FROM THE PRESIDENT
In a Place Not of Our Making
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn't cause, we don't like, and we didn't expect. My oldest son is not a political being, despite having grown up in Washington, DC. He won't argue politics with anyone, refusing to judge people by their political affiliation. He is a kind-hearted person, who sees the best in everyone. The irony isn't lost on me that he is the one of my three children at a college in the middle of a national political controversy. You may have heard that Hampshire College has been embroiled in a situation about the U.S. flag. My son, who was away from campus when the situation started, seems to be doing fine, while I sit miles away reading emails from the college about campus security, the media, and protests.
The election that is just behind us has caused many unexpected consequences already. Compass is a non-religious, non-political organization. We don't take sides, but rather stay true to our mission to support nonprofits doing important work in our local communities. I couldn't help but notice in the weeks after the election that I hardly spoke to a nonprofit leader or read an email from a nonprofit, association or foundation that didn't refer to the election and the concerns about what could be ahead for the sector.
Uncertainty makes people worry, and change brings anxiety. A sector that is already overworked and under-resourced is now wondering about the next shoe to drop. Whether it actually happens or not isn't the point. The reality is that people feel anxious not knowing whether there will be more need for their services and fewer dollars to go around to make the work possible.
In my experience, when people are anxious, worried and concerned, it is not the time to stand aside or wait to see what happens. This is the time to step up. As an advocate for nonprofits, I'd like to encourage everyone to redouble their support for nonprofits. An extra donation, a call to check in, taking an Executive Director to lunch just to say thanks. This is the year to give more.
At Compass, we see the incredible work being done by the nonprofits in our community every day. We have sent more than 300 professionals into the nonprofit sector this year to provide pro bono consulting to local nonprofits in the Washington and Philadelphia areas. We are so thankful for these talented professionals who are willing to give their time to help their local nonprofits and the community overall. We are also so grateful for the support we receive from our donors, foundations, and corporate partners that allow us to fulfill our mission.
I hope this year you will consider contributing to local nonprofits in a way that is meaningful for you - to Compass directly or to other nonprofits working in our community. Together we can make a difference for people and nonprofits in need of assistance.
At Compass' recent 15th Anniversary Celebration, I told the guests there will always be people who need the services of nonprofits, there will always be nonprofits ready to serve them, and there will always be nonprofits that need the services of Compass. Compass will continue to bring together the nonprofit world and the business world because we are part of both worlds, and both worlds need each other.
Every December, despite the happenings around me, the holiday season makes me feel hopeful. I continue to believe that people and businesses will step up, and that good things will happen.
The ability to effect positive change is in our capabilities. That's how we find ourselves in a place of our making.
I wish you a joyful holiday season and all the best for 2017!