Foundation President Ann Lisi answers this existential question in a blog post you don't want to miss.
Every year as the Youth for Community Improvement (YCI) program wraps up with a grantee reception, we invite the young participants to reflect on their experience guided by questions like “Who are you now?” and “How has the experience of trust and leadership changed you?”
As 2018 draws to a close and the New Year is upon us, we could ask the same questions of ourselves as a Foundation. Our work is made possible by donors who trust in us and call on us to lead. We are further fueled by collaborators that help to spark initiatives that improve opportunities for all.
So, who are we now?
We are an ally. Through Nonprofit Support Center workshops, we support leaders in exploring timely and important issues. This year's sessions on improving equity in organizations, navigating mergers, and building robust development programs gave nonprofit leaders the tools they need to have an ever greater impact in the community around us.
We are a champion for children. Thanks to the amazing people who gather through the Early Childhood Initiative, we better understand the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences on the development of our regions’ youngest. We’re responding with a pilot project that will integrate education, health care, and social service resources, and deliver them to vulnerable families through community hubs.
We are an investor in the arts. Through a new partnership with the Barr Foundation, we are driving efforts to elevate the creative sector in Worcester. There is powerful potential for arts and culture to enhance the city and bring people of diverse backgrounds together. Our ongoing role in the development of the City’s Cultural Plan is harnessing this potential.
We are a foundation with an increasing capacity for compassion. This year we welcomed new donor families, created new funds, and distributed over $6M in grants to Worcester County’s hard-working nonprofits. Our scholarship endowments awarded over $675,000 to help 439 students.
I hope that when YCI members consider the question “Who are you now?” they reflect on all they learned and find confidence in the totality of their accomplishments. It’s what I do now as I think on the Foundation – your Foundation. A partner, resource, innovator, convener, and mentor. Your friend in philanthropy. The sum of the generosity of countless individuals past and present.
On behalf of all of us, I thank you for the part you play in sustaining us as we head into a bright New Year.