Philanthropy Ohio 2.0
I like to start each staff meeting, each board of trustees meeting and each letter with the phrase, “It’s a Great Day at Philanthropy Ohio.” And I truly believe it, and perhaps more so now as we enter into a new phase – one I call Philanthropy Ohio 2.0.
In the course of a few months, we’ve completed a Strategic Action Planning Process and moved our Columbus office: both endeavors reflect our culture of service and excellence and support our mission. And both engaged our staff, trustees and members, providing leadership for philanthropy in Ohio and enhancing the ability of members to fulfill their charitable goals.
Let me first tell you about our Strategic Action Plan. This was an exciting process, designed to be more adaptive than a traditional strategic planning process. The overall objective was to engage board and staff members in co-creating a clear and measurable focus for our work over the next three years. Beginning in February 2015, a consultant worked with staff to develop and implement a process that included interviews with members, former members, board and staff as well as broader field research. The board, during its June retreat, distilled all of the gathered information into the following strategic goals, which are based on prior impact statements:
- Offer programs and information resources in order to advance the knowledge and skills of those engaged in philanthropy (preferred source of learning for Ohio philanthropy);
- Strengthen its capacity, secure resources and stay flexible and nimble in order to focus on vision and mission (strong, sustainable association for Ohio philanthropy);
- Convene and facilitate conversations between philanthropy and policymakers in order to build relationships, highlight the impact of philanthropy and advocate on issues of interest to donors and funders (most trusted representative of Ohio philanthropy’s interests); and,
- Build and maintain meaningful relationships with its members and connect them to each other in order to build a strong peer network (valued connector of Ohio philanthropy).
It is exhilarating! Over the next few months, each committee of the board will work with staff to consider its pertinent strategies and action items and recommend where priority energy should be placed in the coming year. And, of course, we’ll track our progress, measure our success and grow in meaningful and manageable ways as we implement the three-year plan.
Our second big news is our new office, also a long-planned endeavor. Just down the street from our former Broad Street home, it’s a smaller, more functional and creative space. I invite you to stop by and see us in our new, inspiring space. We are so grateful to many of our members who supported our “New Home Fund” and made this move possible: The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue Fund.
Suzanne T. Allen