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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



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?

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.

Earl Settlemyer: A donor’s perspective


A Life of Philanthropy:

The Lasting Legacy of Earl Settlemyer

Earl Settlemyer 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.

Lori Barclay: A student’s success story

“BTC did a great job of helping me to get into the workforce.  The education, the experience and the support was awesome.  I gained knowledge and confidence, while getting to learn an interesting field.”                                     

--Lori Barclay,  BTC Surgical Technology Graduate & Peacehealth Employee

Lori Barclay graduated from BTC in 2011 with an AAS in Surgical Technology.  And although Lori continues to excel forward as a fulltime employee in a PeaceHealth hospital, she frequently gains her focus and perspective from looking back. “One of my BTC instructors said something on the first day of class that I have never forgotten.  She told us to ‘always look back from where you came.’” 

That mantra continues to be a source of strength for Lori, and it has become just one of many memorable contributions from BTC instructors in Lori’s life.  “The staff at BTC is so supportive and interested in us,” she recalls.  “BTC did a great job of helping me to get top-level skills, and to get into the workforce.  The education, the experience and the support was awesome.  I gained knowledge and confidence, while getting to learn an interesting field.”

As Lori’s BTC instructors continued to invest themselves into Lori’s education and future career; Lori found the confidence, as well as the competence, to transition into her exciting current role as a surgical technologist on the childbirth floor of a Bellingham hospital—a role that she values for its excitement and diversity.

“We never know what’s going to happen on our floor on any given day.  The variety and the unpredictability make my job an exciting place to be.”  Lori credits her education at BTC for this chance to find a career that is challenging and rewarding.

Bellingham Technical College engages itself in the process of helping students discover what it is they love to do.  The dedicated faculty then goes beyond that process, to provide the skills and industry-knowledge that is crucial for success in the workplace.  The confidence provided from a high-level, technical education from BTC is a vital element in the transformational process of its students.  It is a process by which hope is instilled in graduates like Lori.  A hope that keeps them looking forward to their next goal; which for Lori, will be a full certification in her field.  But also, hope that gains its strength and draws its confidence from “always looking back from where you came.”

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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.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.