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VOL. 130 | NO. 130 | Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pearl and Mel Shaw

Share Your Vision in Concise, Compelling Ways

MEL and PEARL SHAW | Special to The Daily News

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How does your nonprofit report on its work? How do you share your vision, work and impact? Do you send an email? Create an annual report? What about an annual meeting bringing together donors, leaders, clients, vendors, partners, board members, and staff? Are you up to it? Can you make the time? Our perspective: How can you not afford the time?

We recently attended the annual meeting of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and were impressed. The board of directors took the time to craft a concise agenda that shared their vision and current work with their stakeholders. Here are three things that impressed us:

First, Gretchen Wollert McLennon, chair of the board development committee lifted up the work of current board leaders, made clear who was nominated to the executive committee, and welcomed the three women nominated to join as new members. We could tell the board had been busy over the past year as it had reorganized itself, moving from one board chair in 2015 (Andrea Bienstock) to co-chairs in 2016 (Beverly Cross, Ph.D., and Jennifer Oswalt). They now have an organizational effectiveness chair, a policies and procedures chair, and a Vision 2020 development chair (more about that later).

Second, as outgoing chair Bienstock gave specific examples of the work the foundation had accomplished over the past two years. Her tenure began with national recognition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is ending with the launch of Vision 2020. She shared how trustees and board members reflected on the foundation’s 20-year history and created a joint vision for how to make a meaningful impact on poverty in our city. Vision 2020 focuses the foundation’s work on ZIP Code 38126 for the next five years. The goal: reducing poverty by 1 percent a year for five years. She celebrated her fellow board members and shared how her service had deeply impacted her life.

Third, board member Cross facilitated a panel discussion on the work of Vision 2020. Esther Shin with Urban Strategies Inc. shared the impact of a two-generation approach to early childhood development. Kevin Woods, director of Workforce Investment Network, shared how his team will prepare residents of 38126 for jobs that employers want to fill thanks to a $3 million grant from HUD. Traci Stubblefield with FedEx shared how FedEx and the Hyde Family Foundations are launching Vision 2020 with $500,000. Her words: “We’re in all the way with Vision 2020.”

These were live people, sharing their collaborations in a clear, concise and compelling way to a cross-section of the best of Memphis: people who take action each day to lift up all that is good about our city and who we – as a community – can be. Take the time to share your vision – you’re worth it.

Mel and Pearl Shaw, owners of fundraising consultancy firm Saad&Shaw, can be reached at 901-522-8727 or saadandshaw.com.

PROPERTY SALES 38 38 12,796
MORTGAGES 27 27 8,030
BUILDING PERMITS 137 137 30,071
BANKRUPTCIES 44 44 6,108