5 Things Nonprofits & Foundations Can Be Grateful For All Year Long

November 26, 2013

sunriseDuring the week of Thanksgiving, we are more open in expressing gratitude for the greatest and smallest of good things.

While we may be vocal with our appreciation this time of year, we have so much to be thankful for every day.

  1. Generous donors.
    First and foremost, the work we are able to do to help our community is made possible through generous donors.  “Generous” donors are those who trust our nonprofits and foundations with their legacies, their major gifts, their recurring monthly donations, or their single contributions of $10 or $25.  Thanking them year-round by relaying stories of the positive difference we are making–made possible by them–is an important way to boost our organizational stability and reaffirm their commitment to it. We can also thank them by continuing to instill trust in the nonprofit sector as a whole and in our individual institutions.  Special thanks to the nonprofits demonstrating transparency, updating their profiles in The Giving Partner on a regular basis.

  2. Strong leaders.
    Organizational leaders are our board members and our executive staff. But they are also the program assistants, development associates, marketing directors, volunteer managers and others who lead with fortitude, determination and courage within their roles. We can express our gratitude by affording all of our team members opportunities for ongoing professional development.

  3. Daring and caring media partners.
    Southwest Florida is home to media partners who regularly showcase their generosity with many thousands of dollars of in-kind support for nonprofit organizations and foundation-led initiatives.  Make no mistake, space in publications is not “free” for our media friends. Additionally, reporters and editors frequently cover the stories our nonprofits and foundations address through philanthropy–homelessness, human trafficking, the arts, conservation, education, and many other issues.  Kudos to the Herald-Tribune Media Group, Clear Channel, Sarasota Magazine, The Observer Group, SNN Local News 6, the Venice Gondolier, Bradenton Herald, and all of the media partners who strengthen our voices for positive change.

  4. Dedicated volunteers. Volunteers sort food, answer telephones, transport homeless animals, teach adult literacy courses, mentor kids aging out of foster care, table events at the local farmer’s markets, evaluate scholarship applications, lead special events committees, serve on your board of directors. They deliver a full spectrum of services without receiving compensation for their time and talents. We could not deliver on the promises to those who depend on our organizations without them. What gratitude we owe volunteers! And many, yes many, are also donors.

  5. Investments in capacity building.
    The Council on Foundations, Southeastern Council of Foundations, Florida Philanthropic Network and other organizations deliver incredible resources to help foundations build their capacity, advocate, take care of their grantees, innovate in philanthropy. We are grateful for the contributions of their staff and boards. Locally, nonprofits have the gift of associations such as a strong local chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Florida Public Relations Association. The Patterson Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County are each heavily invested in helping nonprofits beyond the dollar–whether it’s facilitating collaborations, providing access to professional consultants, or offering free trainings and workshops.  Foundations and donors are grateful for the organizations who make excellence and continuing development a priority.

Let’s not be shy about expressing our gratitude throughout the year.

For many, hearing the simple message of “I appreciate you” provides the fuel to charge forth with renewed energy and commitment to the mission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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