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Celebrating the Community Foundation's Qualitative and Quantitative Accomplishments

Jessica Bantham Thomsen is the Development Associate for the Community Foundation of Western Nevada By Jesscia Bantham Thomsen 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.