TMCF and Wells Fargo Work Hand-in-Hand to Affect Tangible, Lasting Change on Education
By Thurgood Marshall College Fund on May 17, 2017
Few non-profit organizations enjoy strategic and comprehensive partnerships that support its programs, improve the organization itself, and work hand-in-hand to affect tangible, lasting change in the lives of the people they serve. For the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), we have this type of relationship with Wells Fargo Bank. Wells Fargo Bank’s association with TMCF initially began with table purchases at TMCF’s annual dinners. Once the Wells Fargo team saw the results of TMCF’s programs and met the students we impact, they decided to enter into a comprehensive partnership with TMCF.
As the only national organization representing America’s 47 publicly supported HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and PBIs (Predominantly Black Institutions), enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges each year (nearly 300,000), TMCF focuses on providing qualified students with the resources needed to build economically sustainable futures. Marking our 30th anniversary, TMCF delivers scholarships, leadership development and career preparation to students, while introducing them to our corporate partners who have early talent needs. TMCF’s programs create opportunities that neither the students nor employers would otherwise have.
After Wells Fargo merged with Wachovia Bank in October 2008, Wells Fargo announced a $1.2 million comprehensive partnership to fund all TMCF programs in 2013 and 2014. In late 2014, Wells Fargo renewed and expanded its comprehensive partnership for three years, and renewed again for 2018.
“Wells Fargo is deeply proud of our strategic partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), which is dedicated to supporting students attending our nation’s 47 publicly-supported HBCUs,” said Rob Engel, head of Investment Banking & Capital Markets, Wells Fargo Securities, and member of TMCF’s Board of Directors. “TMCF continues to provide invaluable service to the community. As a TMCF board member, it is my honor to serve an organization whose commitment to the possibilities for our future inspires and creates the next generation of scholars, professional and leaders.”
Yet beyond our joint goals, as a strategic partner Wells Fargo Bank also aligned its brand with TMCF and engaged in several successful joint cause marketing campaigns.
“Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a great organization to align your brand with because it is known for attracting and training the best and the brightest in HBCU higher education,” said Georgette “Gi-gi” Dixon, Wells Fargo’s Senior Vice President and Director of National Partnerships. “As a major corporation, we’re looking for excellent, ready talent and this is a great place to find excellent ready talent.”
“A partnership like we have with Wells Fargo isn’t developed overnight – it is built on trust, measurable results and relationships. Something this significant takes time – and a lot of listening, coupled with meaningful action,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.
Dixon describes TMCF as “an organization that believes in innovation and growth, … [where] you can work closely with the staff, the leadership and Johnny Taylor and talk about goals and dreams from your corporate goals and objectives perspective but also goals and dreams in terms of early talent and helping young people invest in it. Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a great place to do that.”
“We engaged in an honest dialogue with Wells Fargo about what it would take for TMCF to help them achieve their goals by investing in our organization,” Taylor said. “Through these conversations, TMCF and Wells Fargo together identified the key programs for Wells Fargo to support, to maximize their impact and achieve their philanthropic goals and our programmatic objectives, as well as investing in TMCF’s general operations that support our programs.”
For the students TMCF serves, Wells Fargo provides critical training – especially in the area of financial literacy and career preparation. “Not all of our students have the built-in support system to guide them through the transition from high school to college, or from college to the professional work environment,” Taylor said. “Many are first-generation students and others come from communities without role models of professionalism and success. Wells Fargo steps in to provide that critical guidance for these young students at the start of their careers. In fact, many of our own staff have expressed how they would have benefited from such training and guidance when they were starting their own careers.”
Since 2012, Wells Fargo and TMCF together have supported 240 students with scholarships, provided leadership development and career preparation to over 1700 top-tier students attending TMCF’s annual Leadership Institute, and trained and supported 163 aspiring and early career teachers through TMCF’s Teacher Quality & Retention Program – each of whom teaches approximately 100 K-12 students annually, multiplying Wells Fargo’s impact each year.
Moving from single program support to a comprehensive agreement provides Wells Fargo with opportunities for its professionals to engage directly with students and to develop relationships with TMCF throughout the year – extending Wells Fargo employee engagement. Wells Fargo representatives speak at each program they support, engaging directly with students. Through a webinar series, additional staff interacts and provides critical coaching – including a special Executive Webinar with TMCF Board Member Robert Engel.
“TMCF today is a better organization due to our strategic partnership with Wells Fargo,” Taylor concluded.
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