21st Century Foundation and The City College Fund
January 18, 2018
We are pleased to announce that the 21st Century Foundation and the City College Fund recently agreed to terms that, over the next few months, will guide their combination into a new entity—a single Foundation overseeing philanthropy in support of The City College of New York and to advance the vision we all share for the College’s future prosperity.
The new Foundation will build on the historic legacies of both organizations, each of which have worked for decades to strengthen and advance the mission of the City College of New York. Both organizations are led by CCNY alumni with strong track records of supporting the College. Both manage vast resources that have supported student scholarships, endowed named professorships, underwritten academic and co-curricular programs, and in many other ways ensured that CCNY is able to offer the very best educational opportunities to our students. Their leadership has enabled City College to remain a vital institution.
Increasingly, colleges like CCNY cannot serve their students or fulfill their mission without support from vigorous philanthropic organizations. In the end, both boards agreed that a single entity would be more nimble, efficient, powerful, and capable of executing a strategic growth and development plan than either foundation could achieve operating on its own. We anticipate that the new Foundation will both preserve and cherish the legacy of generosity that marked the foundations’ previous work, and advance that work in new and robust ways. We are all enthusiastic about this prospect.
To accomplish this combination, we will be working particularly hard over the next few months. In the short term, the heretofore separate development offices working at City College will implement a single program of development activity. We also will begin combining the databases of the two foundations, so that we have a clear and unified record of donors to CCNY, and maintain our strong relations with them. At the same time, the two boards will be selecting individuals to serve on the combined board, and from among those individuals, selecting an executive committee. We are hopeful that these efforts will take approximately one month. Over the longer term, we will be working to combine the financial infrastructure of the two foundations, establishing an investment strategy, assuring that every donation has a clear and complete set of records, and organizing those records into a single database. During this period, and until the new Foundation is formed, we will maintain separate financial records for each of the two foundations, but we expect to be able to combine those records into one financial ledger by the start of the new fiscal year. For the remainder of this year, pledge payments on existing donations can therefore be applied to the foundation to which the donation was originally made. It is our expectation that by July 1, 2018, all donations and pledge payments will be able to be paid to the new Foundation, which will, by then, be managing all CCNY philanthropy.
In order for this new Foundation to be fully operational, we will need to receive approval from the New York State Attorney General’s office, and we will be working over the next several months to secure that approval. We are confident that the combination of our two foundations is both in the best interest of the City College of New York, and in keeping with current best practices in collegiate philanthropy—and thus well positioned to receive approval from the AG’s office. Following AG approval we will then need to receive IRS approval as well.
There is much to do over the next several months in order to build this new Foundation, but when finished, we are confident that the work will have been worth it, and the new Foundation will elevate the City College of New York in ways we’ve only been able to dream of before. All of us have worked with the College, and will continue to work with the College for one reason—because the historic mission of CCNY is vital to our students, our city and to our nation. That ethos, embraced by the men and women of the City College Fund and the 21st Century Foundation, is certain to invigorate the activity of the new Foundation. Supported by the combined strengths of both boards, we have every faith that the new Foundation will help to guide future years of dynamic and stable growth at the College.
If you have any questions about our process and progress, we welcome you to contact Dee Dee Mozeleski, the interim executive director of the 21st Century Foundation, at 212-650-7396, or, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen R. Karafiol