With the budget stretching thin across the sunshine state, every dollar is significant. One way universities and community colleges try to compensate for tough times is through private gifts that are matched by the state, but some higher education institutions won't be able to bank on that resource this year.
The 2003-04 state budget will provide full matching gift funding for community colleges, meaning a private donation of $50,000 at TCC would be matched 100 percent by the state. Without this, TCC heads fear donors would be discouraged.
But that's not the case at Florida’s 11 public universities. At FSU, a lack of matching gift funding in 2001 and 2002 has led to a backlog of $20.3 million in donations. FSU Foundation President, Jeff Robison, says donors have been very patient so far.
However, with a jump of almost $30 million in matching gift funding this year, Robison is quick to add the university is thankful for the additional dollars.
FSU officials are hopeful this year's increase is a sign of further support next year.