Blog: The Giving County Chronicles
Values. We all have them. But how do you prioritize yours? And how do they drive your decision-making?
As part of its NextGen initiative, Essex County Community Foundation recently gathered its growing cohort of Millennial and GenX change-makers to answer these questions and more, and to enjoy an evening of networking, idea sharing and some incredible paella and sangria.
Founded in 2014, NextGen seeks to educate, engage and connect Essex County’s next generation of philanthropic leaders. The Foundation’s goal is that by providing the tools, resources and knowledge necessary to ensure long-term philanthropic impact, ECCF can help secure the future of local philanthropy.
Despite the early spring snowstorm, nearly 400 nonprofit leaders and innovators gathered at the Pingree School in South Hamilton on March 28 for the area’s premier leadership conference hosted by the Essex County Community Foundation.
For six years, directors, trustees and executive directors have looked to the Institute for Trustees for advice on how to take their organizations to the next level. The annual, all-day conference features networking opportunities, presentations and educational workshops run by the region’s leading experts on board development, financial sustainability, fundraising, strategic planning and more.
We all know someone who's made a difference in the lives of area youth. That's why this year's Diruhi Mattian Memorial Award, presented during the 2015 Youth At Risk (YAR) conference, needs your help.
With the nomination period nearing its deadline (Feb. 25), there's still time to honor that local hero by submitting a nomination form to the YAR committee. We're looking for a colleague who serves at-risk youth, makes outstanding contributions within a field that supports young people, or even advocates for colleagues who spend themselves helping our youth.
With the 2015 Institute for Trustees just around the corner (March 28), we sat down with Julie Bishop, ECCF’s vice president of grants and services, to hear her perspective on what many tell us is the region’s best leadership conference. Julie helped found IFT and has been a part of planning each one since!
Talk about a great New Year’s resolution: a group of friends makes a year-long commitment to monthly dinners where they learn about local nonprofit work and giving opportunities. The result can make a huge difference for our communities, as it did last month when The Charity Girls of Northeast Massachusetts awarded $17,000 in grants and had a whole lot of fun together all year long!
We knew our ECCF partners and family would want to get to know Dave Edwards, the Foundation's new CEO. So before the holidays (and even though he doesn’t ‘officially’ start until January 12), Dave took the time to sit down with us and talk a bit about his vision, his family and who he'd have over for dinner from Essex County history:
There’s no need to check twice: the nice list across Essex County has grown inspiringly long this Christmas! Whether in the form of grants from an ECCF fund, a festive event, or an opportunity to serve in one of many out reach efforts this season, several good folks are making sure the holidays are a little brighter for others. Here’s a sampling:
Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF's assistant manager of grants and services, writes about how a special book helped inspire her five year old daughter to give where she lives. Now Carol is on a mission to help other parents teach their kids about giving!
Most parents know that raising a child is a mirror of our greatest successes and most humbling failures. Our kids often teach us how to be better humans. And in my house, while it’s crazy most of the time, I trust it is a gift.
(This story appeared Dec. 8 in The Gloucester Times.) Long time Gloucester resident Dick Wilson has always been one to give to his community. Whether helping establish low income housing at the CapeAnn YMCA, organizing a new stadium for the high school, or throwing parties simply to bring people together, Wilson models giving quietly and consistently.
Talk about inspiring! This fall, ECCF’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence offered five timely workshops covering topics such as story telling and fundraising to annual funds and shaping organizational culture. They drew 184 attendees (executive directors, staff, and board members) from 106 amazing nonprofit organizations doing great work in 23 towns or cities across the County.
ECCF’s CEO is a multi-tasker. Whether on the phone, over email, or in his letters, conversations or meetings, Dave Welbourn can’t help but communicate the message and story of ECCF. And because we're celebrating the 25th Annual National Community Foundation week, we thought it was a good time to ask him to reflect on just what he says about ECCF. Call it Dave's Top Ten List for Celebrating ECCF. Here's what he said:
On one of those heavy days of rain just before Halloween last week, the husband of ECCF’s program assistant Joan Henkels was driving home from work on Lawrence Road in Boxford. His car suddenly hit a pothole and one of the tires blew. Craig managed to pull the car into the entrance of Windrush Farms, but when he realized his cell phone battery had died, he knew he was in trouble. He’d need an extra hand or two propping up the car to change the tire. In the pouring rain. As the sky darkened.
“Lawrence really does take care of its own,” said Jay Caporale, executive vice president and director of philanthropy, as he saw the quick community response after the city’s tragic fire October 21.
Binkley Shorts drove a lot of rental cars throughout his career. As a partner with Wellington Management, he spent considerable time on the road in a job he loved: researching companies for investment purposes. This morning, the now-retired but still busy nonprofit boardmember brought his wisdom to ECCF’s gathering of professional advisors, attorneys and accountants. And the discussion was lively and vibrant.
Essex County grows great things. Always has. We've known that for a while here at ECCF, and now after many conversations, speeches and meetings, that idea of "growing" became the seed for our 2014 Annual Report, a publication hot off the press and worth sitting down with a cup of coffee to peruse.
There’s a reason people come to Essex County for the fall. Yellows, oranges and reds splash across trees and yards everywhere—an added treat for anyone attending a Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) fall workshop as well. But there’s an even better reason folks come to the workshops: for eight years they’ve provided vital organizations with training, tools and support to build their operational expertise.
Millennials (ages 22-35) and Gen X-ers (ages 35-47) make up about 30 percent of the population in Essex County. That’s why Jay Caporale, executive vice president, and Carol Lavoie Schuster, assistant manager of grants and services, led a research team recently to explore this rising demographic. And last Friday, Sept. 19, at the Andover Rotary Club weekly breakfast, Jay shared some surprising results from ECCF’s first 2014 Next Gen Study.
It’s a tricky word. Ask a dozen people what they think the word “philanthropy” means and you’ll likely get twelve different answers, including, as we did recently, “Isn’t that the study of bugs?”
This is CEO Dave Welbourn at his desk—he writes hundreds of emails here, works on ECCF budgets and grant distribution pie charts, and makes lots of phone calls from this very spot.
In between weekend trips to Maine and meetings with nonprofit leaders or Trustees, Dave somehow fit in time at his desk to write more emails and articles. In short, his summer days were hardly lazy or hazy, though he might tell you they were a little crazy. Crazy good, that is.
From accounts payable to learning new software programs, two interns are getting real job preparation at our ECCF office in Danvers.
He’s not a pushy guy, really. But CEO Dave Welbourn has been pushing a lot of good things forward this summer. In between some well-deserved time off in Maine to helping rearrange the ECCF offices, Dave has fit in staff meetings, annual report analyses and many conversations with nonprofit leaders about possible strategies for the futures of their organizations, such as The Encore Boston Network.
August already?! How’d that happen? Just as summer flies past us and a new school year is about to begin, ECCF’s new grant cycle for the fall will get here before we know it. So find your desk, pick up a pen (or a lap top) and consider one of three upcoming grants.