“If not for…”

betsy dayWatch out, Frederick County! I have a new approach to sharing the Community Foundation’s accomplishments.

This past week, a colleague from a larger community foundation shared his strategy in telling his community about his organization’s achievements through its discretionary grantsmaking. He called it the “if not for” position. What happened “if not for” a Community Foundation grant? What void was filled “if not for” funding from one or more of the Community Foundation’s component funds?

I thought about his communications strategy for the past couple of days. The ”if not for” approach is very poetic, and even a little dramatic. (Please picture me here saying,”if not for” with my index finger in the air above my head!) However, I have chosen to twist the message around a little bit to become my new “because of” approach.

So here is my best shot at telling the Community Foundation’s story with my new “because of” strategy in describing what we do with the funds in which the donors ask us to make the funding decisions:

Because of the Community Foundation discretionary grant, Way Station had the funding to start its medical home pilot project to help persons with mental illness receive medical care.

Because of the Community Foundation discretionary grant, persons with disabilities participated in art classes at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center.

Because of the Community Foundation discretionary grant, Frederick Rescue Mission had partial funding for the case manager position in its Changed Life Recovery Program.

Because of the Community Foundation discretionary grant, Frederick County residents needing dental care weren’t turned away from seeking assistance through Seton Center and Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs.

Because of the Community Foundation discretionary grant, Second Chances Garage was able to secure a second service bay lift, allowing it to fix more cars to sell to persons of low-income so that they have transportation to work.

Because of a Community Foundation discretionary grant, Historical Society of Frederick County has more supplies to archive and restore significant materials pertaining for Frederick County’s past.

And the biggest “because of” statement…

Because of YOU making Community Foundation discretionary grants possible through your generosity and caring, we are creating impact in areas of the most critical need in ways that are For Good. Forever. For Frederick County.

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