Beyond Flip Charts & Folders: Philanthropy’s Impact

As you might know, 2018 marks Philanthropy West Virginia’s 25thAnniversary.  With this year, we want to tell yourstory and the impact you are making through your grantmaking, partnerships, and improving our communities and state.  Our members and peers learn so much when we tell what we are doing as they duplicate programs and projects, model new or practiced ideas and, most importantly, strengthen philanthropy and our communities in the Mountain State.

A college friend from out of state recently asked me, “I see from your social media posts that your organization says it is moving West Virginia forward and doing important work”.  He proceeded to ask, “How do you accomplish that from all the flipcharts, facilitators, and the folders you give away and promote in your tweets and Facebook posts?”. 

I respectfully laughed at the question then used the opportunity to share what our 75 plus members and Philanthropy West Virginia are doing to improve the state.  I proceeded to share with him that foundations, corporate giving programs, and philanthropists in West Virginia are:

  • Learning and sharing new ways to make grants and invest in community economic development with small business development, entrepreneurship, talent attraction, and workforce development
  • Creating partnerships to address critical West Virginia and Appalachian Region challenges from educational attainment through our Education Funder Affinity Group, tackling different parts of the massive and complicated war on opioids, developing strategies to grow our population with new innovative programs such as reverse scholarship being developed, improving healthcare delivery for a healthier population, and much more
  • Building stronger nonprofits on the local and regional level through funder, nonprofit, government, and business partnerships for improved operations and better service delivery to their communities
  • Engaging wealth to create new philanthropic institutions and growing community foundations to have more funders in the changing environment of personal and organized philanthropy to invest in local programs and organizations, now and forever
  • Advocating for good public policy on the state and national level giving citizens the opportunity to donate their personal hard earned money to the causes they care about as well as ensuring that philanthropy and nonprofits stay nonpartisan

As you can imagine, I talked with him in-depth on many other topics related to the struggles and opportunities facing the state. He responded by saying, “That’s what I had hoped and thought you would share.”  He may have regretted asking the question since I shared an extensive list of examples and great work of our members, but the answer can only be given with success stories where our members had, in some cases, translated ideas on a flipchart into positive and repeatable outcomes benefiting communities across West Virginia.

We get so caught up with the day-to-day operations and being down in the trenches that our members and Philanthropy WV sometimes do not share the successes, whether its advocacy, economic development, or providing the necessary groundwork for communities in West Virginia and Appalachia to thrive.  As long-time radio personality Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story” of what is being done to make a difference across West Virginia needs to be told.

We invite you to share with our staff what you are doing, what new things, long-time successes, or new opportunities you are exploring. You can share your news with our Operations & Communication Assistant: Krissi Raymond by emailing:  For our 25thAnniversary, we want to share your story and inspire others to act, invest, and advance our communities and state.

I look forward to sharing your stories and supporting your great work in our wonderful state.


In service to you,

Paul D. Daugherty