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.
True, communication and marketing folks sometimes see annual reports as painful, clunky things you have to do because they're good for you—like eating broccoli or going to the gym or writing a grant proposal. But this process wasn't like that. Really. Giving is growing in the rich soil of Essex County, in part because of its inspiring history of philanthropy and barn raising and helping others. That—along with a lot of good ECCF news—made each step of planning the annual report fun, and each page worth reading (we hope).
That good news? There was much to celebrate in 2014: 22 new donor advised funds, several grants to organizations making their communities better, scholarships to deserving young people as well as a variety of exciting events and workshops.
All of these efforts showed the growing impact of our collaborative work and partnerships. We then joined forces with an amazing professional photographer (who made the ECCF staff look really good!) as well as a talented designer who took our concepts, data and words and communicated them with colors and images that made our story, well, blossom. We're also grateful for the generosity of a local printer, two summer interns who helped with some of the writing and photography, and, of course, our CEO, staff and board of engaged Trustees who provided vision, leadership and implementation all year long to make 2014 a story worth telling well.
We want each aspect of our annual report (in print and online) to reinforce our mission throughout the year: "ECCF promotes philanthropy and strengthens nonprofits serving the people of Essex County, MA." Mostly, we hope it encourages you to join us in asking, What will YOU grow in Essex County?