I am! We are! Listening is at the core of what we do at the Foundation.
Our mission -- to inspire North Carolinians to make lasting and meaningful contributions to their communities. -- comes to life every day and especially for me as I travel in our communities, meeting with donors, affiliate board members and grantees.
… to a grantee tell board members during a site visit how their grant provided funds for the outreach pantry, and then I listened intently when one of the members offered to help with additional support from his church. Her story: She has a full-time job and does this work with other volunteers because they want to reduce the number of people who go hungry in their community.
… to staff at a museum share with me how they wanted to build their endowment for program enhancements. Their story: They are already envisioning new exhibits that will attract more visitors and contribute to the vitality of the city.
… as an affiliate board discussed convening an educational event on the problem of homelessness with nonprofits and donors in their county. Their story: They see their role as community leaders informing more people about this pressing need.
… as the father of a young woman who died of cancer talked about a scholarship the family established in her honor. His story: That high school students who need financial assistance to attend college can benefit from his daughter’s legacy of never giving up.
… as a grantee shared with me her vision of expanding services for people who need food, clothing, shelter, health care, as well as educational classes that can lead to employment. Her story: She is passionate about offering a place for people to feel welcome, safe and prepared as they make their way to a better life.
… as an affiliate board president introduced each grantee at an awards reception. As the last recipient gave remarks, she commented that each nonprofit receiving the grants collaborates with one another and how the gathering brought them together in yet another way. Their story: That the affiliate serves as a core connector in the community.
Who’s listening? I am! We are! I came across this quote that sums it up well -- “Listening is the secret to discover great stories.” Fyrefly, London.