Galveston College Foundation
“They are meeting and exceeding all our expectations….”
Galveston Island, off the southeast coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, is a proud port community with a storied history of economic strength and people coming together after numerous natural and man-made disasters to rebuild and grow. Galveston College – the community college serving the island – is in the midst of its own rapid growth as it transitions to have the capacity and credibility to offer four-year programs in nursing and the health sciences. Much of this growth is fueled by the Galveston College Foundation, an independent 501c3 that supports and enhances the ability of Galveston College to achieve its mission of advancing people’s lives through lifelong learning. In less than 5-1/2 years the foundation has grown from $3 million in assets to $18 million.
Maria S. Tripovich, who serves as both Director of Development for the college and as Managing Director of the foundation, explains that this rapid expansion and an increased need for accountability necessitated bringing in outside accounting services with expertise in the nonprofit sector. Previously, the college’s business office had provided the foundation’s accounting, but it was having trouble keeping up with the rapid growth. “We needed someone who had the essential information that nonprofit accountants have in their wheelhouse, such as how pledges work, multi-year gifts, auditing, and how we should distribute 5% of our assets to students,” she says.
After consulting with colleagues from other community colleges, her board of directors – which includes bank presidents, foundation executives and accountants – authorized bringing in Your Part-Time Controller’s Houston office to meet the foundation’s short- and long-term needs. After discussions with officials, YPTC came on board and “It’s been paradise ever since.”
The foundation has a flagship endowment and is also growing a second endowment that will support students’ non-tuition educational expenses such as fees and books. Since YPTC began its work, the foundation has already raised $3.4 million towards a $6 million goal for the second endowment. YPTC is working on-site and remotely to help with the accounting and management of the investment portfolio as the foundation raises funds to construct a building for the nursing and health sciences programs.
“In every way YPTC has been not only very professional but also very charitable in making recommendations that have kept us in good stead. Without their good professional advice we wouldn’t be in our current shape. They are meeting and exceeding all our expectations. YPTC’s being available only 50 miles up the road has been huge to our progress,” she adds.