The Columbia Chronicle

Students network with authors during departmental reading series

By Katherine Savage

February 26, 2018

In his forthcoming book, “A Guest in the House of Hip-Hop: How Rap Music Taught a Kid from Kentucky What a White Ally Should Be,” author Mickey Hess explores his past and how he became a Hip-Hop and American Culture professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The book, scheduled to be published Nov. 15 by Ig Publishing, “is my attempt to tackle what the hell I thought I was doing,” Hess said during a Feb....

Shelters heat up while Chicago cools down

Shelters heat up while Chicago cools down

February 19, 2018

After cold spells and heavy snowfall, Chicagoans bundled up and headed indoors to avoid the winter freeze, but not everyone had a warm place to call home.Chicago experienced nine straight days of snow F...

GoFundMe can show what we get wrong about charity

By Editorial Board

February 5, 2018

Does a Chicago Police Department officer with a history of harming civilians deserve your donation?Officer Robert Rialmo and his attorney think so. Attorney Joel Brodsky posted a GoFundMe campaign Jan. 23 to cover his client’s legal fees as Rialmo faces misdemeanor charges for an alleged Dec. 17 bar fight. The city refused to cover the cost of Rialmo’s legal representation after he fired the law firm provided to him by the...

‘Changing Youth’ one cent at a time

‘Changing Youth’ one cent at a time

October 16, 2017

While on vacation in Florida three years ago, 10-year-old Ava Santos-Volpe stumbled upon a yellow parking meter that was dedicated to provide help to the homeless.After Tracy Baim, Windy City Times pub...

Harvey’s aftermath is a lesson in long-term support

By Editorial Board

September 11, 2017

Atefter its assault on Texas beginning Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey left a lifetime’s worth of ruin in its wake. Fifty lives were swept away by the storm’s wrath, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott estimated the storm caused up to $180 billion in damages. With at least 100,000 homes affected by the storm, some families don’t know when, if ever, they will be able to return home. Young adults, like those who make up Columbia’...

Tea on tap: Kombucha bar opening in Logan Square

Tea on tap: Kombucha bar opening in Logan Square

April 24, 2017

Flavors of fermented tea that include rosemary, pineapple and jalapeño are among the 20 that will be on tap at The Kombucha Room, 2355 N. Milwaukee Ave., opening April 29. Logan Square’s  tap room w...

Roger Guenveur Smith brings ‘Rodney King’ show to Chicago

Roger Guenveur Smith brings ‘Rodney King’ show to Chicago

By Arts & Culture Editor

January 26, 2015

Recent events have made police brutality and excessive force prevalent topics of conversation in the U.S. Actor Roger Guenveur Smith performed his one-man show, “Rodney King,” Jan. 24 at the DuSab...

Featured Athlete: Pierce Harger

Featured Athlete: Pierce Harger

January 26, 2015

Pierce Harger, a fifth-year senior at Northwestern University double majoring in economics and industrial engineering, has been wrestling since the age of four. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Harger was re...

Late fees help feed those in need in winter

Late fees help feed those in need in winter

November 24, 2014

In an effort to gather food donations for Chicago Lights, a nonprofit social advocacy group at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Columbia’s library has created a fine forgiveness program c...

College reboots its fundraising

By Campus Editor

October 13, 2014

To keep tuition rates stable, enhance curricula and continue providing cutting-edge technology, the college is making serious efforts to increase fundraising revenue this academic year.In the last year, Columbia’s ability to fundraise was called into question when the Office of Institutional Advancement was dismantled and the Department of Development was created in its place. Jonathan Stern, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations, joined the college in August to begin his fundraising duties by raising revenue from current and prospective donors in an effort to better manage increasing expenses. “The more money we can raise for scholarships, the programs that we have and new initiatives instead of always raising tuition is better,” Stern said. “[The college] had an emphasis on scholarships before, and we continue because students are the bread and butter of an institution.”Stern said the entirety of fundraising revenue goes to areas that benefit students, not to administration, faculty or staff salaries.The Chronicle examined Form 990s, annual tax statements that nonprofits are required to submit to the Internal Revenue Service, and fundraising reports from the Office of Development. For the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, which ran from Sept. 1–Aug. 31 of each year, the 990 and the Development report paint different pictures.According to the Form 990s, the college saw a 7.92 percent increase in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012, while the Office of Development report shows that the college experienced a 40 percent decrease in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012. According to Stern, the difference in the data comes from the fact that the Form 990 does not report pledges, which are commitments from donors to give a certain amount of money over a number of years. The 990 only reports how many dollars the college actually collected that year.Although the Development Report indicates a decrease in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012, increase in 2013 from 2012 to $19.6 million. Stern said the large increase could be because of pledges made in 2013 in which the college did not receive the entire pledge that year, but donors made a commitment to add to the pledges over time. “As people make one-time large gifts or they make multi-year pledges, their commitment is finished,” Stern said. “Oftentimes after campaigns, people fall off a little bit, but we’re going to try to build that pretty quickly.”According to the 2012 Form 990, which reported that the college’s fundraising revenue was $12.74 million, the college received approximately $3 for every dollar it spent on fundraising initiatives. In previous years, the college worked with James F. Feldstein, president of Charles R. Feldstein and Company, Inc., a third-party firm that helps with fundraising endeavors. However, that relationship has been severed, and the college is currently not working with any outside firms and does not have plans to do so because the college is not currently in an official campaign, according to Stern.In addition to dropping the firm, Stern said the college has also decided to discontinue its Open Doors Gala, an annual fundraising event that used its proceeds to provide financial support to Chicago Public School graduates who want to attend the college. As reported Nov. 18, 2013, by The Chronicle, last year’s Open Doors Gala raised approximately $550,000. Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO, said the college decided not to host the gala this year because of a decreased interest in the event, adding that fundraising events are not the best way to raise money because they can be time-consuming and costly to organize.“Our sense was that the gala had gotten a little stale,” Kim said. “We needed to take a pause and ask ourselves, ‘What is it exactly that we’re trying to accomplish with this gala, and are we doing it the best possible way?’ Plus, with all the change in staff in Development, it didn’t seem like a good moment to just repeat something that we’ve been doing.” According to the 2012 Form 990, the college made $638,885 in donation receipts from the Open Doors Gala for college programs, $75,495 from the MoCP Gala and $57,490 from two other unidentified events. However, it cost the college $298,771 to host the events.Nancy Rampson, director of Development, told The Chronicle she didn’t have time to comment on the matter.  In addition to changing fundraising strategies, Kim said the college plans to hire more people in the Office of Development who have expertise in fundraising.“Until we build up a critical mass of people who are constantly out and about meeting with people, talking about Columbia and our future and starting to connect that future to people’s interests, we’re just not going to be successful,” Kim said.Stern said because the college has no plans for any fundraising events this year, he will instead focus his attention on connecting with donors. He said the college brings in revenue from a multitude of individuals, which include alumni, corporations, foundations and government sources. He also said the college approaches each type of donor differently. “We have different strategies and different ways of things with each of those groups, but each of those groups provides contributed revenue toward the institution,” Stern said.In addition to attracting new donors, Stern said he also plans to meet with current donors to continue their relationship of giving to the college.“You’re out there meeting and thanking people,” Stern said. “We’re hoping to have people repeat their contributions or maybe increase them.”Although Stern said he was unable to predict fundraising revenue for this year, he said he is optimistic about future fundraising endeavors.“There’s a lot of work to do in understanding the culture here and the people, but we’re organizing our organization,” Stern said. “We’re reaching out to individuals, and we’re systematically trying to build a top-notch fundraising operation.”

Freetember art classes hope to leave a mark on Chicago

Freetember art classes hope to leave a mark on Chicago

September 8, 2014

The International School of Comics is offering free art classes throughout the month of September as part of a campaign called Freetember.The idea for the  event was born from multiple sources, but a...

Self-funded campaigns unethical

March 10, 2014

With the Illinois gubernatorial election only eight months away, criticism and promises from each candidate are growing louder. In the case of Republican frontrunner Bruce Rauner, the scrutiny reached new heights when statewide labor organization AFL-CIO filed an ethics complaint against him.The organization claimed it filed the complaint because Rauner violated the Illinois Procurement Code, which outlines what constitutes...

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