N.C. Central University provides a host of opportunities for students, alumni, and the community to support the university.
It all happens at the Division of Institutional Advancement. The division’s primary focus is to raise money through private donations in order to help prepare the students to become inspiring leaders. But things aren’t quite so simple. The division has to work hand in glove with the NCCU Foundation.
“By this being a public institution there needs to be an arm established that can accept charitable contributions and be able to tax and recede it by individuals so they can say they made a charitable contribution,” said Institutional Advancement’s Vice-Chancellor Gia Soublet.
“The foundation is our 501(c)(3) arm, we raise the money and they actually hold those funds for us. They are kind of like the accounting arm,” said Soublet. Here the “we” is Institutional Advancement and the “they” is the Foundation.
Institutional Advancements mobilizes alumni engagement, annual giving programs, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations to bring resources to the university and its students. Planned giving is when individuals leave funds supporting the university in their wills. But much of the funds are restricted at the donor’s request.
“Much of the money that we raise is what we call restricted, meaning that the donors make their donations they are inclined to want to direct their funding to specific causes. Some develop scholarships, many will just give generically to scholarships support, some establish scholarships in their name or endowed scholarships,” Soublet said.
Some of the money might be directed to scholarships in specific departments, some to specific academic or other programs, some to capital projects.
Foundation funds, on the other hand, are unrestricted and can be used as the university sees fit. They can be used to seed for one-time projects, to support experimental programs, to support faculty development, and, of course, to support students with scholarships, fellowships and awards.
“No matter what shifts may occur with urgencies that the university has or whatever priorities they may change, but at the top of the list will always be scholarship support for our students,” Soublet said.
Over the last three years, the NCCU Foundation has been awarded $3.5 million in scholarships.
Soublet’s primary concerns is to increase unrestricted annual funding.
“We encourage alumni to contribute to NCCU’s annual funding because no one knows the needs or cares more about the institution than alumni,” Soublet said
“We call it the annual fund because we want alumni to give annually. We want them to give every year,” Soublet said, adding that these unrestricted funds can then be used for important priorities and other urgent needs.