During yesterday's FAMU Board of Trustees Direct Support Organization Committee meeting FAMU VP of Advancement George Cotton faced tense questioning about the University's fundraising goals for the coming year, the amount of money he has raised in the past year, and the amount university spends to raise each dollar (18 %) by committee chairman Thomas Dortch.
While we all want to see the University bring in more money, we must understand that since Mr. Cotton came on board in July 2015 he hasn't had a whole lot to work with. When it comes to bringing in big dollars most donors want to engage with the CEO of an institution and not the staff. That where Cotton's has had challenge --- he's had to work with Elmira Magnum, who by most accounts was about as smooth to deal with as a garlic milkshake, and Larry Robinson, who has long been hampered by the interim title.
Despite these challenges Cotton has nearly tripled donations to the FAMU Foundation from a yearly average of $3.2 million per year when he took over to $8.6 million last year. Just last year alone Cottons presided over a 34% year-over-year uptick in annual giving to FAMU. FAMU would be wise to give Mr. Cotton the proper tools he needs to do his job and stand back and reap the benefits.