Fifty-three percent of voters favored the measure, short of the 55 percent required for passage.
Of the 22 late-in-the-campaign corporate donors, most are from the Bay Area and all have ties to the construction industry.
In round numbers, the Measure H campaign took in $410,000 and spent $217,000 on direct mail and $11,500 on an election survey. The campaign closed its books with $180,500 unspent, according to a report from the Citizens for Support of Community Colleges in San Mateo County.
Eight donors gave more than $5,000 in the final weeks, joining 16 earlier donors who gave at that level. The largest donors: three construction companies that gave a total of $100,000.
Since 2001, voters had approved $675 million in bond measures for the district's three colleges, which includes Canada College in Woodside.
Of the four district board candidates with finance reports available from the county Elections Office, two — challenger Joe Ross and incumbent Dave Mandelkern — spent more than $30,000.
Mr. Ross, an attorney for an educational nonprofit, reported spending $41,355 — including $8,100 on a campaign consultant — from a total of $41,013 raised in contributions, including loans to himself of about $13,000.
Mr. Mandelkern, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, spent $33,040 and raised $36,525, which included $26,000 in loans to himself, according to the report.
The three incumbents were re-elected: Mr. Mandelkern, Patricia Miljanich and Karen Schwarz.