Enthusiasm is contagious
For a month and a half, I’ve spent most of my time listening to our board of trustee members, representatives from our member organizations, constituents involved in the education and health care initiatives, friends of Philanthropy Ohio, legislators, and of course, our staff, all of whom are our stakeholders.
When I’ve asked about their experiences with Philanthropy Ohio, or for some—Ohio Grantmakers Forum—without exception they’ve shared anecdotes filled with interest and enthusiasm for the good work we do. But one theme has been pervasive: Philanthropy Ohio helps those engaged in philanthropy become more connected and more informed so they can be more effective in strengthening communities they serve.
Think of the impact. Individuals in Ohio have donated an estimated $53 billion to charities during the first decade of the 21st century and foundations donated $11 billion. Last year alone, grantmaking organizations and individuals donated over $6 billion to charities in Ohio. Our job at Philanthropy Ohio is to help grantmakers by connecting the philanthropic sector to the people, organizations and ideas that collaboratively support and transform Ohio’s communities.
Philanthropy Ohio does this through advocacy, research, convening and by providing networking opportunities and educational resources to our members so that they can make wise funding decisions with their limited resources and be better informed about the needs in their region and in the state. We recognize that needs differ locally, regionally and state-wide, and we also know that each member has different expectations about what it means to be a member of Philanthropy Ohio. We are working on that.
And in this work to serve our members, I’ve discovered the stakeholder group where this pervasive enthusiasm begins: the staff of Philanthropy Ohio. To say that I am delighted with our staff’s commitment to our members and to the state of giving in Ohio is an understatement. Their positive attitude and the enjoyment they derive from working with our members every day is impressive and catching. They are in the midst of a transformation and have been resilient and enthusiastic. A name change, a new brand and a new leader have not diminished but enhanced their excitement to become the leading voice and premier resource for philanthropy in Ohio.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was correct…enthusiasm is indeed contagious.
I look forward to your comments, especially as you share your enthusiasm for the good work you do and its contagious effects.