It is hard to believe that a year ago I started this journey as CEO of DANA. During this first year, I have had the immense pleasure of meeting so many dedicated people working to better our state through philanthropy, governing, and nonprofit service. In the course of those conversations several themes emerged: 1) all agree that the agencies who serve Delaware make a difference in the community. 2) all agree that the funding landscape to support those services is shifting and shrinking, while it seems service demand increases, 3) that it is hard to know who is doing what in the State and how well, thus making it challenging to leverage and allocate resources and 4) all agree that this environment is not going to change unless we make it happen.
There are several initiatives in play that are helping us move forward towards solutions. The first is a project that DANA and the Delaware Grantmaker’s Association (DGA) are working on to create a database that showcases nonprofits in the state, where they serve, and what they do. This will help nonprofit leaders better understand who they can partner with to leverage resources, and will better inform grantmakers on who does what as they allocate resources. The second is the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition’s work to unify the philanthropy and nonprofit communities around State revenue growth to resource the services that make Delaware a great place to live. Third, DANA, the Delaware Community Foundation and the United Way of DE have partnered with the DE Business Times to promote philanthropy and have invited nonprofits to participate in the upcoming Giving Guide, scheduled to be released before “Giving Tuesday”.
And finally, with the common interest by government, grantmakers and nonprofit leaders to agree on what outcomes matter, DANA and DGA are partnering together to host an event on November 29th to bring grantmaking and nonprofit leaders together to hear from David Grant, author of The Social Profit Handbook, on methods to qualitatively assess program effectiveness.
At the end of the day, though – communicating success is just as important as making it happen. I know there are many organizations making incredible headway on their mission every day. But not everyone knows that. So, I’m inviting DANA member nonprofits to share their impact stories through this blog. I’m closing the chapter on my “Endless Journey” blog – and opening a new one: Celebrating our Impact. Please send me your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a picture and brief paragraph on what you do and how it transforms lives or the community. This will be the basis for my blogs going forward. Collectively, our stories can help to inform the community on the great and impactful work nonprofits do across Delaware.