UNCF (the United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, announced today a $1.12 million grant from The Kresge Foundation, a three-year commitment to renew support of the Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) and formally launch its newly-enhanced operating model.
This new ICB grant will enable UNCF to provide technical assistance to 12 of its 37 member colleges and universities, including $214,000 in institutional awards. These funds will be aimed to attract and retain growing numbers of African American and other traditionally-underrepresented students seeking a college education.
The grant will also support:
- Best practices in the core areas of institutional advancement, enrollment and fiscal management
- The hiring of new ICB program staff
- Production and dissemination of an annual ICB publication
- Six training webinars produced on best practices related to enrollment management,
institutional advancement and reaffirmation preparation
- Reaffirmation preparation for network-wide impact and use
“UNCF values The Kresge Foundation’s sustained commitment to our cause, and this renewed support will only further our mission of helping more deserving African-American, low-income, and first-generation students make it to and through college,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF President and CEO. “We are deeply grateful for this continued partnership and generous financial support.”
UNCF launched the ICB in 2006, with $8 million in seed funding from The Kresge Foundation. ICB’s primary objectives are to strengthen UNCF’s member institutions and ensure all remain fully accredited. This includes customized technical assistance, institutional grant awards, professional development, and communities of practice that provide opportunities for idea exchange and interaction.
“The Kresge Foundation has a long history of supporting HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities),” stated Chera D. Reid, Education Program Officer at The Kresge Foundation. “HBCUs are critical institutions in the college completion agenda, particularly for African-American and underrepresented students, and we want
to see these colleges and universities continue to thrive. The work of UNCF through
ICB aligns directly with this goal.”
UNCF member institutions have lauded ICB as critical in helping their colleges remain viable and competitive choices for incoming students of color seeking a college education. Since ICB’s launch, many have seen increases in private giving, enrollment, and improved performance during the reaffirmation of accreditation process. UNCF believes these are clear returns on investments of targeted technical assistance, thanks to the support of Kresge.
Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. used their ICB funds to help launch a major capital campaign in 2011 with a goal of $94.6M, which they have now reached. The university has seen increases in student retention, student enrollment, and their endowment, and Claflin currently has the highest percentage of alumni giving of any HBCU at 52.2%.
“UNCF’s ICB has measurably helped our university move to higher heights, from substantially increasing our fundraising efforts to increasing our student enrollment,” said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, President of Claflin University, which was named HBCU of the year in July by HBCU Digest. “We are now able to compete with some
of the top institutions in this country to attract and retain some of the best and brightest students, faculty and staff.”