People Helping People: Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia donors stay "courageous" in tough economy

"Success is not final: failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

Not only are more of our citizens and friends suffering due to the economic downturn, so many of our nonprofit organizations have been extremely overburdened and forced to scale down to essential services. We know that as an organization we have to be strong, stay focused to our mission, be creative and most of all be "courageous." Courageous enough to care, courageous enough to continue the mission of the Foundation, courageous enough to be creative and certainly courageous enough to strive for the "greater good."

Our community has become aware of the Foundation's ability to convene, provide service and encourage collaborative efforts. Despite the financial challenges of the economy, contributions to the Foundation persist. The Board of Directors continues review of our investment approach, always seeking the best return through prudent management of gifts donated. These actions are a core strength of the Foundation.

As corporate jobs - as well as corporate dollars - are drastically cut, the individual donors are "courageous" and caring enough to give to the needs with greater generosity and with greater dollars than ever before. A community foundation's role is to connect donors with nonprofits who are doing good work in the area. Making these connections led to over $6.5 million dollars in proactive grants in 2008.

As the economy begins to heal, we can faithfully assure this remarkable community that our endeavors in the Northeast Georgia region will continue. Hope still lives and a strong belief in the spirit of philanthropy will feed our souls and encourage us in the days ahead.

As executive director, I sincerely thank all of you for your support and dedication to the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. I feel honored to serve you and look forward to a stronger and more vibrant ability to promote philanthropy.

Judy Waters is executive director of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.

People Helping People is a weekly column written by the executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Gwinnett County. Need help or know someone that does? The Gwinnett Helpline directs callers to the appropriate nonprofit agency. Call 770-995-3339.