Mid-Year Update from President & CEO Sherrie Armstrong
The dog days of summer are here, and we hope you are finding ways to recharge, reconnect with friends and family, and stay cool. One of the ways our team is beating the heat is by staying busy and focused on ways to further improve the quality of life and cultivate the spirit of giving among all people in the Richmond region. We do this in partnership with you.
In this newsletter, you will see highlights of our work in numbers. 2021 ended strong, boosted by more than $100M in gifts to new and existing funds, as well as strong investment returns. While 2022 has experienced more volatility, we continue to benefit from a long-term investment strategy, 12-quarter rolling average spending calculation, and the tremendous generosity of our community. The benefit of a strong financial position is what it means for our community. Recently, the Community Foundation awarded $4.6 million through the 2022 Community Impact Grants program, benefiting 125 local organizations that offer direct service, system alignment and advocacy support to help individuals and families build a path to economic mobility.
While our focused grantmaking approach is a complement to donor-directed grants that supports a wide range of needs and interests, we are experiencing increased donor partnership where our combined investments in key initiatives can accelerate or scale long-term, positive change. We are especially excited that our newest donors are increasingly diverse in age, race and gender, which offers insight into emerging issues and engagement preferences that will help shape and expand philanthropy going forward. It’s this spirit of partnership that gets me out of bed each day. People – and their trust in us – remain the heart of our work, and so we continue to listen, learn, reflect and adapt to ensure that the future of philanthropy is more inclusive in its outreach and equitable in its outcomes.
We are bringing people and organizations together to learn about the issues and understand how we can remove historic barriers that have left so many behind. We are celebrating the rich and diverse giving traditions of individuals, families and cultures by uplifting new voices and sharing stories. And we have expanded our giving options, including collective giving and tools for civic action, to create more opportunities for participation.
We are on a journey and we thank you for coming along with us. As we move into the fall and a new season of activity, we endeavor to build on this momentum. Please reach out to me anytime if you have ideas or input that can further enhance our collective efforts to strengthen our region.