As Philanthropy West Virginia leads into our next 25 years starting this year, we’re using our past 25 years lesson learned to guide our work. Last week I shared our Top 10 to 6 Lessons, I’m pleased to share our Top Five Lessons from 25 years to heighten our work ahead in 2019 and beyond including:
5. Engaging the New Generation of Philanthropy is CRITICAL! Thanks to the investments of local community foundations, the Benedum Foundation, Appalachian Regional Commission, and others have identified the state’s Transfer of Wealth over the next 10 and 50 years. We MUST and are engaging the new generation of philanthropy and leaders to be involved to invest in the next century of our state. This is a critical priority for our organization and our state whether it is creating new foundations, new funds at community foundation, or innovative philanthropy with giving circles and more. For we know, when you Build a Fund, you build a Community. #Keep5Local
4. Broadening our base to 80 plus members allows for better learning, working together, and connections that accelerates the work of different philanthropy leaders. Our membership exceeds 80 members that includes a growing base of 15 plus corporate and corporate foundation members, long-time private, family, and community foundation members, government grantmakers, and this past year welcoming United Ways and professional advisors to the association. This diverse membership provides a one-stop shop of philanthropic expertise, professional development, and connections to all 55 counties in our state for any member or philanthropy leader. Partnering with Philanthropy WV results in effective philanthropy and impact #BetterTogetherWV
3. Putting Our Mission into Practices results in “Getting Things Done”. In our strengthening of Philanthropy West Virginia, our work and partnerships has resulted in creating a statewide network of support for our nonprofit sector with the formation and 2018 launch to independence of the West Virginia Nonprofit Association. It has grown from an idea debated for over 30 years to now a 300-member strong, independent organization. We don’t just talk the talk, but we walk the walk and build up our state and nonprofits through our actions. #PowerofCollaborations
2. Sharing Successes & Failures improves Philanthropy & Our State. Being effective at philanthropy on the local, regional, state, and national levels is hard work that has its successes and failures. When we share, what does work and did not work, we learn from our failures and successes to become better at our work. We need to embrace risk and failure as part of the work, learn from it and then improve our practices, projects, and the grants and programs that philanthropy supports to share with our peers. #PhilanthropyinAction
1. Putting the “WE” first in Philanthropy results in accomplishing more and moving West Virginia Forward. It is amazing how far we can go in improving our communities, fulfilling our individual goals in philanthropy whether it is for a foundation, a company, a group of citizens, or a community when we focus on the collective community. When we put the “We” first in our work and realize we have colleagues, friends, and partners to work with in tackling some of the most challenging issues or exciting opportunities, we can go much further and do so much more. In the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. Philanthropy WV provides the stage and space for the collective “we” to work together and accomplish much more. #BetterTogetherWV
We’re excited for the year-ahead, your involvement as members and partner, and the impactful work we have underway with you and our partners. I hope this list of Lessons Learned & Celebrated guiding our next 25 years assists you in your work.