The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announced the release of its 2008 Annual Report. In the report, the fund highlights that they have raised more than $100 million for college scholarships in their 22 year history. TMCF is the only national organization that provides resources, leadership development opportunities, scholarships and advocacy for students and alumni of the 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and six law schools in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
TMCF also brought 130 high school and college students from around the country to Washington, DC this spring for its Annual Civic Responsibility Conference and Student Advocacy Days (pictured). The 3-day events immerse attendees into the various careers within Federal civil service and pubic service. In addition to visiting Capitol Hill, they visited the State Department, Washington Navy Yard, and the Department of Energy. Pictured are HBCU students from Texas visiting the offices of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), and students from Florida visiting Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL).
The demand for assistance from TMCF and its partners grew exponentially during 2008 as the economic recession deepened, and families struggling with increased unemployment and less income found it even more difficult to afford college tuition and related expenses.
The Annual Report highlights the growth in fundraising, which surpassed $100 million in the 22-year history of the Fund. The strategic direction of the nonprofit organization focuses on five core competencies. These include:
• Creating opportunities for students and alumni through Leadership Development
• E-learning platform provides free leadership courses to all students
• Career Prep-connecting students to jobs and internships
• Scholarship funding
• Providing research and training opportunities to staff and faculty at member universities
"Our success in 2008 demonstrates that donors recognize the important role TMCF plays in supporting America's youth. Donor's dug deep, and continue to give, as they understand the needs are greater," said Dwayne Ashley, president and chief executive officer, who recently celebrated his 10-year anniversary leading the organization.
"As we refocused our programs to be more responsive to changes in the economic environment, we used technology to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while also expanding our programmatic reach to more students through online access portals," said Ashley.
TMCF also received a 4-star rating in 2008 for the second consecutive year by Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of charities in the United States. The rating recognizes TMCF as exceeding industry standards and outperforming most other similar organizations in financial health, organizational efficiency and overall capacity.
More than 80 percent of students at HBCUs attend TMCF-member colleges and universities, and 45 percent of our entering students are the first in their families to attend college. Moreover, 90 percent of students require some form of financial assistance to reach their dream of earning a college degree.
For more information, the full report can be accessed online at www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.