It’s Day 3 and I am posting my second blog entry of the conference. My freshest thoughts are about Mayor Bloomberg’s speech. As the teacher in “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse” says repeatedly, “Wow”! I had the same response to Melody Barnes, yesterday’s luncheon plenary speaker. Both have great conviction, energy, and humor, and both have great stories to tell. And they did tell them well!
Some good news: government and philanthropy are seeking partnerships with each other and that some policymakers actually understand what foundations are all about (unlike the CNN reporter who called Mark Charendoff, Jewish Funders Network, about Madoff the man and needed a primer on what a foundation is and does).
Out of Bloomberg’s great speech, here is what resonated most: “Shame on us if we don’t have the guts to try new things;” set metrics and measure impact, use policy reform to achieve your goals, and tell your story with clarity, conviction and humor. He also talked about loving what you do. I wanted to leave the session and go right to NYC to see the waterfalls!
I think this is breaking the word limit rule yet I want to briefly touch on the inclusion track having gone to several of the sessions. My big takeaway? A movement is underway and the field seems ready to change the conversation from why this is important to what we are learning from the many efforts underway across the U.S. I also want to applaud Carol Goss and Sterling Speirn for being consistent and compelling leaders on this issue. We’re glad they live in Michigan!
Vicki Rosenberg is vice president—education, communications and external relations at the Council of Michigan Foundations.