Celebrating Community Philanthropy!

This is National Community Foundations Week and instead of writing a piece on this, I thought it best to post a blog entry from my colleague Judy Sjostedt who is the executive director of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates in West Virginia.

The Council on Foundations posted this on November 12th and I think it says it all! Her community is miles from Grand Rapids but regardless, philanthropy at the community level is quite powerful as noted in her first paragraph:

"Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett. I asked local West Virginia leaders recently what these three had in common other than great wealth. Those present quickly responded that all three are wonderful philanthropists doing phenomenal things. That's true, I said, but not the most significant answer for us. They looked at me, questioning. The most important thing in common in relationship to us, I replied, is that none of them live here. Their giving does not hold the strongest potential to transform our hometowns; our local citizens' philanthropy is far more essential."

So be it West Michigan or West Virginia, Judy has focused on the key reason why community foundations are at the heart of philanthropy in their respective communities! Well said Judy!