A Note from Our Director

Submitted by cwaite on Tue, 10/25/2016 - 12:43

Dear Camp Cooper Supporters, 

Thanks to you, we have raised enough funds to keep the center up and running for the 2017-18 program year. It's hard to believe that this is only our third year of major fundraising - Cooper had always been funded fully by either TUSD or UA College of Education over the previous 50 years. Unfortunately, budget cuts to education have made that impossible, and we've successfully struck out on our own to find funding within our community. 

Click the title for highlights from our 2017 fundraising efforts.

- Our April Crowdfunding Campaign raised $31,141, with 173 people making a donation! This was our most successful crowdfunding drive yet, raising more money and with more people contributing. A big part of our success was thanks to an anonymous donor who gave a $10,000 gift during the campaign and allowed us to use it for our social media sharing and dollar-for-dollar matching challenges. Thanks also to Gates Pass Area Neighborhood Association and Tucson Mountain Association, who matched gifts from their members up to $500 and to Dr. Bruce Johnson, who challenged UA College of Education donors to a matching challenge that raised over $2,000. Crowdfunding will continue to be an important fundraising strategy for Cooper for the foreseeable future! Click here to view my thank you message to our donors.

- The Marshall Foundation, which has supported Cooper with grants for the past two years, has made a critical investment in the Center for the next three years. Marshall has awarded us $50,000 a year for the next three years to fund Cooper's Assistant Director position. This multi-year gift will allow us to focus on other fundraising needs during that time. The Marshall Foundation is dedicated enhancing the lives of the citizens of Tucson and Pima County through its support of educational institutions. 

- The Ruth M. Tankersley Charitable Trust donated $25,000 to the Cooper Center Endowment Fund, doubling the Fund's value! For the Endowment to fully support staffing and operations at Cooper, we need to raise approximately $6 million. This is part of the long-term financial plan for our Center, which I will elaborate on later this summer.

- Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation renewed its support of the Cooper Center with a $20,000 grant award for the coming year. The Foundation's Vision is to foster a  community of engaged, well-educated people and opportunities for quality employment for all. They seek to accomplish this by  advancing society through education and training. 

- Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation also awarded Cooper a $20,000 grant, for use in capacity building for the Center. This gift will be used to hire a Development and Communications Consultant, who will work with me to find new sustainable sources of funding for Cooper. 

- The John & Helen Murphey Foundation has pledged $5,000 to staffing and operations at Cooper for the coming year. This is their second year of support for the Center.

Did you miss your chance to support us this spring? There's still time! You can add your gift to our fundraising efforts by following clicking here to visit our donation page. You can designate your gift for immediate use for staffing and operations costs or for the Cooper Center Endowment Fund for future use. All you have to do is click on the "Designation" tab to make your choice.

We are in excellent shape for the coming program year and have made great strides towards financial sustainability for long-term future of the Cooper Center. I will share more about our plans in the next issue of our e-newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy your summer, get out and enjoy nature as much as you can, and stay cool!

Yours in Service,

Colin "Jackrabbit" Waite