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New development director at college district foundation

Posted on: Sep 22, 2016 1:00:00 AM
In: Grossmont, District, Cuyamaca
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Contact: Della Elliott (619) 644-7690 della.elliott@gcccd.edu

Lori Schick, a 17-year philanthropy professional who has raised funds for causes as varied as education, regional theater and tropical forest conservation, is the new director of development for the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges.

The Escondido resident, who worked the last 2½ years as director of development for Nature and Culture International, a Del Mar-based nonprofit supporting tropical forest conservation efforts in South America and Mexico, is now fundraising for the Foundation, the philanthropic partner for East County’s two community colleges. She will primarily focus on raising money for the Higher Edge Promise Scholarship program, a joint effort by the college district and the Grossmont Union High School District to prepare high school students for college and career opportunities. Key to the program is providing a free year at Grossmont or Cuyamaca College to qualified high school graduates, starting with the class of 2019.

Sally Cox, the Foundation’s executive director, said the organization will benefit from Schick’s proven skills at fundraising and relationship-building, adding that engaging the community is crucial to developing the financial infrastructure to bolster the Higher Edge Promise Scholarship.

“Fundamental to our work at the Foundation is to spread the message of the importance of a postsecondary education,” Cox said. “We are drawing attention to the valuable role our colleges play in the community and the transformative power they have on people’s lives. We are lucky to have someone like Lori who has the passion to help drive this effort.”

Schick, whose first full-time fundraising job was as the major gift officer for the College of Sciences with Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, said she is happy to return to working in the higher education arena. When she saw the foundation job posting, she was reminded of the formative year she spent as a student at Santa Monica College.

“I had started classes with low expectations, but I ended up having some of the best teachers I have ever had in a learning environment that was much more diverse and interesting than I had expected,” said Schick, who went on to earn Bachelor of Arts and MBA degrees from San Diego State University. “I had those good memories and when I learned about the community of students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges and about the Higher Edge Scholarship program, I was sold.”

At Old Dominion University, she traveled extensively, building relationships with alumni across the nation. She raised $800,000 her first year and continued to reach annual goals until leaving to relocate to the West Coast.

After moving to San Diego, she was hired as director of institutional development for San Diego Repertory Theatre, where she raised over $1 million per year in contributions and $1 million in annual ticket sales during her five-year stint. That was followed by her years with Nature and Culture International, which works with indigenous communities and local governments in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico to save tropical forests that are among the most biologically diverse sites on the planet.

Schick said she is looking forward to promoting the Higher Edge Promise Scholarship and explaining its importance to East County.

“I love fundraising, especially the part of the job that involves getting to know prospective donors and finding that place where their passions and the needs of the college can intersect through philanthropy,” she said.

Lori SchickLori Schick
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