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Foundation fund raises for textbooks

Without fellow Alumni, the Palomar College Foundation’s funding would be cut short.

The Palomar College Foundation is the primary fund raising group for student financial help, text book assistance and scholarships. Their funding ranges from donations through Alumni, big corporations, and even congressmen. They are the biggest fundraising group for the college but are an unsanctioned organization.

Scholarship coordinator, Kim Hartwell, said the Foundation’s only purpose is to “help students be successful by removing financial barriers.” She also said that most of the scholarships for this semester are closing.

Each year the foundation raises between $2.5 million and $3.3 million primarily in part to its individual contributions.

The Foundation’s executive director Richard Talmo said that the majority of the donations come from individual sources.

Talmo also said that if it weren’t for alumni, a majority of the Foundation’s revenue would be non-existent. The reason for this is that an alumni is a direct source to contact those in charge where they are working. The majority of the employees are great at what they do, which leads to a more open wallet when asking for funding.

He described how one of our own past students is one of the head guys in San Diego with the construction company working on campus, and if it weren’t for him the company wouldn’t have donated over $500,000 for campus events.

Another example would be San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE). Talmo explained that they spent a long time trying to get SDGE to contribute, “but they just wouldn’t”. This changed when a corporate board member who knew one of the Palomar College Board members and was able to get someone from corporate SDGE to tour the campus.

After the tour, Talmo said “all of the sudden money started to flow,” implying that if it weren’t for the personal relation with the SDGE corporate member, they would still be working on getting funding from SDGE to this day.

Talmo also said that Congressman Darrell Issa and his wife Kathy Issa are one of the biggest contributors. “His politics is his politics but their heart is generous as it can be,” Talmo said.

On average 65-80% of all money raised will go back to the college community. when asked about this, Talmo said that any foundation is “always trying to balance getting as much money back to the cause as possible and still being able to run your operation.” In a sense, he’s saying there could always be more money given back to the students but at the cost of the foundation running smoothly.

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