a fundraising module to help further organize the Foundation’s money-raising efforts.
“Our ultimate goal is to have $25 million in the Foundation,” said Leah Gorman, director of development and executive director of the KC Foundation. Gorman hopes to achieve this goal within the next five to six years. The Giving Campaign is contributing to the growth of this amount by generating an estimated half a million dollars.
Money not allocated into scholarship funds can be organized into grants. Each spring the Foundation accepts applications for a general needs grant, the Habenicht Grant. This grant is typically awarded to a handful of departments on campus. The amount granted can be anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000 which is distributed among the chosen departments to be used for projects not funded by the department budgets.
Gorman said donors often have their lawyers call the Foundation office to request establishing a scholarship in honor or memory of some loved one or to notify the Foundation that they have included KC in their wills.
As most money for the organization is raised by private donors, the KC Foundation is working on developing a strategy to bring a higher awareness of living scholarships, or scholarships that are established and grown while the donor is still alive.
“The one thing people sometimes don’t realize about fundraising is it isn’t always about getting money, but building relationships,” Gorman said.
One of the biggest goals for the Foundation is to make sure donors feel important and that they continually feel involved with the college. This sense of continued need is vitally important.
For this reason the college hosts an annual scholarship banquet that allows for scholarship recipients and donors to meet, as well as an opportunity for recipients to thank the donors for their gifts.
For more information on the KC Foundation, scholarships or grants, contact Gorman at 903-988-7521.