Consultant: Keys college needs to keep fundraising goals modest

skinney@keynoter.comApril 30, 2014 

Florida Keys Community College, with an eye on long-term fundraising, is going to develop a "giving society" targeting alumni of the small Stock Island school.

Meeting Monday, the college's Board of Trustees had a wide ranging discussion about fundraising following a presentation from consultants from the firm CCS, with offices in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe.

Bo Rice, managing director for CCS in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, described putting together a focus group of 80 Monroe County residents to gauge attitudes and prospective giving as it relates to the college.

"At this time," he told trustees through a speaker phone, "we do not feel confident in your ability to go out and secure $10 million or even $5 million. You do have the ability to develop an emotive, compelling and urgent case. There's a lot of work to be done."

Those lofty fundraising goals, even with a three- to five-year pledge period, can't be supported by Monroe County residents, Rice said.

"The results here disappointed us. We're not able to recommend a campaign at this time," he said.

He said $400,000 is a more realistic goal and recommended creating a fundraising strategy coordinated with the college's fundraising support organization, the FKCC Foundation.

Trustee Anne O'Bannon has been a member of the 12-member foundation board for four years and criticized the organization as simply stewarding money, not raising it.

Board members tentatively agreed to have a workshop in May to discuss fundraising goals that would subsequently be spelled out for the foundation.

"When you're on a board like this, you're either here to give or here to get people to give," college President Jonathan Gueverra said of the foundation board.

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