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Community Foundations ‘Connecting for Good’

Directors and staff have just returned from the 2013 Fall Conference for Community Foundations “Connecting for Good” sponsored by the Council on Foundations. The annual conference is an opportunity to meet with directors and staff from many of the over 700 community foundations that are located throughout the United States.

It is also an opportunity to showcase what other community foundations are doing in their service areas (this year, the Greater San Diego area), and to hear about trends for how community foundations continue to grow and evolve.

For example, one session that I attended discussed how community foundations are seeking more opportunities to work cooperatively with government at all levels to address common problems, such as the homeless, feeding the hungry or economic disconnect. With my experience of working in local government, perhaps we can use that experience to improve upon the quality of connections over such issues.

When our group got together over dinner on the final evening of the conference, we were able to exchange impressions, generate ideas, and discuss how the information that we heard can be translated into what we do as our Community Foundation.

As a first time attendee of the annual conference, my initial takeaway was how impressed I was by the numerous board members, executive directors and their staff doing exceptional good works in their communities. In many ways, we have just scratched the surface on what we may be able to accomplish as a community foundation serving our area. I am excited by what we have ahead of us!

Next year’s conference will be in Cleveland, Ohio marking the 100th anniversary of the Cleveland Foundation and the birth of community foundations. I will have more about the history of community foundations and the importance of this birthday in 2014 in my January blog.