Innovation Fund

The CCAE Board of Directors established this three-year plan to make CCAE financially stable in 2017. In that time we have raised a considerable portion of those funds, and have made progress on the goals set out in the Growth Plan.

Innovation Fund, 2017 - 2020

CCAE’s Board of Directors tasked newly-hired Executive Director Linda Burton in 2017 with developing a three-year plan to make CCAE financially stable, no small undertaking given the challenges that the world of adult education faces right now. The plan was to outline a strategy to keep the Center sustainable, robust and relevant as a community leader and cultural institution.

To make the plan successful, the board realized that a substantial financial investment would need to be made to fund the changes that will pay off with increased sustainability. The board established an Innovation Fund with a goal of raising $500,000 over three years.

The plan was put in place, and in the three years that will come to an end with Fiscal Year 2020 on July 31, we have raised a considerable portion of those funds, and have made progress on the goals set out in the Growth Plan.

  • Marketing and development teams are in place and meeting goals.
  • Our mobile-friendly website and fresh new logo are a success, with increased web-based registrations as evidence.
  • Our increased marketing efforts, especially regarding social media improvements, have paid off with a trending rise in enrollments and tuition revenue.
  • We have increased our number of individual donors and amount given for the Annual Fund. We have more than doubled our number of corporate donors.
  • Our Of Course! fundraisers each spring are an unqualified success.
  • We have strengthened and deepened the commitment of our Board of Directors.
  • We launched CCAE in the Community partnerships with Community Servings, On the Rise and Perkins School for the Blind, offering our some of our best classes to students who otherwise would not be able to afford or access them.
  • We are now in the third year of a new CCAE series, Conversations on the Edge, which addresses controversial and pressing topics for debate with thought leaders, activists, and our own audience. At the same time, our art shows are strong and we celebrate the 47th year of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series.

We are in the last months of raising the remainder of the Innovation Fund, and we appreciate the gifts that will, and have, made CCAE a thriving business as well as a welcoming community center.