Back at the end of August—a whole month ago, now!—I was excited to join the team at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. Prior to that time, I had certainly heard about the organization’s good work in the community but had no idea of the scope or scale of those efforts. In fact, every day I have been here, I chat with someone or learn something that surprises, amazes, or inspires me further.
When telling family and friends about the Community Foundation, I find myself leading with the information that we have granted $100 million in the past 19 years. People are shocked to hear that, especially those who were not previously familiar with the organization. That $100 million is the “hook,” and it’s a good one. And there are many other figures that are equally impressive: more than 6,800 grants made since our founding, for example; or more than 1,700 different charities and schools served by those grants.
It is far from the whole story, though.
My father, a recently retired professor, likes to expound upon the importance of both quantitative and qualitative measures when evaluating operations. While growing up, I must admit that my brother and I engaged in some pretty serious eye-rolling during his dinnertime lectures (sorry, Dad!). Now, however, I find myself thinking about that with respect to the Community Foundation’s role in the region.
Quantitative measures provide a vital starting point for understanding an organization’s impact. They are specific, comparable, and generally easy to observe. What they don’t demonstrate is qualitative value: the life-changing influence of a scholarship to college (or preschool) for a student who might not otherwise be able to attend; the importance of having a readily accessible caregivers’ guidebook and resource list when a loved one suddenly falls ill; the exponential effect that occurs when you bring together people who care with causes that matter. These are all a part of the Community Foundation’s story, as well.
In celebrating the $100 million milestone, we recognize both the accomplishments and the people that make the Community Foundation—and our home—such a compelling place. This is YOUR Community Foundation. Thank you for all that you do, and thank you for letting me be a very small part of it.
If you would like more information about becoming involved in the Community Foundation, please give us a call at 775-333-5499.