It may be cliché, but here we are at the end of the year reflecting on all we have done together in 2017. The result is a long list of reasons we are proud to live in Greater Richmond and to work in the field of philanthropy, where so many people come together to bring about positive change.
This year, we added new staff, welcomed new donors, and regularly convened nonprofit partners to identify new ways we can support their work as service providers, collaborators and advocates. We are fortunate to steward nearly 1,000 charitable funds, including several affiliate foundation relationships, that collectively awarded $44 million through September. This includes significant investments in early childhood education, out-of-school time enrichment for school age children, affordable housing, increased access to health services and so much more. We interviewed 50 stakeholders this year to learn what you value and how we can serve you better, and we hosted 92 learning events for our nonprofits partners.
Beyond the numbers, the most gratifying part of everyday – every year – is the relationships we have with you. You inspire us, motivate us and enable us to share your generosity with those who need it most. We’ve asked several of our staff members to share, in their own words, what moments or experiences have inspired and encouraged them during 2017:
Sherrie: I am grateful to be part of an organization where individuals and families are extremely generous year-round in supporting the needs of our community. The Community Foundation is proud to be a partner and facilitator of their philanthropy and honored to work collectively for the common good. I am also grateful for our nonprofit and community partners who do the heavy lifting every day to make our region a better place for all.
Kathleen: I am grateful for all of our nonprofit partners who translate grants and gifts into strategy and action. It is amazing to see the change they are creating for our community!
Amy: Professionally, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with TCF donors – they are the nicest people! Personally, I’m grateful for an abundance of friendships and candy bowls throughout the office.
Rochelle: I am grateful for the chance to build deeper relationships with partners, like the Jenkins Foundation, and to support them in their work to improve lives.
Lisa: I’m thankful to live in such a generous community. Every day I have the chance to work with individuals and families who volunteer their time, engage their children in giving, and make contributions to help ensure RVA is an equitable place to live.
Scott: I am grateful to work with a team who cares deeply about our community. Their passion to make the Richmond region a better place for all residents motivates me to do more and create ‘good’ where I can.
Vanessa: I am grateful to be able to build and experience connectedness within my community, both at work and in my personal life.
This fall, several neighbors initiated a pop-up potluck on our block. Everyone received an invitation in their mailbox asking them to gather at a certain time, with a dish to share, and look left and right for a gathering. A table was set along the sidewalk and 39 people came with ages ranging from 3 to 91.
Molly: I’m grateful when I can help a donor feel more empowered by their philanthropy. It is gratifying to introduce a donor to a new nonprofit and watch them embrace the mission and invest in it.
Lauren: I’m grateful to be part of the TCF Team. After a few years of wondering, “Is this it?” in terms of job satisfaction, I feel like my professional spirit has been reenergized. The mission, the staff, the connection to the community – I feel lucky to be a part of it all.
Martha: I am thankful for our ongoing participation in the Richmond Folk Festival, bringing community together with a love of music.
Charles: The thing that I’m most grateful for is how I get to witness unexpected kindnesses. At The Community Foundation, you never know when someone might astonish you with a surprise generous gift, a special moment of time they volunteered, or an innovative new approach that changes lives and brings people to tears.
Lucy: I’ve really enjoyed learning even more about the great work that is happening in Richmond every day and volunteering through HandsOn to help organizations carry out their missions. I feel even more connected to people living in our region.
Kim: I am grateful to be in midst of so much good in our community. Even as we work to address difficult issues, the “can do” spirit of our donors and community partners makes me optimistic for the future.
Indeed, there is much to be thankful for this year. We are looking forward to working hard in service to you – our partners in this work – and to the community we represent. From all of us to all of you, we wish you all the best for a joyous holiday season and a happy new year.