Our affiliates make a real difference

By Bob Kornegay
Member, Affiliate Impact Committee
Board President, Duplin County Community Foundation

I’ve been a member of the Duplin County Community Foundation board since it started.

When Milford Quinn, a respected businessman and noteworthy leader in our community, called and asked me to serve, I immediately said yes.

As Mr. Quinn grew older and reflected on his success, he saw the ways Duplin County was struggling and wanted to give back to his community.

He saw the NCCF affiliate network as the best way he could take his resources, partner them with the resources of other local leaders, and work together to address our community’s needs.

He knew the ability grantmaking has to bring nonprofits and community members together to learn about what’s happening in our area and see firsthand all the good that’s going on.

He was a visionary who understood the power our community foundation has to impact our local community and make life better for our neighbors.

Since he called and I got involved, that’s what it’s been all about for me. I’ve loved every moment of being on the board and learning more deeply about all the good things happening in our county.

It keeps me going and makes me want to do more to help more people.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to expand that commitment by serving on the NCCF’s Affiliate Impact Committee, representing the local affiliate foundations that make up the southeastern region of the state.

The Committee has been a remarkably beneficial experience for me as the leader of our local affiliate.

Hearing what other people are doing across the state is valuable. I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. I love hearing what’s working in other communities and how it could be adapted for what works in our community.

This is especially valuable through the Affiliate Impact Committee. Our affiliates have so much in common. We’re all working collectively to make our communities a better place, we all care deeply about rural North Carolina and we all ultimately want to grow our funds.

We know that the more we grow, the more we can do to help our communities. Having NCCF here to help in that mission and support the work of the affiliates is critical to our collective success.

The Committee has already provided the opportunity to not only connect with other affiliate leaders across the state but be present in the same room together. Email, webinars, phone calls and the like all have their place, but there’s something about sitting around a table and looking somebody in the eye that makes the connection deeper.

It’s always valuable to meet like-minded people. Our statewide affiliate network is fundamentally made up of the kind of people who want to help their communities. Nothing could be more inspiring to me.

It’s easy to look at all the things going on in the world and think we can’t do anything about it. But you can make a difference. It all starts with your own community. That’s how you change the world. It happens one person at a time.