Annual contributions make an immediate impact on the lives of Bluefield State College students. These gifts are used in the fiscal year they are received and may be unrestricted or designated for a specific purpose.
These gifts support the Foundation’s Annual Scholarship Fund, which helps students with tuition, books and housing expenses. West Virginia donors can make gifts through the Neighborhood Investment Program, which offers tax credits through the state’s Development Office. These scholarships are given to disadvantaged students, most of whom are from neighboring counties.
Unrestricted giving is often overlooked, because donors of significant gifts (and even smaller ones) like to direct the use of their funds. Its importance, however, is vital. In basic terms, unrestricted giving pays the bills that nonprofits incur doing business and allows the organization to support opportunities for which designated funds are not in place. It's a gift that signifies trust in the Foundation Board and Executive Director, allowing them to decide how best to spend your generosity.
The primary source of unrestricted funds currently is the Blue & Gold Extravaganza. Started in 2008 to generate unrestricted income and enable local businesses and residents to donate gifts in kind, this annual event has become a popular way to enjoy food, fun and a silent auction.
Unrestricted gifts pay for the annual Bluefield State Postage Stamp Contest. The winning image is used as the Institution's official stamp and appears on ID cards and the Foundation's Facebook page during the following year. A limited edition is printed, and the Foundation gives a set to donors who have contributed $500 or more in the fiscal year as a token of appreciation. Additional sets of 10 are sold for $5.00, which does not fully cover the cost of production but keeps them affordable for the campus community and friends.
Unrestricted gifts also are used to make emergency loans to students that are repaid in the following semester. When such funds are limited, the Foundation is not able to help students who have unexpected car trouble, need to pay for books before their financial aid is paid, or encounter other unforeseen short-term problems. The costs of doing business paid by the Unrestricted Annual Fund include annual state registration, printing and catering for events. None are glamorous or necessarily interesting to a potential donor, but we can't do our work without them. Donors who make unrestricted gifts are true philanthropists, giving for the love of their fellows.