A message from the Foundation's leadership
For an organization like the Community Foundation, an Annual Report is an impossible undertaking. How can we summarize the generosity of our donors and the joy of seeing lives changed in a few short pages?
In the past year, we have seen so many good things happen. Our board and staff have engaged community leaders, donors and grantees, listening to stories that show their love for this city. Together, we have celebrated great accomplishments. We also share a deep desire to make Chattanooga better by addressing chronic issues like persistent poverty, lack of economic mobility and educational inequities. These conversations set the course for the Foundation as we went through a strategic planning process focused on inspiring generosity by creating opportunities for purposeful giving.
We are excited to share, through this report, the progress that we have made toward the vision that you helped us create. In our first year of our new Strategic Plan, we have been:
Connecting Donors' Passions with Purpose.
We launched a donor services program, working with donors to help them identify the values that motivate their giving as well as the impact that they hope to see — and the legacy they hope to leave — in the community. Next, we help them connect their passions with real needs of fellow Chattanoogans.
Focusing on Strategic Grantmaking and Community Leadership.
Included in this report are just a handful of stories of our grants this year. Together with our donors we gave out more than $15 million to nonprofits working on critical community issues. We helped more than 400 students attend college, creating new life pathways into opportunity. And we invested in a community data project that will bring new insights into local needs, helping us understand our community’s greatest challenges, and craft solutions that address the root causes.
In partnership with professional advisors, we developed new ways for donors to give, including an Individually Managed Fund program. This program lets donors maintain their trusted financial advisors while accessing the philanthropic and community expertise of the Foundation staff. We also developed a Supporting Organization to facilitate the Foundation’s largest planned gift ever, allowing a donor to leave a lasting legacy on the community he loves. While this report only tells a small part of the story, we are delighted to share it with you. If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to sit down with you to talk about how your own passions can connect with purpose right here in Chattanooga. To you, and everyone who was engaged in this work, thank you. We are inspired by your generosity, love of community and commitment to creating greater opportunities for all who call Chattanooga home.