- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The growing popularity of crowd funding got UC Cooperative Extension advisor David Doll thinking.
“By everybody giving a little, you can get a lot,” he said. “We can do the same thing.”
Doll mulled over the idea for a few years, talked with his colleagues at UCCE in Merced County, and launched a unique funding plan for the future of agricultural research.
“Over the years, there has been a consistent erosion of base funding for our services, not only from UC, but also the county and federal governments,” he said. “We want to build a strong foundation for ag programming, like we had in the past. Something that would last longer than anyone's tenure in the office.”
Doll and UCCE county director in Merced County Scott Stoddard worked with the UC ANR Development office to solicit donations needed for the establishment of an endowment to support ag research in Merced County.
Initial fundraising over the last six months has brought in about $15,000 for the pioneering endeavor, enough to form an official, if small, endowment. The endowment can spin off interest and provide support for perpetuity.
“Eventually, we would like to see the endowment reach the $300,000 to $400,000 range, so it will bring a few thousand dollars each year and build in time with continual support from the community,” Doll said.
To make a contribution, go to the UCCE Merced County giving page, https://donate.ucanr.edu/pages/uccemerced. For designation, select the “Agriculture Extension and Research Endowment” in the dropdown menu.