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2021 December 7

New endowment fund at Cabrillo College

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I try to direct my charitable giving either to organizations I feel a particular affinity for (like West Performing Arts, where my son had theater classes for 15 years, or the iGEM team at UCSC) or where I feel that the small amount I have to give will have outsize impact.  I really don’t see the point of giving money to rich organizations like Stanford University, and even my giving at UCSC is limited to giving to student projects that I feel some affinity for.


Our local community college is an efficient and effective way to improve education with small donations.

I have just given a gift (and a pledge for the next 4 years) to the Cabrillo College Foundation to start a new endowment fund—one to support the Cabrillo College Extension, which provides a large number of non-credit courses for kids, for working adults, and for retirees.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken one of the Extension courses, but now that I’m retired I’m much more likely to.

The Extension has been hurting for funds ever since the legislature has focussed almost exclusively on the transfer mission of the community colleges. And philanthropy through the Cabrillo College Foundation has focussed mainly on scholarships for matriculated students, with a little directed at the splashy cultural activities like the summer musicals, and some at vocational training—little or nothing was going to the Extension.

I’m not knocking the transfer mission nor the vocational training mission—those are indeed where the legislature should be investing in the college.  Nor am I knocking the cultural activities like summer musicals centered at the college—they are important also.  But people were overlooking the “recreational education” mission—the outreach to kids too young for college and the “making life good” courses for working adults and retirees.

I see the Extension as an essential part of Cabrillo College, but one that could easily be lost (many of the other community colleges have no such outreach to people who are not seeking degrees or certificates).  Since I was planning to give a modest amount to the Cabrillo College Foundation anyway, I asked how much it would take to set up an endowment fund for the Extension.  It turned out that I could afford to set up such a fund, if I spread the gifts out over a few years—so I’m doing that!  It isn’t a huge chunk of money, and the 4%/year payout will be a rather tiny amount for the Extension, but it’s a start.

If anyone else feels as I do that Cabrillo College Extension is a community treasure that is at risk, feel free to send a check to Cabrillo College Foundation, directing that the money be added to Cabrillo Extension Endowment (or just designating it as for the Extension program, in which case they can spend all the gift immediately rather than just the interest on it).  You can mail the check to Cabrillo College Foundation, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003 (please note the program you wish to support in the memo section of your check).  They also take donations on their website

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