At the invitation of the Community Foundation, directors and board members from thirty-five different organizations gathered to enjoy a delicious breakfast and to cultivate organizational and personal connections.
“Our island is fortunate to have so many excellent organizations that contribute to our quality of life but there are times when the people who are dedicated to a specific cause can find themselves with little time or opportunity to connect with others and learn what programs and projects other organizations are engaged in or, even dreaming about,” said Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director of SJICF. “We want to help bridge these gaps and one way to do that, is to bring everyone together. Feeding them doesn't hurt either!”
After everyone had an opportunity to freely network over breakfast and coffee, nonprofit leaders spent the remaining time listening to twelve organizations speak about their goals and vision for the rest of the year. New nonprofits were given the opportunity to tell the group who they were and what their mission was.
A surprise drawing was held at the end of breakfast with, Island Stage Left winning a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation. Helen Machin-Smith, Island Stage Left Director & Co-Founder, said that they will use the funds to support their work to provide top quality professional theatre - free of charge - to all islanders and island visitors, no matter what their financial or social status.
The Community Foundation works directly with just about all the local nonprofits, from the arts to the environment to senior support and everything in between. These are organizations that provide a broad array of programs and services that enrich our community.
Foundation Board member Lauren Levinson said, “The Community Foundation is unique among nonprofit organizations because we aim to be a resource for both our donors and our community nonprofit organizations. The Foundation provides knowledge and expertise on both sides of the philanthropic exchange. For example, we distribute grants to support and advance local nonprofit activities and projects. But we also identify current and emerging issues and critical needs, and seek solutions to address short and long-term needs. It is our goal to help support a healthy thriving community on San Juan Island.”
Laurie Orton, Director of the SJI Library said, “It was inspiring to see representatives from so many organizations and realize how many people here are working for the betterment of our community. I loved hearing about the great projects groups are working on, and to feel the support of others in the room for our individual missions. I loved it!”
Friday Harbor Elementary School Principal, Diane Ball, had this to say about the event, “Thank you for providing the opportunity for us to network with other nonprofit organizations. I made a valuable connection with Claire Wright from an island arts umbrella organization. We just posted a position for an art teacher and she could think of a few people who may be interested in this position, thanks to this networking opportunity.”
The Community Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization which serves as a trusted resource on San Juan Island and seeks to ensure the long-term health of our community by supporting projects and programs that benefit our citizens, meet community needs, test new ideas and, by awarding educational scholarships to deserving San Juan Island students.
Unlike most other charitable organization that exist to support the needs of a single cause, the Community Foundation helps many of our local nonprofits carry out their work in our community through grant guidance and support, organizational assistance and philanthropic resource management.
To learn more, contact Carrie Unpingco, Executive Director of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, 360-378-1001.