Foundation History

The North Florida College Foundation, Inc. seeks to provide the margin of excellence that has been the hallmark of North Florida College.

The Foundation is a separate not-for-profit, IRS approved 501© (3) corporation chartered to provide a vehicle for acquiring and receiving gifts. These contributions provide support for educational programs and help to provide financially for the educational needs of North Florida College students. The Foundation is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors made up of college personnel, business and civic leaders from all six counties served by North Florida College. The Board roster, corporate charter, by-laws, and policies and procedures are located in the office of the Foundation’s Director.

To ensure accountability according to Florida Statute, the President of North Florida College, one member of the College’s District Board of Trustees, The Foundation’s Executive Director, and the Dean of Administrative Services, serve as voting members of The Foundation. The accounting records are audited on an annual basis by a firm of independent certified public accountants. This annual audit is presented each year to the College’s District Board of Trustees, The Division of Community Colleges, and the Auditor General. Financial matters are managed and invested by the Foundations Board of Directors, with The Foundation office keeping subsidiary ledgers on all accounts. All business transactions regarding acceptance of contributions, investments, and cash donations are conducted in compliance with The Foundations policies and procedures. Many individuals and businesses give annual donations to support the College programs and students. Others from our area generously volunteer their time, talent, and resources to support North Florida College.

Unrestricted funds and generous college support cover operating and fund-raising expenses, thereby ensuring supporters that their donations and all earned income from endowments are used exclusively for the intended purposes. Community colleges have a long way to go for parity among other colleges and universities. Private four-year colleges average $37,063 in endowment support per student; four-year public universities average $5,694 per student, which community colleges average only $255 per student. State funding is also less to community colleges than to public schools or the university system. If we are to continue our vital mission of providing over half of America’s college students with financial, academic, and geographic access to higher education, we must provide a more secure and predictable financial base.

There are two ways to ensure continuance of vital programs and services for special populations such as the academically gifted, the physically disabled, educationally and economically disadvantaged and others not served by traditional institutions of higher learning. One way is through an endowment. Endowments provide predictable sources of revenue to fund student scholarships. Another way is to give unrestricted contributions, which enables us to respond quickly to the changing needs of our community. These contributions provide instructional equipment as well as facility enhancement. They also support improvements in student learning, offer incentives for recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, and provide continued College-community partnerships which enhances the workplace and workforce, which in turn, improves the quality of life for our district. All Foundation funds are invested to achieve interest income.

The work of The Foundation is guided by a strategic plan. This plan defines The Foundation as essentially seeking endowments and other comprehensive giving programs to assure continued and future income to meet the needs of our students and College programs. It provides a focus on long-term goals as having priority over short-term objectives. The policies and procedures are also tied closely to the mission of the College. To keep members of the College and The Board of Trustees informed of The Foundation’s progress, the College President and a College Trustee sit on the Foundation Board of Directors. Highlights of the year are included in the President’s Annual Report.

The Foundation maintains many named scholarships and endowments, an academic support account, a library support account, a vocational fund, an alumni fund, and other miscellaneous accounts.

An amount of $25,000 establishes a named endowment account; a $1,000 donation is required to establish a named scholarship account, which is not endowed but temporarily restricted for scholarships only. Endowments may be established with a one-time gift or by a pledge with payments made over several years. Only the gains, dividends and interest earned on the endowment scholarship will be used to fund scholarships each year and will be awarded according to the donor’s intent. Endowment earnings are credited to the named endowed account to be available to support future scholarships with the principle being kept intact. Contributions to The Foundation can be made by cash, check, securities, gifts or property, or other saleable assets, trusts, annuities, or by bequest.