We all know the feeling … the one you have after a big celebration. A part of you takes a deep breath and sighs, “Whew… now I can relax…”  But then there’s the other part of you that feels sad and a bit down.  All of the months and weeks of preparation, the day comes and in what seems like a flash, it’s gone.  You regret that you didn’t have time for all of the conversations you’d hoped to have.

This mix of emotions describes how I’m feeling about NCCF’s Affiliate Forum and 25th Anniversary Celebration last Friday, Oct. 25. Close to 60 affiliate board members representing 38 of our affiliates from as far east as Elizabeth City to as far west as Franklin attended. Add to this more than 100 NCCF board leaders, donors and guests who were at the luncheon and you get the picture.

So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to savor last Friday with you.  I’m closing my eyes and savoring the incredible energy from the conversations and images from the day… visualizing our volunteer affiliate leaders in lively conversations about how their local foundations can have the greatest impact in their communities….

…Convening nonprofits in their local communities to foster deeper support and collaboration with them.  And, what better time to think creatively about this than now as our state gets ready to celebrate November as Nonprofit Awareness Month.

…Hosting receptions where the NCCF donors in that county can come together and raise their visibility so more people will be inspired to give and start new funds

…Growing scholarship funds so that students who might otherwise not be able to afford college have that opportunity

…Being the “local ambassadors” in their communities for inspiring local philanthropy and making it accessible to all who live there

I have another visual, and although not exactly from last Friday, it’s prominent. It’s one I imagine from 25 years ago when Mr. Lewis Holding, our founder, created NCCF and our unique statewide affiliate model.  I didn’t have the honor of meeting and knowing him, but my visual is that he was in lots of conversations and they, too, were filled with energy emanating from his vision of what could and would be. 

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