By Curt Detjen, President and CEO
Committed and focused. These two words describe your Community Foundation through 2020 and as we engage 2021 in this COVID-19 era. We’re committed to serving you, helping you make a difference in the lives of others, and are focused on improving so that together, we flourish. Here are a few insights:
2020: Year-end was strong with donors generously creating new funds, adding to their funds and supporting our region’s nonprofits. We’re pleased to have helped our donors give grants that totaled more than $2 million more than the July-December period last year! This is a 14% increase, evidence that when the need arises, they respond.
COVID-19: Our offices remain closed to guests as we follow public health guidance, and the staff has flexibility between in-office and remote options. The team has been hard-working, resourceful and committed to excellence in mission delivery. I’m proud of them. We look forward to welcoming you into our offices again soon.
Strategic planning: It’s time to refresh our focus as we drive toward the future. We’ve begun in-depth planning with an energetic board and staff. Feedback we received from our donor survey and the conversations around rebranding in 2019-20 will be helpful as we move forward in partnership and service to strengthen our community.
Investment results: FEG has hit the ground running and is beating benchmarks since assuming the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) role a year ago. Its endowment investment return of 19% for the July-December period compares well to its benchmark 17.8% for that period. FEG has earned our confidence and they are committed to delivering strong performance and candid communication to support our region’s donors and overall quality of life today and into the future.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): We’re committed to learning, understanding and improving so we are the very best community foundation for everyone in our region. We’re taking a deliberate approach and following best practices. We’ve enlisted The People Company from Verona to lead a thorough assessment of the Community Foundation. This will help us with awareness and opportunities to improve upon processes, policies and practice overall and with special attention to DEI. The assessment report will be presented to the board of directors in September. We will share what we learn and do.
Information Technology: We heard our donors’ desire that we provide a state-of-the-art platform for them to engage with us for their philanthropy. We’re committed to providing this, and to maintaining the staff and technology capacity to foster and support our mission of philanthropy for today and the future.
Our mission is vibrant and our commitment to continuous improvement is strong. We believe our community will emerge strongly from the pandemic and we are prepared to do our part to ensure that Together, We Flourish.