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BTC Foundation

Donors & Partners

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Building a strong and vibrant community is everyone’s job


    WHY give to BTC?

    Your donation to BTC puts people to work right here—and elevates the entire region.


    WHO am I helping?

    Not only do our students benefit from the generosity of our community, but our donors find great satisfaction in offering the vital support that transforms lives


    HOW can I contribute?

    Of course you can write a check, charge a credit card, or bring us cash, but there are many ways to support BTC.

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Strength in Partnership

We need you!

Our donors are diverse, but share a common goal: to see BTC students succeed and prosper. As a BTC Foundation donor, you can help change a student’s life, and contribute to a stable, vibrant and prosperous community.

Here’s how your support can transform lives for good:*

  • Students obtain the advanced skills employers need, to successfully compete for family-wage jobs.
  • An associates degree in Whatcom County means a mid-career income of $38,600—35% higher than a high-school graduate's.
  • Demand for goods and services increases.
  • BTC students' increased incomes, plus the boost in productivity from the businesses that employ them, expand Washington’s tax base by an estimated $14.4 million each year.
  • BTC students are less likely to draw welfare or unemployment benefits, commit crimes, smoke or abuse alcohol.
  • Children are healthier, and families are strengthened.
  • A BTC education reduces poverty, crime and the need for social services, saving the public nearly $840,000 in annual associated costs. These benefits will accrue for years into the future.

Your donation to BTC puts people to work right here—and elevates the entire region.

Please consider making a generous gift.

* Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., The Economic Contributions of Bellingham Technical College, February 2011. Data sources include: the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Census Bureau; and various studies and surveys related to education and social behavior.

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Current Fundraising Priorities

What’s your passion?

Here are some of the Foundation’s current and ongoing fundraising initiatives. We hope you are encouraged to support one of our areas of need. Please click through to learn more.


Support a student struggling to meet the ever-rising cost of attendance


Help a program get the supplies and materials needed to offer cutting-edge training


Help us equip a top-notch facility for our Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences Program


Trust us to use your donation wisely to support campus initiatives as they arise

Your donation to the Bellingham Technical College Foundation is tax-deductible as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with Federal tax ID #91-1658027.

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Who benefits from your gift?

Donor and Student profiles

Our students are not the only ones who benefit from the generosity of our community. Our donors find great satisfaction in offering the vital support that transforms lives.

A donor’s perspective


"Learn, earn, return." That was the motto and the lasting legacy of Earl Settlemyer.

Earl was an exceptionally generous partner of Bellingham Technical College. His philosophy can inspire each of us. Earl spent his life in full appreciation of the transformative power of art, music, nature and education. He believed in philanthropy, and lived by the Rotarian motto of “service above self.”

After a successful finance career, Earl was drawn to Bellingham’s appealing natural, educational and cultural environment. He retired here, and soon became a well-known fixture at arts and music events, as well as on non-profit boards—including the BTC Foundation Board of Directors.

Through his expertise and financial support, Earl gave of himself to several local educational institutions: he established scholarships at BTC, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Bellingham Dollars for Scholars program.

Through the life-changing power of education for everyone, Earl Settlemyer left a legacy of excellence, and an invitation to follow his lead in helping raise our community to its highest purpose.

Earl Settlemyer passed away after a brief illness in May 2010. But his inspiring message will live on, through students whose lives are transformed every year by the power of education, made possible by the generosity of the Settlemyer Family Endowment.

A student's perspective


With hard work and dedication, the rewards are ten-fold. —Lisa Cook, ConocoPhillips Lummi Tribal Scholarship, Lummi Higher Ed Scholarship Recipient

Lisa Cook is a perfect example of what can happen when students are given a chance to succeed.

A recent graduate of BTC’s Process Technology program, Lisa’s education was made possible through the full-ride ConocoPhillips Lummi Tribal Scholarship. Intended to provide Lummi Nation members with the industry-relevant skills and qualifications needed to compete for today’s living wage jobs, the scholarship covers tuition and expenses in the Process Technology, Instrumentation and Control Technology, or Welding Technology degree programs.

Lisa enrolled in the Process Technology program in 2009. Like many adult students, she faced a few obstacles—from feeling anxious about returning to school, to uncertainty around the program’s challenging math, physics, and chemistry classes.

Support arrived through the IBEST program, and Lisa received the extra help she needed to succeed in her most difficult courses. Throughout the program, Lisa put in long hours of studying to perform at her best—hours that were available only because of the ConocoPhillips Lummi Tribal scholarship.

“If I didn’t have the scholarship, then I would have spent a lot of time at a job to support myself. The scholarship enabled me to fully focus on school and devote myself to the courses,” said Lisa.

Today, Lisa is a full-time operator at ConocoPhillips, using the knowledge and skills she acquired through her BTC education. She enjoys her work and is hopeful about her future. “If not for BTC and the scholarship, I know I would not have the knowledge and chances that I have had. My plans are to stay with ConocoPhillips, which will allow me to build a house—a dream of mine from the start of the program.

“All of the support from BTC staff and donors helped me. With the job market the way it is, you absolutely need education to be able to compete out there. The Foundation supported me with a scholarship and internship, and now I have a job, which will definitely give me an overall better quality of life. My experience shows others that with hard work and dedication, the rewards are ten-fold.”

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Ways to contribute

Discover the many ways to support BTC

Gifts of cash are always needed, but there are many ways to contribute to BTC!

We accept gifts of many different kinds to suit our donor’s various needs. With the exception of purchased goods, gifts to the Bellingham Technical College Foundation are tax deductible*. No matter your stage in life or your ability to contribute, there is a gifting type that will suit you.

Please contact the Foundation office for information about making gifts of stock, real estate, or other appreciated assets.

If you wish to pay by check please be sure to designate the purpose of your gift, specify that it is for the BTC Foundation, and mail your contribution to the following location:

  • Bellingham Technical College Foundation
  • 3028 Lindbergh Avenue
  • Bellingham, WA 98226

Phone (360) 752-8684 | Fax (360) 752-7264 | Email foundation@btc.ctc.edu

Thank you for your support!

* Bellingham Technical College Foundation's Federal Tax ID Number: 91-1658027. This represents a 501 (c)(3) tax exemption status granted by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. The following fees will be deducted to further fundraising efforts on behalf of Bellingham Technical College. Gifts to endowments will be assessed a 1% annual management fee based on the fair market value of the endowment at fiscal year-end (June 30th). All other gifts (with the exception of unrestricted, in-kind donations and those with differing agreements) will be assessed a one-time 5% administrative fee.