Timing is everything . . .

And so the expression goes.   Last year at this time we began to focus on the community leadership dimension with our statewide network of affiliate foundations.  The timing was right — many of them are celebrating milestone anniversaries and are doing what we do on such memorable occasions – reflecting on their histories.  They have inspired philanthropy in their communities, raising funds for charitable purposes and supporting nonprofits through their grantmaking.

The timing was also right for NCCF to be part of a national cutting-edge movement shared with other community foundations to focus on the community leadership role we can play.

This past year I’ve had the pleasure of travelling across the state with my regional staff, meeting with many of our 60 affiliates.  I’ve come away from each meeting more and more excited about their leadership in marshaling local resources to meet pressing community needs.

Just last week, my staff and I met to reflect on last year’s work and begin our planning for the year ahead.  We talked about our local foundations’ roles to address local needs as Catalysts, Conveners and Connectors in their respective communities.  What do these three C’s mean?  Here are just a few examples of what some of our affiliates are already doing:

Granville County Community Foundation is acting as a catalyst and convener to bring together elected officials, clergy, community college and business leaders to encourage employers to hire individuals who have been chronically unemployed. 

The Jones County Community Foundation, in collaboration with the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, has convened community meetings to raise awareness about the migration of young people from the county, working on a possible solution by raising funds to create an endowment to support an entrepreneurship program at the high school. 

Last year, when many of our communities were affected by the tornadoes and Hurricane Irene, several of our local foundations met with local officials and other groups to learn first-hand about the impact.  With support from our statewide NCCF Disaster Relief Fund, they made grants to nonprofits that provided services to victims.

Fast forwarding … I’m not exactly sure what I will be writing about next, but I know the timing will be right to share even more about the three C’s — and what leadership roles our affiliates are taking to make a difference in communities throughout the state!