It is not often in the non-profit world that you get the opportunity to set aside the competition of who is doing the more important work, who is able to connect with donors best, or who has greater name recognition. Competition isn’t something most people expect from nonprofits. Competing for customers and market share is a for-profit kind of thing, right? You can trust me when I say competition is an ever-present truth for us, rearing its head at different times as each year unfolds.
Bring on a global pandemic- where we cannot hold events; many of our donors are distracted; our staff, volunteers and clients are scattered and uncertain- and we find ourselves faced with the question- what on earth do we do?
People need us.
Our community needs us.
We need our donors.
This work is important
We need to find a way to pivot.
The brainchild of the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, and positive solution for eleven community non-profits who were in the same shoes that we found ourselves in- asking the same question- What in the world do we do? The answer: work together.
Pull together the brain power, the experience, the contacts, the influence, the wisdom, the commitment, the boldness and the drive, of the leaders of many of our community non-profits, to work together to support each other, and to enable each one of us to continue to support our community members who rely on us.
What an experience. It was educational. It was uplifting. It was refreshing. Many of us thought we knew what the other was doing to help the community, only to find, we really didn’t. Many of us thought we knew each other well, when it turned out, there was so much more to learn. Many of us thought we were probably (one of) the most valuable organizations to our clients, only to realize, we are all so very important. Like puzzle pieces, making up the whole picture of what community support and caring looks like.
I feel honored to have worked alongside so many amazing people throughout this experience. I am grateful to Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation for coming up with the concept and helping us all see it through to fruition. I am humbled by the members of our community, both business’ and individuals, who supported it financially, and in doing so, supported all of us.
In the middle of a global pandemic, when it is so easy to feel hopeless, and unsure, we were given the gift of knowing we stand STRONG alongside fantastic partners, and that there is a group of organizations with people behind them that would instill hope in even the greatest doubter.
Thank you to you all.
Rachel Eichem- UWHC