In about six weeks, North Georgia College & State University will wrap up its first-ever capital campaign, and it is turning to the public for help with raising the last $2 million.
For five years, through the capital campaign, “Living Our Values: The Campaign for North Georgia,” the university’s foundation has raised $38 million.
The goal is $40 million by June 30. Campaign leaders have opened up donations to the public to raise the final $2 million in less than two months.
“It’s a very, very tall order, but we think we’ll be able to do it, but we need everybody’s participation,” said Andrew Leavitt, North Georgia’s vice president for advancement.
About 20 percent of the campaign money will go to scholarship funds, and the rest will go to program support.
“In the public phase of the campaign, one of the biggest initiatives is increasing access to scholarships,” said Patricia Donat, vice president of academic affairs.
The campaign was kicked off in 2007 with a $10 million donation from Mike and Lynn Cottrell to support the school of business.
Since then, donations have come from alumni, corporate sponsors and community members.
“Some of our largest donors have been people who have not set foot in our classrooms, who understand the importance of having a university in the region and the fact that the university needs to be supported,” said Leavitt.
According to the university, less than 50 percent of the operating budget comes from state funds. The rest is made up in tuition, fees and private contributions.
“We’re starting to carry expenses on the foundation side that historically would be expenses from the operational side and that’s simply because the state dollars are declining and tuition can’t be raised,” said Leavitt.
That is why, officials say, this campaign is essential to providing fully engaged programs for the students.
“More and more our students are demanding and needing a learning environment that fully engages them and that really does require additional resources to provide them with those kinds of experiences,” said Donat.
Donations from the more than 7,500 participants so far have ranged from cash to property to stock and in value from $25 to $10 million.
“It’s been a wonderful recognition of our efforts to have members of the community, corporate sponsors, members of the alumni and the campus community really invest in this campaign because I think it speaks to the confidence that they have in the work that we have been doing and their commitment to invest in our further enhancement,” said Donat.
For more information on the campaign or how to donate, visit www.northgeorgia.org/capitalcampaign.