endowed scholarship update

The following is an open copy of the letter sent to Valencia Foundation endowed scholarship donors and scholarship contacts. 

Thank you for your continuing support of our mission to expand college access. We appreciate the difference you make in the lives of students through your endowed scholarship.

Because of that generosity, Valencia Foundation provided more than $3.4 million to Valencia when the most severe recession in recent memory was running full throttle. That’s about $130,000 more than the previous fiscal year.

We face tough economic challenges in serving students and managing scarce resources, but we have been able to maintain our foundation support this year because of donor loyalty and commitment.

You may have read in the newspaper about multi-billion-dollar university endowments suffering losses so significant that all spending has been suspended. As we balance the needs of our students with legal and fiscal accountability, I wanted to share with you the measures our board has taken to preserve your endowment. Because of their careful vigilance, we find only a handful of funds currently below their original corpus value as of Dec. 31, 2009. However, once spring disbursements have been recorded and our fiscal yearend figures examined by independent auditors, we shall evaluate each and every one of our 500 accounts, including yours.

We can’t predict what the next 18 months will bring economically, and we wish to be certain that we do not find ourselves in the position of other institutions which have had to freeze all disbursements from their endowments for several years.

So what does this mean?

  • First, we’ll be calculating each account individually to determine its value above corpus, your original gift plus any matching dollars. I will be able to share those numbers by mid-May, which is several weeks later than usual.
  • Second, in order to compensate for a potential “double dip” in market performance, we’ll be projecting your disbursement for two academic years (2010/11 and 2011/12) to ensure sustainability. Should the market continue to rebound, we’ll be able to expand disbursement in the second year.
  • Third, if we discover that your fund is below its corpus value, we’ll communicate with you personally to review our options.

The bottom line is that we want to honor our covenant to steward your investment, our legal fiduciary responsibility to manage contributions – and the urgent needs of students. In partnership with the college, student financial aid has increased threefold during this recession to a total of $90.4 million. Student enrollment has grown by one-third, at the same time the state’s allocation dropped by 12 percent.

We’re dedicated to working hand in hand with the college to do more with less – and to serve our community.

We won’t let you down.

Should you have any questions, please contact me or our donor stewardship manager, Donna Marino, at (407) 582-3128 or dmarino@valenciacc.edu. To learn more about Valencia Foundation, visit us at www.valencia.org.

Warmly,
Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE
President and CEO
Valencia Foundation

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