To respond to our region’s greatest needs, we must advance philanthropy as a vehicle for justice
ELAINE ABELAYE-MATEO, Member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Community Impact Committee
NIVA FLOR, Chief Impact & Strategy Officer
Our region is a special place. Home to over two million people, our four counties are a hub of rich arts, recreation, sports, education, and cultural communities. Yet the capital area faces problems that are complex and interconnected, and no one can solve them alone. As writer Grace Lee Boggs said, “The only way to survive is by taking care of one another.”
“Taking care of one another” is the work of a community foundation like ours, a sentiment we centered during the development of the Foundation’s new Strategic Roadmap. After reviewing existing data, feedback from our closest partners and other stakeholders, and months of internal dialogue and discussion, what emerged from the process was an encouraging picture of the Foundation’s accomplishments. Also present was a theme that, to enhance our collective impact, we must be bolder.
Our new Strategic Roadmap charges us to grow the philanthropic resources available to the Sacramento region and enhance our leadership activities, ensuring all of our efforts are rooted in — and advance — diversity, equity, and inclusion.
It’s 2023. Let’s. Be. Bold.
More than simply seeing philanthropy as an end-in-itself, the Foundation must be bolder in advancing philanthropy as a vehicle for justice in our region. This resolve is embedded in our new mission statement: “The Foundation leads, serves, and inspires enduring philanthropy for a just and vibrant Sacramento region.”
To achieve a just and vibrant region, our work must be innovative, inclusive, and guided by the people and communities closest to the complex challenges we face. We are committed to ensuring Foundation-directed grantmaking and community leadership reflect and are guided by the voices of the communities we serve. This means committing resources to help our partners effectively and sustainably advance solutions that drive meaningful change, a continuation and expansion of efforts tied to our discretionary Building Equitable Communities Fund, through which we have supported programs that increase access to services for area residents. In 2020 and 2021, we tripled our grantmaking to support pandemic response efforts, particularly at organizations that were ably and nimbly serving our neighbors most affected by health and economic crises.
It also means creating opportunities to receive direct feedback from community members, which will be the focus of our Community Impact Committee this year. Over the coming months, we aim to engage with you — our partners and fundholders, our community — more than we have before, so we can better understand the emerging needs of our region, and evolve our priorities based on ongoing analysis of our community’s assets, challenges, and aspirations.
We will offer opportunities to engage with our work throughout the year. If you’d like to be kept informed of ways to be involved, please register for related email updates from our team.
While the world has changed dramatically in recent years, we will continue “taking care of one another.” At the Foundation, we are committed to strengthening local philanthropy in pursuit of a just and vibrant region for us all. In collaboration with you, we are eager to continue this work, more boldly than ever.
We are excited to work alongside you — our partners in the community — to inspire bold philanthropy in the Sacramento region for years to come.