When fundraising professionals talk with donors, they sometimes are told, “I can’t afford to make a gift that will make any difference.”
In the past, when my business card identified me as a Major Gifts Officer, individuals would look at it and say, “I’m not rich, I can’t help you.” Colleges and other charitable organizations often publicize six- and seven-figure gifts that are, indeed, transformative. That is especially true for a small, relatively young College such as New River CTC.
The truth is, every gift matters.
Some of the donors making million-dollar gifts started helping their alma mater when they were young alumni with not much more than a dream, a good business plan, and an education.
If the Advancement staff developed positive relationships by expressing appreciation, involving alumni as volunteers and helping to promote success stories, an initial annual gift of $10 or $20 could well grow as the years go by. Others, such as those who work as teachers, nurses, or in the trades, continue to support those who follow in their footsteps with modest gifts.
The impact of their cumulative giving, particularly in concert with others giving similar amounts, can change lives. The act of giving – making an investment in our students’ success – is what’s important.
New River CTC employees who felt they couldn’t make any difference with what they could afford to give through payroll deduction learned that, at the end of the year, a $2 gift per pay period would pay a student’s orientation fee. Some of our students fear they aren’t able to complete their studies because they can’t afford gasoline or child care.
What might seem like a small gift could make all the difference in the world to a student who is able to complete a certificate program or associate’s degree and secure a well-paid job or advanced degree at a four-year college.
Every gift matters, because the giver has chosen to say, “I’ll help you.”
Karen Harvey, CFRE,
New River CTC Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Good Grades Pay Off at New River CTC
New River CTC’s Enrollment Services offers Presidential Scholarship applications that are available through high school counselors in the spring of each year for current high school students who are graduating and meet guidelines.
High school graduate applicants must be in good standing with a verified overall GPA of 3.0.
The Presidential Scholarship is designed to provide full tuition for up to four consecutive semesters beginning with the fall semester and excluding summer terms. Each recipient must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to receive the scholarship each semester.
Graduating seniors who qualify may also request an application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 304-929-6720.
Laura Bayer Awarded Science, Engineering and Technology Scholarship
Laura Bayer, a student at the Raleigh County Campus, has been awarded a West Virginia Engineering, Science and Technology Scholarship through a program designed to enable and encourage academically talented individuals to pursue careers in the fields of engineering, science and technology. The scholarships, worth up to $3,000 per academic year, are awarded on the basis of academic qualifications and interest in the fields of study.
Bayer is pursuing associate degrees in environmental science and general education. She was awarded a certificate for community service for her efforts to deliver water to people affected by the chemical spill that occurred in the Charleston area in 2014.
One of the requirements of her scholarship is that she get a job in a scientific field after graduation. She doesn’t anticipate any problem meeting that requirement, since she wants to improve a variety of environmental issues in the country, she said.
From Full-Time Mother to Full-Time LPN: Kimberly Clark’s story
Kimberly Clark is a full-time Licensed Practical Nurse today, working in a rural health clinic in Pocahontas County. She had a long road to get there. A divorced mother, she postponed her education to raise her two children.
She started as a part-time student at New River Community and Technical College while still taking care of her children, and working as a home caregiver and resident assistant in a mental health group home. A third part-time job disappeared during the economic downturn.
Kimberly persisted in her goal to become a nurse, commuting 75 miles each way to classes and maintaining a 3.4 GPA. She received a Pell grant, but it would not cover the cost of attending the Practical Nursing program full-time.
When she had the opportunity to apply for scholarships, her biology professor, Joe Massey, wrote the following: “I highly recommend Kimberly for a Foundation scholarship. If her performance in my class is any indication of how she will succeed, Kimberly will be a positive addition to any program.”
She was awarded the Elizabeth W. Runyon Scholarship and the Madlyn E. Fort Health Sciences Scholarship, both of which are designated for students in Health Sciences with financial need. With her scholarships, Kimberly was able to resign from one of her jobs to attend New River CTC as a full-time student.
“Please make sure my benefactors get a copy of this publication,” she wrote. “I am so very thankful to them for making it possible to graduate from the Nursing Program.”
On July 19, 2014, she and 36 other graduates celebrated their entrance to the nursing profession in a pinning ceremony.