FIRG Seminar – Community Foundations’ Impact

FIRG Seminar – Community Foundations’ Impact

Articles Blog


(bright music) – Well, welcome everybody, and thank you all for
coming out on this cold day and helping warm it up in here. It’s an honor to have Juanita James here. I’ve heard about her and working community foundations before. The Fairfield County Community Foundation is one of the, probably is certainly the
leading community foundation in Connecticut and New England. And it is one of those
community foundations that I think is moving
in the same direction that we’ve talked about before
when Paul Grogan was here, in taking on new roles the community foundations
haven’t always taken on. Juanita grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I said (laughs) to her when I met her, I said, “Well, you don’t
speak like somebody “that came from Brooklyn.” She said, “Well, you
should meet my husband.” (laughing) In any event, she went
to Princeton University and graduated from there, then went to Columbia and got a degree in business from there, and served on the board
as a trustee at Princeton for, I guess, 15 years? – That’s right. – And is on the board of
a number of nonprofits and other institutions, including Lesley College, which is a liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I’m curious to hear
more about what the programs that you’ve built at the Fairfield County
Community Foundation is doing and how that fits in your sense of how the community foundations around the country are doing. – Yep.
– And we have, I think, the representatives here of all of the community foundations– – I see, that’s wonderful. (laughs) – In the Triangle area. So I’m sure they’re as eager as I am, maybe even more eager than I am, to hear more about what you’re doing. So welcome here, thank
you so much for coming. I mean, Juanita is great. She even flew down here yesterday because she was worried about the weather and whether she’d get
down here if she waited until this morning. And so she’s been here
ever since last night getting ready for this. So welcome, it’s a great
pleasure to have you here. – Thank you so much, and please do call me Juanita. It is such a pleasure for me to be here. And the last time I was on Duke’s campus, I was over at the Fuqua Keller Center for corporate training on being
a good corporate director, and several board directors
and I were here for two days. But I took a very quick tour of the campus a little bit earlier, and the amazing amount of new buildings, I almost didn’t recognize it. And as a youth, one of my very
good friends from Princeton went to Duke Medical School and then opened up a medical
practice in Fayetteville but came back to teach
at Duke Medical School and just graduated or
retired two years ago. So for me, coming back to the
campus is really quite special and I realize I need to
do it much more often. So thank you so much for
having me here today. It’s a pleasure to be here. And then, of course, I
saw this impressive lineup of speakers that have come to this event, and I was quite thrilled
that Melissa Berman, who was here as one of your speakers, recommended me to Dr. Fleishman and then, of course, Hot-ing, and a number of other people
like Hilary Pennington and Darren Walker. So I would really like for
this to be as interactive as possible so that we can engage together as opposed to me, so please
interrupt at any point in time to ask about questions. And Iymaani, you want me to
start moving the slides forward? I’m terrible with these things by the way. (laughing) Good with the presentation part, but really not so good when it comes to the technical things. I usually skip over slides,
and I get completely lost. But I did wanna tell you
a little bit about myself, because the idea of
where I am today versus where I started in life is
kind of still amazing to me, to be honest with you. My family immigrated
here from British Guiana, so I’m a first generation American. And as the daughter of a single parent, although I did well academically, because my mother insisted on it. If I brought home anything less than 100, she’d ask me where the other point was. A minus was not acceptable, only A’s. But we certainly didn’t
have the financial means for me to go to college. And the fact that through
the generosity of others that I could receive a full scholarship to Princeton University and be
in the second class of women was a major both
opportunity and a challenge. And I think in all honesty, if I had realized how much of a challenge it was going to be, I might have been too
intimidated to take it. But luckily enough I was naive enough to not realize just the difference between an education and
my peers and my colleagues who were coming out of some
of the best private schools to enter Princeton, and I came out of what I thought was a really good Catholic school, but just the baseline
was totally different. So being exposed to the
depth and the breadth of the academic offerings, the variety of people
from all over the country, because I grew up in Brooklyn, which is a very culturally diverse area, but we had a really sort
of small tight-knight West Indian community that
kind of all looked out for each other. So meeting people from the
South and from the Midwest and from California all of it was just a phenomenal
new experience for me and become a transformative
for me, for my life, and prepared me to be the
first to be in that vanguard for the rest of my life. As a matter of fact, when
I graduated from Princeton, I went to work at TIME
Incorporated for TIME LIFE books and I was one of four
African American researchers in the entire company. But we bonded and we made changes, and we made suggestions,
and we got our voices heard, and so Princeton really prepared me to learn how to be an
advocate constructively for social change, as well as learn how to
be open to and look for what I had in common with other people, as opposed to what the differences
were to become barriers. So here we are some
many, many years later, I’m about to celebrate my
45th reunion from Princeton, and yet we’re still facing
some of the same societal needs of poverty, hunger,
homelessness, education gaps that we were fighting those battles back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. So I’m not going to get to the next slide, because this is a different audience and I don’t have to tell you
what a community foundation is. I can’t tell you how
many people I encounter in Connecticut who say, “What
is a community foundation?” And then they try to ask
me, “Well, what do we do?” And I try to explain to them, “Well, okay, here we are an organization “that is focused on helping
people and organizations “make a difference by improving the lives “of the residents and
bolstering the impact “of the nonprofits in their community “with an emphasis on a
particular geographic region.” Now, what makes us different at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is that we are one of
17 community foundations in the state of Connecticut, but we’re not the largest, we’re
actually the third largest, but we have probably the most
extensive geographic footprint because we focus, we service all 23 towns and cities in Fairfield County. And I’d like to just briefly give you a little video introduction to who we are and what we do. Just from the mouths of some of the people that we work with. – [Director] For FCCF, take one. (upbeat music) – The word is out. – The virtuous circle exists. – Our most powerful tool is our stories. – [Director] Take one. – Fairfield County is a county of extremes in terms of wealth and income. – We’re trying to tackle a big problem, closing the opportunity gap. – There is no one organization that can solve the problems alone. – In a time when society’s
a bit more fragmented, we have a North Star that
we really believe in. – [Juanita] Together we thrive. – [Man] You guys got it? Speak. – Community colleges
really are the gateway to the American dream. The best partnership that
we could’ve ever established was the partnership with the Fairfield County
Community Foundation. They’ve been at the table,
side by side with us and then provided us with the tools to successfully help our
at-risk students succeed. – [Director] Everyone rolling? – The Family Economic Security
Program provides scholarships and coaching services
and financial education. Anything that needs or gets in the way of their academics, we work with them. – (claps) FESP has been
there for me emotionally. There were able to help me through a time where I was lost and confused. – We actually manage
175 scholarship funds. On an annual basis, it’s
close to a million dollars of scholarships for nearly 500 students. – When you open a door with a scholarship to an individual, you’re not
just helping the individual, you’re helping that family,
you’re helping those children, and you’re helping ultimately the children of those children. – [Director] So what is Thrive by 25? – Thrive by 25 is designed to support 18 through 25 year old youth. – The idea is to bring disengaged youth into the career pipeline. – This is a program to
help mold young adults and help them grow. It empowers the people because
it gives them knowledge. – We actually got this thing going. – These are long-term successes. – It is sustainable. (clapperboard slaps) The Fund for Women & Girls gives
them not just the incentive but the tools to make a
difference in their own lives. – Leadership development,
economic security, all of the things they
need to be equal partners in contributing to our society. – A home for someone means everything. You can’t have a good
education if you can’t study. You can’t have a diet if
you don’t have some place that you can cook. A thousand units were developed because of the collaborative fund. – Immigrants account for
20% of the population in Fairfield County. In 2013, Fairfield County’s
Community Foundation had a symposium on immigration. It was full day full of workshops, keynote speeches, all around immigration. They amplified the
relationships in the room. – [Director] Tell me about the mechanics. – Giving day is an annual
24 hour day and night event. – Last year alone we raised
$1.5 million in 24 hours for 400 nonprofit organizations. – Not only does is allow us to raise money that support our programs, but it’s also brand awareness. – It’s a process, you have to work it. – It’s mutual collaboration. – It’s about partnership. – The Professional Advisors
Council on the foundation is a group of professional advisors, lawyers, accountants, financial
advisors, insurance people, who are centers of
influence in the community. – They’ve been asked to
be part of this group to learn about the
foundation and to become, what I would consider,
ambassadors for the foundation. – People may have heard
about the foundation, but if their professional advisor also reinforces that this
is a well run organization that has tremendous
impact in the community. – The Center for Nonprofit Excellence amplifies the voice of nonprofits. It brings best practices and
some of the best consultants and experts in their field
to help our nonprofits. – CNE in particular allows us to be able to connect with different organizations, learn what they’re doing, and
in many cases align missions. (clapperboard slaps) – Social Venture Partners
is a venture philanthropy that contributes grant
money and volunteer time to help nonprofits in capacity building. The organizations we’ve worked in, they have grown significantly, they’ve expanded their funding base. – Collective Impact is about bringing the strength and the depth
of expertise together. – It’s a very simple
concept around the idea that not one organization alone
can solve a social problem. It amplifies impact in ways
that we don’t even know yet. – [Director] You guys
tell me when you’re ready. – Part of the self
determination of who becomes a member of the Future Society is somebody who feels a responsibility to the community to look forward. – It’s the way for us to
prepare for the foundation of where we’re going and
how we position ourselves to continue to be able to
meet the changing needs as we look forward. – [Director] Why did you get involved? – No one else is in the same league. – What we’re about is opening doors. – The door for them to walk through. – When you change lives, it’s extremely meaningful. – It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve had some small role in an organization that does so much good in this community. – We could not have changed
the lives that we’ve changed, learned what we’ve learned, connected people with each other, built the relationships, made the impact, if it weren’t for your
time, your interest, your commitment, and your generosity to all of our communities
and to this foundation. And we hope to continue
to partner with you for 25 and many more years. Thank you. Anniversary as a community foundation, which actually makes us relatively young, because many of the community foundations in the state of Connecticut
were established nearly 100 years ago. Both Hartford, Waterbury, New Haven, are well past 90 years in
terms of their existence. And that presents a
different set of challenges and opportunities because most of those community
foundations were created by endowed funds where
the community foundation had total discretion over how they can impact
their communities. We were created just at the
boom of when donor advised funds were coming through. So our community
foundation is a collection. It was formed by a merger of
a lot of little foundations, and it really, we manage over 600 donor advise funds, which creates both
challenges and opportunities. As I said, we are the third largest of 17 community foundations, but what makes us different
is we’re regional in nature. Connecticut doesn’t
have county government, and in the absence of a
county-wide government, we’re actually one of the few entities that have a true county-wide focus. And what that does is
it uniquely positions us and challenges us to maintain
a wide scope of offerings. You can see, just from the video, we had beneficiaries, we had
our professional advisors, we had founding donors, all
of whom still we convene to collaborate together
on trying to identify and solve the needs of the region. So this breadth allows us the power to grow and foster partnerships, and it allows us also to
harness the vast knowledge that exists across sectors,
across town borders, and to build the critical capacities of our nonprofit sector. It also presents us with a
tremendous set of challenges. What I hear from my board
at every board meeting is, “You’re trying to do too many things, “you need to focus more.” And how many of you have that? (laughing) You’ve never heard that, right? (laughs) “You need to be more focused. “You’re trying to be in all places.” And we know we can’t be
all things to all people, but at the same time, we also
know that we can’t just say we’re going to target Bridgeport and be the Bridgeport
Community Foundation. We’ve got to address the
needs of our urban centers, and our suburban centers,
and our small towns, and try to find those common
cross border challenges. And please interrupt me at
any time during the course of this to ask questions. So for me it’s a balancing act. It’s a balancing act between
our resources and our capacity. – [Man] How big is your staff? – 27 people. And a major part of that is program and running the Center
for Nonprofit Excellence. We have a two person marketing department. And we have a five person
development function, which is how we service
those 600 donor funds that have to keep the engine going for us. So in terms of thinking about
how we pull this together, we start with our values. And as a staff and a board, we’re really aligned around
four organizational values, and that’s the guiding
force in what we do. So each of them have a
very specific meaning and are critical to us
for advancing our mission. In terms of equity, we
are committed to fairness, justice, and providing
opportunity without bias. Regarding diversity and inclusion, we embrace and integrate
diverse perspectives, bringing together
individuals and organizations that reflect our communities. Not an easy task, because
we have individuals from very wealthy homogeneous communities and we also have individuals
from very diverse urban. And the gap, which we’ll get to, there’s a very wide
disparity in terms of the gap within Fairfield County. But that collaboration
and our ability to partner with others across sectors is really what empowers
us to be innovative and to present informed solutions. And we’re building a reputation of trust with our different constituents
because of that reputation of being collaborative and
treating all of our constituents with respect and dignity. And then in terms of integrity, we are very transparent
in our commitments, we hold ourselves accountable
to the highest standards, and, again, that sometimes
presents some challenges. I’ve had a couple of
donors who don’t understand why I can’t just bend the
rules a little bit for them for them to do something
that they wanna do. And when we say, “No,” we get, “Well, you’re too bureaucratic. “You’re too rigid. “So and so would let me do that.” So it’s always a delicate balance. I see some people smiling
so I’m getting the sense that there are some of you who can relate to some of these same challenges. As I said, Fairfield
County’s income inequality ranks first among the 100
largest metropolitan areas when you compare top and bottom earners. We also have 42% of
Fairfield County residents are house-burdened, they spend more than 30%
of their total income on housing costs, and
that number is growing. So people think of Fairfield
County as being so wealthy without understanding that
there are these pockets, and we really are a microcosm
of the United States where these extremes exist
in so many communities and all over our country. So in Fairfield County,
we have wealth and poverty and opportunity and oppression
that live side by side. So we decided, okay, if
you want us to focus, what are we going to focus on? And our focus is how do we
close this opportunity gap in Fairfield County? And that’s where we have evolved
our current strategic plan. And even though it’s a lofty
and a long-term proposition, we decided that we will
garner all of our efforts and initiatives around
this as our guiding light and as our North Star, because we believe that
a quality education, safe neighborhoods, stable housing, and the ability to earn a living wage are outside of the reach of many residents across our county. And we know that income
inequality contributes to this continued
disparity that’s growing. Now, we do recognize in order to do this, we’re not doing this alone, we’re doing it in collaboration and that we have to pull
together the public, the private, the education,
the nonprofit sectors if we’re going to create any kind of lasting or systemic change. So that’s how we have
framed our strategic goal. And then as we look at the
work that we are doing, we can break it down by thinking about our
different constituents. So for our donors, the
value proposition is that we act as a philanthropic advisor, and we offer donor advised
services and other services, managing approximately 600 funds and try to identify what
the donors’ interests are and connect them to the organizations and to the causes that
will meet and satisfy their charitable intent. And then for over 625 nonprofits, we provide year round training, webinars, development, as well as grant making for more than 625 nonprofits
in Fairfield County. And cumulatively we’ve
awarded more than $220 million in grants to the nonprofit sector, which is actually as a
percentage of our assets, we’re about $200 million as
a percentage of our assets and as a percentage of
our discretionary assets is considerably higher
than the 5% threshold for private foundations and it actually, we average
somewhere around 7 1/2 to 8%, which drives the engine and the need to replenish those funds. It puts even more pressure on us in order to keep up
that level of capacity, in terms of giving back
to our communities. So that’s the exciting part of what we do. And now, I know you wanted us to get into very specific areas
of what we’re doing, because each community
foundation is different. So one of our founding funds
is the Fund for Women & Girls. And that was because 20 years ago, a group of our rather
enlightened donors decided that they wanted to come together to really focus on what
are some of the challenges facing women and girls? And they have come together
to invest in solutions that support the safety,
health, and economic security women and girls face in Fairfield County. Our program, the Family
Economic Security Program, which was based on the
an-dee-ka-tee model, is a perfect example of this. We discovered through research
that to earn a living wage, this was when it first started, we had something like 50% of
the adult female population was earning less than
20% of the livable wage that they needed to support a family. So we partnered first with
Norwalk Community College and then with Housatonic Community College to help low income struggling students with full wraparound support services. They have academic
coaching, career coaching, financial counseling,
and financial support, emergency funds, scholarships, to help remove the barriers
that were keeping them from persisting to earn
an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. We also connect them
with the sectors of jobs where the job growth is so that we can put them on a path to jobs that lead to a living
wage and to career paths. In addition, they get peer
support through the cohort model and networking and life
skills that are helping them, that they can use for
the rest of their lives. And, again, we do this
not only in partnership with the community college, but we do it in partnership
with local employers that are providing these services. So the woman on the screen is Nina Perez, and her path to success
took many different turns. Her dream was to become a chef, but she had an extremely
difficult childhood, worked very hard to
graduate from high school, but as a teenage mother, she couldn’t afford to attend college. So she was living in a
battered women’s shelter with her son, and she started
working as a medical assistant and did that for 15 years. In the meantime, she
was also trying to earn an associate’s degree at
a local community college. When we met her she was homeless and living in her car
with her three children. So she was accepted in 2007
into this FESP program, which was the pilot program
at Norwalk Community College. She got her culinary certificate, she got the associate’s degree, she went on to get her bachelor’s degree from Monroe College in culinary
and hospitality management. Today, she has her own
business, The Kitty Kitchen, and she’s also the
executive chef and manager at New Canaan’s Grace Farms, which is a very high-end organization, lives in a home, and she’s
giving back to the community, because she has that capacity to do so. So what FESP taught her
to do was how to navigate and provide support that she needed, rather than to succumb to
her overwhelming challenges. The success of that pilot led us to go to Housatonic Community College, because they had an even larger population of students that fit that profile. So our goal for Housatonic, so NCC pilot was 100
students over five years. We invested $1.2 million
in shaping that pilot, reframing it, tweaking it, until it got to the point
where we were getting those cohort models, the
cohort through the system. So we figured we had in nailed and we went to Housatonic
and the goal was 400 students over four years. We have now enrolled 390
of those 400 students. And what Housatonic
Community College has found is that our FESP student have
a 30% higher retention rate than their average
community college student. What we also discovered, we just graduated our
first three year class, and their graduation
rate was more than double the graduation rate for the average Housatonic
Community College student. So now we’re looking to get this program into Gateway Community
College in New Haven, and we’re talking to the Board of Regents in the state of Connecticut to see how we can really extend this to the entire community college system. It’s progress like this
that is the beginning of systemic change that
we need in our region. It’s knowing that what
we’ve done in the past is not going to be
sufficient going forward, but it also requires patient capital and a responsiveness to tweak and evaluate and make sure the program is meeting the needs of the students. I’d like to give you another example in terms of what we do with respect to, this time we’re gonna
get the video to work, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence that I said does all of this webinar, and seminars, and training, we also have a leadership
development program and I’d like you to hear a little bit from Matt Quinones. The Center for Nonprofit
Excellence amplifies the voice of nonprofits. It strengthens their effectiveness. It brings best practices and
some of the best consultants and experts in their field to help our nonprofits do what they do, do it better, and have more impact, as well as help them identify
how they can replicate and scale the solutions and the things that are working best. – The most important thing about CNE is unifying the different nonprofits throughout Fairfield County. CNE, in particular, allows
us to be able to connect with different organizations, learn what they’re doing, and in many cases, align missions so that we do maximize donor dollars. In bringing all these
nonprofit heads together, it results in collaboration
and shared best practices, in addition to that, I
think, building our capacity through professional development. Professional development
doesn’t always happen for nonprofits, it takes
a backseat to being able to pay salaries and pay for the programs that we wanna provide. But because of the CNE,
we’re able to offer these professional
development opportunities. Our staff takes advantage
of various workshops that are offered throughout the year, either free of charge or
very minimal cost to us, which makes it something that we can actually participate in. The benefits are certainly seen when we’re able to first retain staff who are happy to be able
to grow in their position, but also in terms of
the delivery of service that we offer, it gets that much better when we have a competent and
experienced staff member. – So Matt is the executive director for the Stamford Public Education Fund. And they partner to
supplement the services that the district schools
can’t seem to afford. He has been a major part
of our leadership program and he has also recently joined and serves on the Stamford
Board of Representatives. And he is what we consider
to be one of our many future generation of nonprofit leaders throughout the county. And SPEF just yesterday
received a $20,000 grant from the State Street Foundation for their mentoring program
which is becoming renowned as one that’s really helping
these students succeed and make those connections to employers. We have hundreds of nonprofits. Last year, 792 individuals from 400 plus different nonprofits
made use of CNE offerings throughout the year. And by helping them build their capacity, the Center for Nonprofit
Excellence really maximizes the impact of the philanthropic dollars in Fairfield County. And then another area
that we are focused on, the Fund for Women & Girls. In addition to the FESP program, we don’t sit on our laurels and say, “Okay, that’s the only
thing we’re going to do.” This year they’ve really
decided that they wanted to find a way to address sexual violence in a systemic way. So they chose to work with five local nonprofit organizations to combat sexual violence
in Fairfield County. And the partnership was made available through a renewable grant where we pull these organizations together and ask them to come up with something that could be county-wide. So they identified youth sports as the focus area for creating a new sexual violence
prevention education program. And they’re working, their first project is coaches as partners working
with all of the schools in their towns and with the coaches and
the athletic departments to begin the curriculum for how to change the culture of athletics
in terms of how women and LGBT are treated and begin to, let’s start with high school, we’re eventually gonna
go to middle school, and change that dynamic so that we can prevent future generations of sexual violence. And they did it because they recognize that sports plays such an important role in shaping our culture. And this way we’re engaging
the administrators, the athletic directors,
at the individual schools and school districts across the county. And it’s really essential
for us to convene these organizations to create these kinds of collaborative programs. We’re very pleased to see
how well this was received at large private community and we believe that
they have the potential to serve as a model, not just for this, but for
educating interscholastic youth communities across the state and across the country, and to make a significant
impact addressing these issues. Now, they’re still in the design phase, so we’re waiting for
them to come back to us with the curriculum and
the testing and thinking. One of the things that we have learned in all of these initiatives
is the importance of patience and understanding that
when you create something the first time around, you’re not gonna hit the
ball out of the park, and helping our board and
our donors understand that is one of the challenges that we face. Particularly as we get more
business people interested in doing this work. And our part of Fairfield County, there are a lot of people
who commute to New York City, and many of them come back after a career and say, “Now, I’d like
to get more interested “and involved in my local community, “’cause I really didn’t have the time “while I was commuting back
and forth to the city.” But they bring both the
pluses and the minuses of that business mindset to the table. And I see that you’re laughing, Joe. And when I say the pluses and the minuses, the quarterly earnings
mentality doesn’t work with social and systemic change. So an example of this is we set our goal of closing the opportunity gap and didn’t I get a question
from one of my board members to say, “Okay, in June
are you going to report “about how much progress
you’ve made against this goal?” So it’s that, and everyone wants metrics and measurements, and
performance, and results, so we work with the nonprofits to help them better articulate how they’re achieving results. And we use the framework
results-based accountability, because that’s the logic
model that the state uses for all of their state grants. So when we said this would be how we judge grant renewals for our nonprofits, not only did we say
that that’s the rubric, we also run year round trainings
for the nonprofit grantees on results-based accountability. And our goal is to take
them from where they are so that they learn how
to develop better metrics of measuring their outcomes,
who are they serving, what results they are achieving, and whether or not people are better off. And so many of them who started
off being quite resistant to this have come back to us to say as a result of getting better at it, they have become much
better at articulating the impact they really are
having through their programs, and they’re also getting funding from a lot of different sources that they weren’t able to
get funding from before. So it’s that desire to really get results combined with teaching the
patience of what it takes to get there and constantly working at that that makes it, that’s the challenge to me of the community foundation. We’re here for the long haul, and we’re in the community
for the long haul. We want to see the
communities improve over time. And in our particular case, we’ve chosen these specific areas to focus our attention, because we can see that
we’re getting some results. Now, the last thing I wanna
talk to you a little bit about is Giving Day. This is the other end of the spectrum. This is immediate results
and immediate gratification. Fairfield County’s Giving Day
was first initiated in 2014. And the whole idea was for us to empower the entire nonprofit community and to provide anyone the ability to give. So the whole concept is
24 hours online giving, we set a target date, we spend months recruiting
nonprofits to participate because we vet them before
we let them come in, we provide the platform,
the technology platform, through an outside provider. And when the clock hits midnight
on whatever day that is, there is 24 hours of prizes and contests to encourage people to
give to local nonprofits. Since its inception, we have
raised nearly $6 million for 746 nonprofits. Last year alone, in just 24 hours, we ended up with 16,500 total gifts from 13,000 individual donors. And the whole idea is that
for $10 you can participate. So it does a couple of things. It does fundraising for the nonprofits, it exposes them to more donors, it exposes potential donors to their work, it’s community building, they get together and have so
much fun with their donors, come up with all kinds of creative events, but also it sends a
signal that philanthropy is not just for the rich,
that everyone can participate, and if we pull these
dollars and these resources, we can achieve some big results. So we’re doing it again
this year, February 28th. I feel every idea will run
its course and get old. When I see us sort of dipping
in terms of participation or excitement or enthusiasm, then we’ll have to come
up with something else. But for right now, it’s been a fun way to bring the whole
nonprofit community together and for them to have
some friendly competition with each other on a day where at the end of it we celebrate, and what they’ve also
found is 30% of the donors that give to them on Giving Day are new. They’re people that
have never been exposed to these nonprofits before. So what they’re learning
is how to tell their story and how to use social media
and these marketing tools that they can’t afford to buy themselves, but by joining collectively
in the Giving Day, they get the benefit of this. – [Woman] So– – How do you feel about the
progress of that effort? I mean, to adopt a plan
like that is pretty bold. – Yes. – And to do it in a systematic way. We all complain about the
inequities in society, but taking a bite that
you’ve designed carefully in order to maximize the
breadth of the success, it strikes me as being
really a bold thing to do. – Well, I’ve measured
the progress when I see some of those people in that video who talk about the impact
that this foundation has had on their school, on their program, and I look at the, there are more voices
being included in solutions and problem solving, and I really do feel we’ve
made a major progress in not being a completely, sort of, dictatorial philanthropic
group that swoops in on communities and says, “I’ve
got the answers for you.” And I have some very honest conversations about the fact that we don’t realize it, but many of us equate wealth
and power with wisdom. And there is much wisdom
in many communities, in all of our communities, and if we have to respect life experiences and the wisdom that, I think we’ve made some
significant progress in at least acknowledging that
and being more open to it. So it’s a long journey, but I get reaffirmation from individuals who come and say, “Here’s
what happened as a result of,” either, “My organization is a lot stronger “because I participated
in your CNE workshop,” or, “My life has changed
because I have access “to a scholarship and I
was able to go to school,” or so I remember when I was at Princeton, I worked in the Princeton Community House, which was an organization
that worked in downtown in the poor neighborhood of Princeton. And at that time, I was
a very Pollyanna-ish, wanted to save the world. And the director of
the program said to me, “Juanita, one of things
you’re going to have to learn “in life is that you will
have to take satisfaction “out of those small moments of victory “and relish that until it
gets you to the next thing, “’cause you’re not going to
solve all of the problems “in a day.” And I remember at the time thinking, oh, that’s a terrible
idea, what do you mean? (laughs) But you know what? It still plays in my mind. You do have to take some
pleasure in the small steps, because that’s what
encourages you to keep going, and that’s what I really
encourage my staff to do is let’s, even though we
have a long way to go, let’s take the moment to
celebrate the little victories. And that’s really how we do it. – Long journeys require small steps, and you need to be motivated all the way. So that’s the only solution. Take the satisfaction out
of the steps that work and keep at it. Well, Juanita, I can’t thank you enough. This was very interesting. And congratulations on
what you’ve achieved there and may it go on. I mean, it’s a model that
needs to be emulated by others. – Well, thank you so much. It’s really, I love the
questions and the interaction, so thank you very much for your attention and for being here, I appreciate it. – Thank you very much.
(clapping)

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