The South Louisiana Community College Foundation plans to leverage its donors’ investments in education through its newly minted partnership with Community Foundation of Acadiana.

The Community Foundation of Acadiana will now manage the nearly $500,000 in the college foundation’s endowment. The college foundation works to identify donors for the college’s needs — whether student scholarships, faculty development or renovation and construction funding. In the past few years, the foundation helped the college raise the needed $2 million match to begin construction of its new $17 million health and sciences building on its Lafayette campus.

The partnership with the Community Foundation of Acadiana grew out of the SLCC Foundation’s need for expertise in managing and investing the funds, college officials said in a news release Monday. The principal in the endowment remains untouched while interest income is available for scholarships or professorships, depending on the donor’s intention.

“Endowments are long-term support for a college, and the SLCC Foundation must grow its endowment to provide sustainable support for the college and its programs,” Lana Fontenot, SLCC Foundation executive director, said in a news release.

The foundation awarded its first $25,000 endowed scholarship this year and also began an employee giving program last year that saw contributions of $30,000 to support student scholarships.

“SLCC has made terrific strides over the last several years and its impact is realized in the quality students and citizens it produces for the south Louisiana economy,” Raymond Hebert, executive director of the Community Foundation of Acadiana, said in the news release.

“Private investment in higher education is essential and a reflection of Acadiana’s values and entrepreneurial spirit,” Hebert said. “CFA is proud to play a role in strengthening our community college system and the Acadiana economy.”

The college’s foundation was created in 2003, but only began actively building its assets a few years ago following the hiring of a full-time staff.

Dwayne Dugal, treasurer and chairman of the SLCC Foundation finance and audit committee, said the college foundation will benefit from the Community Foundation’s expertise. Dugal is the area manager for W.W. Grainger Inc., a maintenance, repair and operating products supplier. Its own company foundation has made significant donations to the college’s programs.

“Community Foundation has a strong reputation in Acadiana as a trusted partner in philanthropy,” Dugal said in an email. “CFA also has great expertise with investments. As our Foundation is experiencing incredible growth (especially within our endowments), we are doing our due diligence in what’s in the best interest for our investors.”

He described the partnership as a smart one given the size of the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s investments and its focus on local philanthropic efforts.

“Our focus as a college has always been the eight-parish Acadiana region, and CFA’s local footprint matches ours,” Dugal said. “CFA also connects donors to their passion, whether it is education, health care, poverty, etc. This partnership will make it easier for donors with a strong interest in education to invest in SLCC and our workforce development efforts.”

One of the SLCC Foundation’s latest efforts is the Striding for Scholarships 5K and 1-mile fun run planned for Oct. 17 to help grow student scholarship funds. For more information about the event and foundation, visit solacc.edu/5K.