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My Agenda for Action

January 3, 2012

Greg Luberecki

Greg Luberecki

This afternoon, Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s 2012 “Agenda for Action” is set to mail.

The publication replaced our traditional annual report last year. Rather than just look back at our work, our Agenda lays out Gulf Coast’s commitments for the year ahead—our highest priorities for transforming our region.

Completing it brought congratulations and verbal “high fives” from coworkers who knew just how much critical thought and creative work go into producing it. But while the back-pats are welcome, I know that the piece is hardly finished.

The whole point of our Agenda is that it can’t begin and end with a printed-and-bound publication. Our work on each Agenda item necessarily evolves. And our results grow and improve (if we do our work right).

Last year, a community foundation peer from another state, who was impressed by our new take on the “annual report,” raised an insightful question amid his glowing review: How will you keep the community updated on your progress through the year?

That query helped reshape our e-newsletter last year, which itself morphed from a traditional monthly collection of news items into periodic updates on our progress on a specific Agenda item. (Here was the first, delivered early in the second half of the year.)

We also just updated the Impact page on GulfCoastCF.org, which offers snapshots of the results of Gulf Coast grants and initiatives. While I don’t think numbers alone ever tell the full story, these offer accessible, measurable examples for people who care about what we and our donors are trying to improve.

As we strive to move even more timely data online for community members interested in our work, I recently heard about the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s online Dashboard in one of the reliable blogs or e-newsletters or webinars that I frequently turn to for ideas.

The IMA Dashboard was shared as a living annual report of sorts, one that is updated throughout the year as indicators change. Again, not the whole picture, but a big, accessible, and measurable part of it. I know I’ll be working on a way to render more of Gulf Coast’s data in a user-friendly format like this in the coming weeks.

The Giving Partner, of course, is another place where detailed information on the structure, performance, and impact of organizations like ours will live and grow. Donors, potential grantees, and interested community members can review this data as deeply as they wish—from detailed program information to the highlights of your board and staff team. You will even be able to generate a printable organization profile or summary at the click of a button.

This year, my own agenda for action includes making it easier for the community to understand what we do at Gulf Coast, how we do it, and how we’re doing at it. The Giving Partner will be a key part of that. If you have more ideas, I’d love to hear them. (And I resolve to give you full and proper credit if I share them in a future blog post!)

-Greg Luberecki
Director of Marketing and Communications
Gulf Coast Community Foundation

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