FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 8, 2023 – Raleigh, N.C. – The Paths for Success Foundation in Alabama has taken a bold step to empower its community college executives and development teams with cutting-edge fundraising expertise. In a rapidly changing landscape where the demand for fundraising in higher education is skyrocketing, the foundation has partnered with BrightDot, a renowned organization specializing in executive and development training for higher education fundraising across the nation.
In just 18 months, the Paths for Success Foundation has identified multiple strategies to serve Alabama’s community colleges. The foundation’s mission is to bridge the state’s employment gap by providing essential resources to support skills training, credentials, and certifications that lead to gainful employment for Alabama’s citizens. These resources encompass financial support from private donors, grants, and endowments.
Patty Hughston, the executive director of the foundation, underscores the organization’s broad-reaching mission, stating, “We are a statewide foundation with a statewide mission. We focus on short-term, fast-track, and in-demand training, breaking down barriers that hinder individuals from entering the workforce and earning a livable wage.”
Recognizing the importance of fundraising for community colleges, David Walters, Vice Chancellor for the Alabama Community College System and Paths for Success Foundation board member, spearheaded an initiative to equip the community college staff and board members with the skills needed to secure private philanthropic funding. Walters explains, “Part of what we do is ensure Alabama community colleges have the necessary private philanthropy funding to fulfill their mission.”
Enter BrightDot, led by former college president Bill Crouch, which is widely acclaimed as the country’s leading executive and development trainer for higher education fundraising. Walters elaborates, “Bill understands the unique needs we face. Their team designed a tailor-made program enabling all our community colleges to attend, network, share experiences, engage in role-playing, and acquire the latest fundraising skills.”
The inaugural Alabama Development and Fundraising Summit, conducted by BrightDot’s expert leaders, spanned 2-1/2 days and was marked by intensive training and community building. Lorene King, BrightDot’s regional vice president, underscores the practical emphasis of the event, saying, “Every attendee was expected to leave with a clear understanding of how to grow funding sources in their own communities. The positive feedback from attendees affirms that they achieved precisely that.”
The overarching theme of the event was “Unleash the Power to Be BOLD.” Attendees universally recognized that success in modern fundraising hinges on audacious confidence, the ability to solicit larger donations, and the art of building strong donor relationships.
Jeff Lynn, president of Central Alabama Community College, affirmed the pivotal role of fundraising in higher education, stating, “When my career led me to higher education, fundraising was not my top priority, but it is now. BrightDot’s creative and innovative approach delivered some of the best training I’ve ever attended. I’m committed to taking the necessary steps to prioritize fundraising at CACC.”
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