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Category Archives: President’s letter

Oct 8, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

Our approach every day at Foraker is to focus on strengths – strengths of the people, the places, and the missions we serve. Fault, blame, and shame have no place in our work as they rarely, if ever lead to resolution or learning. Instead, they only serve to polarize and shut people down from learning the very thing they set out seeking. It is, then, with a heavy heart that we are listening, watching, and reading the blatant anti-Semitism, racism, anti-LGBTQ, anti-science rhetoric happening in Anchorage. We recognize or perhaps just hope that this is a fringe set of voices designed to drown out the vast majority of people who are too upset, distracted, or eliminated from the conversation to hear their voices in what should be a civil public… Read more »

Sep 12, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

Is it ever enough? This is the question that drives me, haunts me, inspires me, and motivates me more than any other question in these times. I feel it most acutely as I watch and read and learn about what is happening around the world and in our own country and in my community. I feel it as we enter into this next phase of the pandemic and acknowledge that this is not a temporary way of life like many of us thought in 2020, but a way of being that is likely to be measured in years not months. What can I do? How can I contribute? Where will it matter? Is any of that enough? I feel these questions bubbling up for me about my own actions, and… Read more »

Aug 11, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

Earlier this summer we asked you to help us better understand the landscape we are operating in, especially in light of COVID. Surveys are challenging on a good day, but in a time of so many unknowns and the desire to truly know, I am sure the number of surveys in your inbox is more than you want to tackle. Fair enough. We are grateful to each of you who did take the time. We had a sufficient enough response that I think you all might find yourself in these results. Before we dive into the findings, I want to share a few thoughts that are not as obvious in the survey results but provide the emotional underpinnings of the results. Perhaps I can best sum up this emotional state… Read more »

Jul 8, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

The funny thing about anniversaries is that generally the only people who celebrate them are those who were there at the beginning. But then there are birthdays, where everyone can find some joy and celebrate with a cupcake. To that end, I am wishing Foraker a happy 20th birthday – we have become a part of many lives, not just the few who were there in the beginning, and for that we are all so grateful. Because of each of you and your interest, engagement, and connection, we are a stronger, more vibrant, and more visible sector than we were when we started. Many of you know our founding story – we were born with the idea of creating shared services for nonprofits. That idea germinated over time and was… Read more »

Jun 10, 2021
Posted Under: COVID President's letter

Returning to the workplace is the conversation we are all having both formally and informally with our friends, our peers, and our attorneys. Protocols, policies, and expectations abound, and in it all is a great amount of hesitation and uncertainty about what it looks like to do the right thing for the people on our team and the communities where we live. To be sure, we are not “just going back to work” ever again. Our collective conscience has shifted and individuals feel different about the workplace. So pretending that it will all just “be normal” or “as it was” is likely an unhelpful place to start when it comes to meeting your whole team where they are. The recent decision by the CDC, which is largely based on trusting… Read more »

May 11, 2021
Posted Under: Leadership Summit President's letter

We did it! The largest gathering ever of nonprofit board, staff, volunteers, donors, and allies came together online over three days. At the Foraker Leadership Summit last month, we dreamed, we imagined, we explored, we asked questions. Sometimes we had answers, but most importantly we found new energy, new connections, and new ideas. For some, it was a time to blow apart assumptions and come to a reckoning of our new reality, and for others, it was a time of healing. In every room, there was deep learning – the kind that was so intense it felt like it was happening in person. We heard hundreds of people say to us some version of: “I have been to a lot of things online but the summit was a wholly different… Read more »

Apr 8, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

I have always loved that we have different words for our seasons in Alaska. Our words reflect accuracy but with a touch of humor that lightens the fact that we are experiencing something wholly different from our friends in the Lower 48. For me as a kid, the season of “break-up” was all about hoping my boots had no holes to let the icy water run through as I navigated or sometimes purposely encountered large, melting puddles of standing water on the sidewalks, trails, and streets – all the while savoring the crunch of thin sheets of ice as they buckled beneath my feet. At this time of year, with more than 12 hours of daylight, an energy begins to stir encouraging us to do more, get outside more, and… Read more »

Mar 15, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

Onward. That was my word intention for 2021. We are doing it. You and me. We are finding our strength day-by-day. We are finding our grace and our gratitude to support ourselves and each other. Very little of it is easy. But day-by-day – you and me – it is happening. We see so much every day to be thankful for and to draw strength from, even as we know we are not yet through the storm. As I testified recently on the need for an emergency declaration bridge to carry us safely to a new normal, I reflected that this time is like being prescribed a seven-day course of penicillin but stopping on day three because we feel better. There is no science to support this act and the… Read more »

Feb 10, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter       Tags: strategic planning

For me, February is the month I think about in “almost” terms. Almost more daylight. Almost embracing the new year. Almost fewer super cold days. And now, almost one year since our lives shifted in the most dramatic and unexpected ways. It is easy to simultaneously feel the weight and energy of this time. This is also the month we have placed on the calendar to do things we should be doing every day – recognizing Black history as America’s history, and declaring or reaffirming our love for one another with a valentine. February has me thinking about the weight and energy of work we all have in front of us. The deep and continuous work to understand what equity means in our country and in our work, while also… Read more »

Jan 7, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

It is strange to start a new year with equal desires to take a nap and forge ahead, but that does seem to be the place that 2020 has left many of us. Our bodies and brains, mostly overwhelmed with the totality of what 2020 brought into our daily lives, have left us eager to move on and dig deep for the energy to do so. 2020 was so much of everything to everyone, but differently. It was sorrow and pain as much as it was learning and adapting, and as much as it was loneliness and connection. It was both a collective experience and one that could only be felt very personally. It was universal and it was targeted. Maybe this is true about every year, but the very… Read more »