The San Bernardino Valley College Foundation has been named the 2018 Volunteer Group of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Inland Empire Chapter. AFP is an organization aimed at advancing philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. Every year, they recognize the great contributions from individuals in the community, corporate or industry volunteer teams, civic/service clubs, and other support groups. This year, the board of directors for SBVC’s Foundation was recognized for its commitment of time, energy and creativity to a focused fundraising effort. 
The SBVC Foundation, started in 1973, has the purpose of raising money for the college while sustaining and promoting the legacy of SBVC in the community. All 26 members of the board are volunteers, and Karen Childers, director of development and community relations at SBVC, said over the last few years, they have rededicated themselves to the organization by committing to attending bimonthly board meetings, participating in at least one committee, and making personal donations to the fund. 
"The passion demonstrated by SBVC Foundation Board of Directors shows as unselfishness and unity behind one goal: supporting San Bernardino Valley College students," Childers said. "Many directors are alumni themselves, and all share commitment to the college." 
In October 2016, in celebration of SBVC's 90th anniversary, the foundation held the largest fundraising gala in the college's history. This sold-out event brought in more than $142,000 for everything from student scholarships to textbook assistance, but they didn't stop there — over the entire year, the foundation raised $843,367, the highest annual total in its history.  
This past school year, the SBVC Foundation gave out $225,000 in scholarship awards to 321 students. With 99 percent of SBVC students coming from low-income families, these scholarships are lifesavers for many. "The effects of the directors' philanthropy are felt all over campus, but the most obvious impact is with student scholarships," Childers said. 
In addition to fundraising, the board has also recently created and approved a three-year strategic plan, brought back the Alumni Hall of Fame, and implemented a new investment policy. The members come from diverse professional backgrounds, but are all up to the task of making the board stronger than ever. 
"Each director uses his or her strengths to contribute to the foundation's mission to support higher education at San Bernardino Valley College," Childers said. "Because of the directors' work, the foundation enjoys esteem in the community, which in turn attracts additional donations, quality volunteers, and goodwill toward San Bernardino Valley College."