In March of 2013, I had the great honor of being named CEO of the Mary Black Foundation. Later that year, the trustees and staff created a 3-year strategic plan and we were challenged to be a more pro-active Foundation, a convener and a leader in the community, to leverage our funds, and to dig deeper to measure the impact we were making. During those three years we were able to:
- Create logic models and theories of change to institute Outcomes Focused Grantmaking processes that give us short term, midterm, and long term objectives. We absolutely know now if what we are investing in is moving the needle.
- In 2014, we led the community leaders in applying for (and being named) one of five communities across the country In The Way to Wellville. This is a 10-year challenge to find creative and innovative ways to move the needle in major health related issues in the city of Spartanburg. This has been a game changer for the entire community, teaching us a different way of thinking, a different way of working together. We are all very proud of our progress.
- We found ways to leverage our funds by 1) providing a loan to the city to enable them to renovate five parks and 2) applying for and receiving a $5.3 million federal grant to focus on adolescent health.
These are just a few examples… the team we have at the Foundation is second to none. They know what needs to be accomplished and they go for it. Our grantees are our partners…we are only as good as they are so we work closely with them to help them be the best they can be.
I leave the Foundation at the end of June and feel great pride that we accomplished what the trustees envisioned. With Molly’s leadership, the team will continue to make significant impact. I thank them for all their support and I thank the trustees for all their confidence.