• Client spotlight: Renton Technical College Foundation

    by Badgley Phelps | Mar 28, 2024

    At Badgley Phelps, we have the pleasure of working with many foundations doing inspiring work in their communities. One example is Renton Technical College Foundation (RTC Foundation), which supports the college’s diverse student population primarily through scholarships and grants. We spoke recently with RTC Foundation Executive Director Carrie Shaw about the foundation and the school it supports, successes to date, and what it’s like partnering with the team at Badgley.

    About Renton Technical College and RTC Foundation

    Renton Technical College (RTC) engages a diverse student population through educational opportunities for career readiness and advancement in a variety of industries, from health care to manufacturing to automotive to information technology. Welcoming students from all backgrounds, RTC serves more than 7,500 students of different ages and stages in their career journeys. Says Shaw, “We like to say that we want to be the place where students can find their place.”

    Forty-eight percent of RTC’s students receive need-based financial aid; Shaw says students cite “cost” as the number one barrier to college or career training. However, those credentials or degrees are critical to finding high-wage jobs, and RTC Foundation seeks to remove that barrier. “We know that over the next 10 years, 70 percent of all jobs will require a post-secondary credential or degree—and we’re a big part of that training solution,” says Shaw. “But right now in our region, we have what’s called the missing middle of jobs. There’s been a mismatch of skills to job openings and job growth. So, part of the work the foundation does is developing industry partnerships where we work to make sure that our training and curriculum are aligned with industry.”


    Renton Technical College Foundation Executive Director Carrie Shaw


    According to Shaw, when she joined RTC Foundation eight years ago, there wasn’t a lot going on with regards to fundraising and the college had one of the smallest endowments compared to other local colleges. But she and her team were able to change that. “Through bequests, engaging donors, fundraising, and events, we’ve been able to increase the direct support to students by over 400 percent.” That translated into 350 tuition scholarships and grants last fiscal year.

    Shaw says, “Business and industry sponsors our scholarships and grants because they need us. They need our graduates—and we need them to help lower those barriers.”

    Working with Badgley Phelps to manage RTC Foundation’s endowment

    Shaw emphasizes that, particularly for foundations with smaller endowments, every dollar counts. That’s what brought her and the foundation board to Badgley Phelps. She says, “We needed to make sure that what we currently had with endowments was being managed and leveraged as much as possible. We wanted a partner who first was aligned with and understood our mission and our values, and who would really manage the funds that we had, knowing that every dollar counted. And hands down, Badgley just rose to the top very quickly during that process.”

    RTC Foundation began working with Badgley Phelps in 2019, and Shaw reports they’ve enjoyed having the same team/client contacts the whole time. Shaw says, “That’s been beneficial and something we value. It’s all about relationships and building trust, and we completely trust them.”

    According to Shaw, “Badgley Phelps has proven themselves in terms of hands-on management of our assets. There’s great transparency; there’s great customer service. They take the time to really educate us and show us how they’re managing our assets. We have an investment policy statement, so they have parameters, and they walk us through how they’re not only honoring those parameters, but where they have discrepancy. They’re really maximizing those decisions.”

    A bright future for RTC students with RTC Foundation’s help

    The foundation continues to grow and serve more students with a goal of a 10 percent increase each year. Shaw says they’re on track to exceed that this fiscal. “We’re working on a goal of $5 million in assets. We don’t have a University of Washington $4 billion endowment. We have to stretch and make every dollar count. We take stewardship very seriously and Badgley Phelps is an important part of that.”

    Shaw says working at the foundation has been one of her greatest rewards, and she looks forward to continuing to do so. “It’s an honor to be able to come alongside these students who are working so hard and juggling so much to support their desire to earn a credential or a degree and change the trajectory of their lives.”


    Click to learn more about Renton Technical College Foundation.

    Is your foundation interested in working with us? Get in touch.


    Originally published on March 28, 2024 


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