What Does Innovation Mean to You?

CFMC works hard to serve our fundholders, donors, and community members.  It’s common in philanthropic work to get caught up in the needs of the people we serve because, let’s be honest, while Morgan County is making strides in improvements, we have and will always have opportunities to improve.

CFMC is the same.  We’ve been your community foundation for 22 years.  We connect donors and their charitable giving to our county’s greatest needs, we provide thousands of dynamic grant dollars annually to organizations so they, too, create a lasting impact, and we specialize in creating ecosystems of community to tackle grassroots concerns and needs in our smaller communities.

CFMC also recognizes the importance of staff taking a step back from the day-to-day magic so we can personally and professionally develop.  A few weeks ago, I attended our state’s largest philanthropy conference hosted by the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), an alliance of which CFMC is a member.  It was a multi-day conference in Downtown Indianapolis that allowed me to meet peers from community foundations representing almost all 92 counties in Indiana, Indiana private foundations of all asset sizes and missions, and hear several compelling guest speakers.

As CFMC’s Community Development Officer, I spend the majority of my time engaged in community efforts, but I also serve as your content writer to better connect who CFMC is for our county, what CFMC does for our communities, residents, and non-profits, and why it matters to you.

Professional conferences are exciting to me for one reason.  I love innovating – and how convenient is it that innovation is one of CFMC’s core values?  It’s exciting to take something to the next level – to drive it in a new and unchartered direction.  It’s the same reason I woodwork as a hobby.  I’ve taken a $50 piece of sycamore slab wood that was forgotten in the corner of an antique shop, collecting dust, brought it home, and made a beautiful resin table.  It’s become a discussion piece in my entryway amongst guests, and it’s something I’m proud of.  I think of our community efforts in a similar manner.  Sure, we have approaches and mindsets in the community that say if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed.  And some of that is for a good reason.  But I’m thankful to work in ecosystems around the county that are willing to take a hard, honest look at concerns and community issues, build the right people around the table, and think innovatively.  Starting with the problem and brainstorming solutions, who is or should be involved, how we would fund a solution, and how we forge ahead are some of the most exciting, captivating, and my proudest moments serving our county.  Innovation is just that; how do we create a hand-up versus a hand-out to our greatest needs.

Whether it’s attending a conference specialized in your profession, or connecting with peers, how do you take a fresh look at what is in front of you?  At Philanthropy Leads, I was able to take a fresh look at various topics from peers and other leaders in areas like community development, fundraising, storytelling, and how to make people care.  We need this type of bravery in our neighborhoods and amongst nonprofits.  How do we become more innovative?  Are we asking the right questions?  Are we involving the right people?  Who are influencers in your community that support the ecosystem you are working to create?  What does your unchartered territory look like?

We are so thankful to be your community foundation.  Philanthropy work is humbling, yet we continue to need your help and feedback in how we can come alongside in your efforts.

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