Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Fall Conference for Community Foundations with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Brian Frederick, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

By:  Brian Frederick

It’s hard to believe that it was almost three years ago, September 17th to 19th 2007 to be exact, that I attended my last Fall Conference for Community Foundations. The Fall Conference has been an annual opportunity to recharge my batteries, gain new ideas and perspectives, and of course network with colleagues. Scheduling and budget constraints led to a hiatus in 2008 and 2009, so I’m very ready to reconnect in Charlotte.

Much has changed over the past three years. Numerous friends have left our field for retirement or different pursuits. A challenging economy has prompted, if not forced, a reexamination of our approaches to asset development, grantmaking, leadership, and sustainability. There seems to be an increasing awareness and acknowledgement of community foundations as a new and promising breed of anchor institutions in our communities (a role we’ve been playing since 1914). And community needs – well they just continue to grow.

The past three years have reinforced my belief that it is our reaction to, and management of, opportunities and challenges that will ultimately define the future of our community foundation.

AAA Trip Tiks® or Mapquest directions are of little help when the journey is filled with detours and side trips – we need a GPS. That’s what I’m anticipating as I board my flight to Charlotte; tools and ideas to help me navigate, manage, envision, lead, and adapt. The Fall Conference epitomizes the best of our community foundation field particularly that we aren’t on the journey alone. I’m ready to immerse myself into the learning and sharing I’ve come to appreciate every autumn. How about you?

Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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