Philanthropy Focus: Investing in community

David Doolin
David Doolin

After moving "over the hill" from Silicon Valley in January, David Doolin wanted to immerse himself in Santa Cruz life and culture.

He holds a firm belief that it's important to be active in the community where you live. Not content just to be a Santa Cruz resident, he wanted to weave himself into its daily fabric.

It didn't take long for Doolin, an accountant, to take a big step. Seeking a meaningful philanthropic endeavor, he joined the Chancellor's Associates at UC Santa Cruz.

Money contributed to the fund is unrestricted—meaning the chancellor can use it where it's needed most, giving him flexibility to fund top-priority programs and seize new opportunities as they arise.

These funds have been used across the university to expand the library and enhance its offerings, initiate teaching and outreach programs, underwrite innovative research projects, and provide career-building internships.

To join Chancellor's Associates, a donor needs to have made gifts of $1,000 or more to the Chancellor's Associates Fund, the UCSC Fund, or the Parents Fund.

"It's not an overwhelming amount, but it has a very large impact," said Doolin. "You get a big bang for your buck."

Donations to these funds have been used to better serve students and the community, said Elizabeth Cowell, interim university librarian.

"The funds are helping us move forward with our vision," said Cowell. For example, the library used the money to relocate the East Asian collection downstairs, freeing up valuable study space on the entry level.

At the Science & Engineering Library, small renovations enabled by the funds have made the space more modern and useful.

Dry-erase boards have taken the place of old-school chalkboards. A granite desk has found new life as a laptop bar.

"These three things are really making the space better for the students," said Cowell.

The community benefits, too—most of the libraries' resources are available to the public.

As a firm believer in public education, Doolin says the Chancellor's Associates program is a perfect way to donate in an impactful way.

"I just want to support a university that's doing important work and making significant advances in research and social spheres," he said. "The chancellor knows where the money is most needed."