November 2016

A week before Thanksgiving, the Arizona Grantmakers Forum board of directors gathered for its final meeting of 2016 and the opportunity to reflect on AGF’s achievements and plan for the year ahead. A quick glance in the rearview mirror reveals that we have much to celebrate. And the path before us offers exciting new prospects for members to learn, collaborate and lead together.

Just over a year ago, the board approved a new strategic direction for AGF including a bold mission to empower our members to transform Arizona through leadership and meaningful philanthropy. In January, we launched our 2016-2018 strategic plan with three key goals focused on enhancing value, expanding our statewide membership and increasing our ability to influence key issues impacting the people and communities we serve.

We’re making big strides on all three fronts. This year, we measurably raised the quality of our educational programs with The Values Series and other offerings and welcomed nine new members, including four in southern Arizona. We also significantly stepped up our public policy engagement, joining with other stakeholder groups to support successful legislation to restore children’s health insurance, encourage charitable giving and improve outcomes for foster care students.

This is only the beginning and, in 2017, we’ll actively engage members to build on these successes. In approving next year’s budget, the board wisely moved to invest resources in researching and analyzing what AGF members most value and need from your regional association. Under the board’s leadership, we’ll launch a series of focus groups and conversations with current and prospective members so that we can listen to and learn from you. I encourage you to embrace these opportunities as we look for insights into how AGF can best serve your needs.

AGF Board Chair Sandi Perez and I look forward to sharing more detail about our progress and plans for the future at our 2016 Annual Meeting on December 15. I hope you can join us for this festive event and the chance to hear from our keynote speaker, Center for Effective Philanthropy CEO Phil Buchanan. Phil will draw upon the findings from CEP’s recent research report, “Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency” to lead us in an interactive and timely discussion about what and how we should communicate. I’m happy to report that spaces are filling up, so please register today!

Best,

Laurie
President and Chief Executive Officer