Connecting all across the country


Sometimes the best way to connect with someone is simply face-to-face.

This fall, we get to not only support initiatives that encourage authentic, one-on-one interactions among our community members, but we'll also get to come to the table in collaborations that crisscross the country.

Next month, I am particularly excited that the Community Foundation is playing a major role in sponsoring CEOs for Cities, a large, well-connected network of city leaders from across the nation who put their minds together to better their communities. Supporting this initiative means sending a cluster of 20 Q2030 Regional Action Plan leaders to the national meeting in Columbus, Ohio, at the end of September.

This is an opportunity to develop new relationships with leaders from other cities, and learn from their success and challenges, all to strengthen our own regional vision and action plan for the Quad Cities. When a roomful of people with different expertise, background, experiences and knowledge have an opportunity to travel and learn together, the energy will lead to even better outcomes and results. We are a thriving, growing region standing on the cusp of an ambitious plan to attract and retain businesses and quality of life opportunities that are cool, creative, connected and prosperous. This opportunity should be a great chance to take yet another giant step forward in our work, and to do so collectively.

On the national stage, our Vice President of Finance and Administration, Kathy Graves, has been part of a working group planning the Council on Foundation's Endowments and Finance Summit in New York City September 28-30. Some of the nation's top finance leaders in philanthropy will be together to build knowledge in our field—and help us improve our ability to achieve our mission. We're grateful for Kathy's leadership role in offering this summit.

Locally, just this month our Director of Programs, Kelly Thompson, participated in the Opportunities Quad Cities Prosperity Summit, which sought to continue uncovering innovative ways to help people living in poverty by pairing them in one-on-one mentoring relationships with people who have experienced success in their lives. You may remember that we made our first Transformation Grant to Opportunities Quad Cities last year.

The Opportunities Quad Cities Prosperity Summit focused on ways to break down the barriers that stand in the way of helping people out of poverty. That work includes better education, targeted resources, and what we believe might be most important—providing hope for people in poverty by building navigator-neighbor relationships.

The Navigator Program is a great model because it's helping neighbors connect, share and improve each others' lives in a real way. The truth is, we care more about people when we know them.

As we head into the fall, I am excited that so much of what we do centers on getting to the heart of generosity—caring about people. If we continue to stay focused on the idea that we are better together, both here in the Quad Cities, and as we connect with cool, creative, prosperous people across the country, we will gain momentum through learning, listening and engaging to accomplish great things.