Because The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida exists in perpetuity, being in existence for 55 years doesn’t sound all that long. As Florida’s oldest community foundation, we have grown to serve the six counties that comprise Northeast Florida as well as five counties to our west through the Suwannee Valley Community Foundation, an affiliate fund of our Foundation. And, as you now know, we just opened our first satellite office in St. Augustine to better serve St. Augustine and Putnam County.
So, what might the next 55 years hold for us and the communities we serve? Our Trustees and Staff will begin by listening to the donors who make our average annual grantmaking of $41 million possible. Yes, we want to hear from YOU! For 55 years, our donors have been at the heart of The Community Foundation. But like every great relationship, we can always learn more about how to make our partnership more successful. That’s why we’ve engaged The Center for Effective Philanthropy to survey a portion of our fundholders this spring. If you receive a survey from CEP, please participate to your fullest ability–they assure us it will only take about 20 minutes of your time. The data CEP collects will be aggregated, so your comments will not be identified. And your feedback will be invaluable to us as we work to serve you even better in the future.
Next, we will talk to the people who actually make the good work in our community happen–staff and board members from our nonprofit sector. We hope to better understand their views on the most pressing issues for their clients and for their organizations. We will ask if and how our Foundation has added value to their work and ways that we can be a better partner in the future.
And finally, we will have deep conversations with our funding partners to examine how we can better align our work with theirs to seek more effective solutions to long-standing community issues.
We promise to share what we are learning along the way and, most importantly, to apply what we are learning to improve our daily work of stimulating philanthropy to build a better community.