For years, I dreaded the end of summer – who wouldn’t miss soaking up glorious sunny days and daylight well into the evening hours?  But there is something about fall and how it encourages reflection that I have to say is very appealing.  A perfect opportunity presented itself after returning from a recent conference with other community foundations across the country. 

What I’ve come away with after reading over my notes and thinking about the conversations boils down to a core question for me.  A question that gets to the heart of what our Foundation is really all about – how to strengthen the communities in our statewide network? 

But, then I’ve asked myself, isn’t this a core question for so many other organizations and individuals who live and work in these communities? Of course it is  -- nonprofits, local governments, faith-based organizations, civic groups grapple with this just as we do. And therein lies both the potential power we have and the major challenge – how can we work together, drawing up each other’s expertise and talents for the greater good of the places we live in and care about so strongly? How can we blend our collective passions and energies to create vibrant communities?

At the conference, I jotted down a note shared by another community foundation that I’ve  thought about a lot. It’s another question – how do we widen our circle and deepen our engagement?  It’s become for me “a reflection keeper” and as we get more into the rhythm of this season’s changing, vibrant colors, I invite you to reflect upon it, too.

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