Celebrating Philanthropy’s Impact
Last week, The Cleveland Foundation hosted Philanthropy Ohio members at my first regional “Meet and Greet.” It was a pleasure for me to talk with so many of our members and learn more about their respective organizations. What became very clear during the conversations with community foundation members, as well as representatives from private and corporate foundations, new members from United Ways and federated organizations is that they all have different roles in the philanthropic landscape, but the undeniable common denominator is that lives are changed through the grants they make.
What delighted me in these discussions were the references to collaborative works, the collective impact of their grantmaking and the changes that working together with other grantmakers have made to the work of Cleveland area nonprofits. Someone there said that “the best part of my day is making a gift that matters.” That reminded me of one of my favorite Churchill quotes…. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Although Churchill often spoke on philanthropic topics, one of his more famous speeches, “The Price of Greatness is Responsibility,” was written to promote collaboration between Britain and the United States during World War II. This speech also focused on celebrating what two countries can do together, and it resonated in the hearts of people on two continents.
Your work is resonating, too. Our members make many “gifts that matter” and most of that work is done quietly, without a lot of fanfare, yet each and every grant deserves a celebration. While the work of Philanthropy Ohio is to promote collaboration, I also want to celebrate the great work our members are involved in that is helping the nonprofit community tackle the needs in our state.
We have several more regional meetings scheduled and I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your stories and learning about your gifts, your grants and your collaborations. I will also be sharing our commitment to our members is to represent and serve Ohio’s entire philanthropic sector—advocating for our members, convening thought leaders, collaborating on issues and demonstrating the value of philanthropy in Ohio.
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.