colleges face new and specific challenges when seeking
to raise private funds for the benefit of the students
they serve. A public college’s
Foundation provides crucial financial support for scholarships,
facility improvements and enhancements, real estate transactions,
intercollegiate athletics and events. Through
their fundraising and entrepreneurial efforts, Foundation
boards can have a major impact on important institutions
that shape the lives of millions and are vital to America's
are living through a seismic shift in the funding of
public higher education. For some institutions, revenue
from private support now outstrips state support. Foundations,
once focused on funding a margin of excellence, have
become vital partners in the advancement, advocacy,
and entrepreneurial ventures of their affiliated institutions.” 1
Specific challenges facing community
- The changing face of higher education
- Increased demands for accountability, transparency
- Heightened scrutiny of all activities in public colleges/universities
- External forces focused on metrics unrelated to educational
- External policy efforts aimed at regulating institutions
of higher education.
- Years of flagging state support; crumbling state-owned
facilities and infrastructure
- Public and legislative pressure to keep tuition down,
and maintain affordable public education
- Higher levels of student debt
- Focus on employment rates and salaries of graduates
- Heightened scrutiny of accreditation processes
With the pace and pressure of such changes
in the role of Foundations supporting community colleges,
many Foundation boards are not adequately positioned to
take on this heightened responsibility. A focus on enhanced
board engagement, tighter alignment with the institution,
expanded financial and entrepreneurial talent base among
members, and planning Foundation work strategically will
become higher priorities for many Foundation boards.
The staff at Fuquay
Solutions has the experience and expertise to assist
North Carolina Community College in facing these challenges. This team includes
Kennon Briggs, former Executive Vice President & Chief
of Staff with NC Community College System; Rob Nelson,
former Vice President for Finance with UNC General Administration;
and Christine Riley, former Chief of Staff with UNC Asheville. These
three individuals have a combined 94 years of experience
helping North Carolina institutions of higher education
(community colleges, four-year colleges and universities,
private & public), Fuquay Solutions can focus on the
specific needs of each institution in several key areas:
an understanding of the needs of the campus leadership,
Fuquay Solutions staff can review all governance issues,
identify potential governance risks, and recommend appropriate
steps to improve Foundation compliance, planning, decision-making
and alignment with the Board of Trustees and college president.
The first and most important step in meeting the heightened
challenges that all Foundations are facing must be an honest
assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization
Very often, changes in Trustee, Foundation
and/or Presidential leadership afford a college an opportunity
to take a fresh look at the governance, financial management,
policies, reporting and procedures of the Foundation.
The Fuquay Solutions team is also adept
at mapping out a corrective action plan and implementing
some or the entire plan, depending
on the needs of the host institution. These corrective
actions generally fall into a few categories:
- Assure alignment with North Carolina
General Statutes relating to institutionally-related
Assure the Foundation’s alignment with 501c(3)
provisions, Board of Trustees, college president, and
the identified needs of the college.
Clarify the role and purpose of the institutionally-related
Foundation through improvement of all governance documents
[Articles of Incorporation, written agreement with Board
of Trustees, Bylaws, Policies, etc.].
Assure improved shared decision-making between Foundations
and Institutions by clarifying lines of authority in
both the foundation and the host institution.
- Create a strong and transparent planning process to
reduce conflict between the Foundation and the Institution.
- Implement a well-documented plan that explicitly explains
Foundation responsibilities and expectations.
- Increase fundraising capacity by building and strengthening
the board of institutionally related Foundations.
- Prepare the Foundation to step into a more active role
in raising and giving money to their institutions.
- Assure that all
policies are in alignment with the Foundation’s
bylaws and best practices in the field of advancement.
- Recommend and/or develop policies where needed.
- Align the work
of the Foundation Board with the College’s
- Assist the Foundation with efforts to determine the
relative efficiency of fundraising efforts, such as determining
the cost of raising a dollar.
The Fuquay Solutions
team delivers results for its clients. A recent assignment
resulted in a higher degree of confidence in Foundation
operations with the Board of Trustees, the Foundation
Board of Directors, donors and financial examiners, alignment
with accreditation requirements, improved compliance
with state laws and procedures, and a better working
relationship between the two boards.
year, Cape Fear Community College needed an outside objective
analysis of the business practices and processes of our
Foundation. Fuquay Solutions assembled a diverse
team of experts who took a deep dive into our processes. They
conducted interviews, analyzed documentation, and reviewed
policies. They were thorough in their analysis
and produced a report of their findings. We subsequently
asked them to remain on the job to assist in the implementation
of their recommendations. Through the professionalism
of the team, this process was executed in a timely and
efficient manner. The ability of the team members
to establish a rapport with the college staff and Board
members proved to be invaluable as we moved forward. It
is with great confidence that I recommend Fuquay Solutions
for their consultative expertise in higher education.”
Fear Community College