GC2020: Uniquely Focused — Capital Campaign Case for Financial Support
For more than 175 years, Greensboro College has offered a liberal-arts education in the Methodist tradition of openness to all at the intersection of faith and reason. Despite challenges over the decades ranging from debt to structure fires, the college has not only endured, but also thrived. Greensboro College alumni have excelled in business, the arts and sciences, education, and beyond, leaving their mark in leadership roles from the local classroom, office, studio, and pulpit to the U.S. Congress.
The college has had an impact in its community, from its earliest days as the second college for women in the South to current support of local charities. Its students have a long history of community service, and it has opened its doors to the community for art exhibits, performances, lectures, and other events. Its estimated direct, annual economic impact in greater Greensboro is more than $60 million.
Having overcome recent financial challenges during the Great Recession, today GC is in good standing with its accrediting bodies, vendors, banks and the federal Department of Education. On a balanced and realistic budget it serves roughly 1,000 traditional undergraduates, adult learners, and middle college students, preparing all for a lifetime of learning, work, and service in a close-knit community with deep ties to downtown Greensboro, from business to the arts and other nonprofits.
Greensboro College is focused on the future. The college has developed, approved, and undertaken a five-year strategic plan, “GC2020: A Clear Vision With a Sharp Focus,” based upon revised vision and mission statements that reaffirm the college’s historical values while looking ahead to the promise and challenges of the new century. The five-year strategic plan rests upon three pillars: 1. Greensboro College is and will be a liberal-arts college. 2. It is a college of the church, affiliated with the United Methodist Church. 3. Within five years it will become a Universal Design for Learning environment at the institutional level.
The college seeks financial support to help bring that plan to fruition through the capital campaign GC2020: Uniquely Focused.
Our Strategic Priorities
Greensboro College’s Latin motto, Palma Non Sine Pulvere, commonly is translated as, “No prize without effort.” The college has set a goal of $15 million in cash, in-kind gifts, estate gifts, and pledges to be committed by June 30, 2020, to implement the more than 100 specific goals of the strategic plan, as well as to pay the costs associated with the campaign. More than $12 million in outright and planned gifts have been committed during the quiet phase of the campaign.
To fund the work of the strategic plan, Greensboro College has launched a capital campaign to provide for four major areas of need:
- student financial assistance
- faculty and staff compensation and professional development
- academic programs
- facilities updates
Funding for student financial assistance is our most critical ongoing need. A majority of students who attend a private college need help to afford it. Financial assistance in the form of scholarships is crucial for GC students to afford tuition and minimize student-loan debt. In fact, all students who attended GC throughout the years have benefitted from the generosity of those who came before them. Donors may support financial assistance in two ways: by establishing a scholarship endowment fund (or giving to an existing one) and/or making a yearly gift to the GC Fund. Part of every gift to the GC Fund helps support financial assistance through the college’s operating budget. Increasing the college’s endowment is an important way to strengthen its financial operations and, in an era of college costs growing much faster than inflation, makes additional student financial aid possible. Many donors like to give annual gifts for scholarships and then endow those gifts in perpetuity through an estate gift that funds that annual gift forever. Student financial assistance remains our top priority in building endowment for the future.
Faculty and Staff Compensation and Professional Development:
At the heart of the Greensboro College educational experience are faculty and staff who are experts in their fields and committed to building the close personal relationships with students that help them to thrive. Our largest annual budget expense – about 53% – is dedicated to compensation and professional development of those who provide the curricular and extracurricular experience of our students. Giving to The GC Fund is critical in providing operating funds and is the most immediate way a donor can impact every student and every educator. Our operating revenue is provided largely by tuition, so growing annual giving to the GC Fund is critical to increasing budget revenue and the college’s financial security. Endowment funds that support operations are also an important way donors can support GC. A robust enrollment, and growing the annual fund – the GC Fund – will allow us to offer market-competitive faculty and staff compensation, which is a top budget priority.
We must invest in academics to ensure that the education program remains timely and relevant for today and for the student’s lifetime. We are seeking current and endowment funds for academic program improvements and enhancements.
The GC2020 Strategic Plan does not call for major new construction; however, GC faces a significant backlog of capital improvements. Specific priorities for capital improvements still are being determined; however, general priorities are: 1) health and life safety; 2) building integrity; 3) providing student support and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (as a matter of law and as part of the implementation of UDL), and 4) connect with the Downtown Greenway.
Summary of Priority Needs
- GC Fund (annual funds) $1.5 million
- Endowment Funds $10 million
- Capital Improvements $3.5 million
How You Can Help
From its beginning, Greensboro College’s students have benefitted from the generous gifts of many donors. In good times and bad, college alumni and other supporters have made that investment to make possible for others – some to be born years later – the transformative education that Greensboro College provides. So, too, we ask you today to support this work, to make the effort for which the college’s motto calls, toward that Palma or prize that will benefit Greensboro College’s students and its community today and tomorrow.
Ways to Give
Every donor can make an impact at Greensboro College and not only the wealthy may be philanthropists. Every gift to GC makes a difference, and we need everyone to contribute as best they can! Gifts may take a number of different forms and be structured in a number of different ways.
Donors may make one-time gifts or may fulfill pledges over the campaign period of three to five years. Gifts of cash, as well as stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets, are welcome. Greensboro College is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and all gifts to the college are tax-deductible as allowable by law. Current gifts can help meet immediate needs; however, some donors may wish to consider deferred giving opportunities. A member of the Institutional Advancement staff can help a potential donor explore giving opportunities; donors also are encouraged to consult their financial advisors for guidance on their specific tax situations.
Tax considerations are seldom the primary reason people give; however, the opportunity to choose how your resources are used — to pay taxes or to make charitable gifts — often determines how a gift will be made and how large it will be.
Cash gifts are the simplest way to make a gift to Greensboro College and are fully tax-deductible. GC Fund and endowment gifts may be set up as pledges on a payment schedule to pay by check, or charge to your credit or debit card. Greensboro College operates on an academic fiscal year July 1 – June 30, so pledges to the GC Fund must be paid within a fiscal year.
Capital or endowment pledges may be fulfilled in installments over a period of up to five years. We will send a periodic reminder of your pledge status to let you know when your next installment payment is due. A campaign pledge card is available for this purpose.
For many donors, a gift of appreciated securities may be more cost-effective than a gift of cash. If you own a stock, bond, or a mutual fund that has grown in value, that security has probably appreciated. Gifts of appreciated securities owned longer than one year are tax deductible at the fair market value on the date of the gift. Remember that you must make a gift of the security itself, rather than selling it first and donating the cash, in order to avoid tax on the profit. There is no capital gains tax associated with a gift of appreciated securities.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
If you are 70½ or older at the time of the gift, you may make a tax-free gift to GC from your IRA. Known as the IRA charitable rollover, this law no longer has an expiration date so you are free to make annual gifts to us from your IRA this year and well into the future. You may transfer up to $100,000 directly from your IRA. This opportunity applies only to IRAs and not other types of retirement plans.
Some donors may choose to make a gift to Greensboro College of their private residence, commercial property, vacation home, farm, or undeveloped land. As with stock gifts, the income tax deduction for appreciated real estate may be taken at the full market value of that property on the day of the gift, and no capital gains tax is owed. A gift of real estate is generally more complex than cash or securities, and an advancement officer will be pleased to explore this option with you more fully.
Planned or Deferred gifts — also called planned gifts or future commitments — are different from current outright gifts because Greensboro College will not realize the asset until some point in the future. Many donors choose to establish endowments through planned estate gifts. Some donors provide funding during their lifetime for a special interest each year, and then provide permanent funding for that interest through their estate gift. Such endowment giving can be considered in the context of “legacy,” an investment that will continue impact for succeeding generations of Greensboro College students and faculty. Many gifts to endowment are made through planned gifts through estates.
Any supporter of Greensboro College, regardless of financial ability, can plan an ultimate gift to GC’s endowment that will provide a source of income for the college forever. In many cases, a donor can accomplish more for their family and GC with a planned gift than with other charitable options.
If you have any questions or would like to investigate alternative ways to structure your gift or pledge, please contact the Institutional Advancement Office at Greensboro College.
Donor recognition and stewardship is an important part of a capital campaign. Naming opportunities are available to recognize major gifts; however, all donors will be recognized regardless of the size of the gift. There are permanent naming opportunities for scholarships; professorships and staff positions; the five academic schools; certain campus buildings, rooms and other architectural and campus ground features; and lecture series. The list is available next on the website and from the Office of Institutional Advancement.
Institutional Advancement Officers
|Anne Jones Hurd ’81||Ellie Puckett Yearns ’05|
|Vice President Chief Advancement Officer||Assistant Vice President|
|Major and Planned Gifts||Major Gifts, GC Fund, and Pride Club|