Community Foundation On The Move
By Brooke Johnston
As we head into the holiday season something I am extremely thankful for is to see a long-time dream of the Chamber become a reality. The Chamber had kicked around the idea of a Community Foundation for many years and I am so pleased to see it finally come to fruition.
Our Foundation board and staff team have been working hard to create a strategic plan that incorporates the feedback we received from several community input sessions held over the summer. While we are still fleshing out the programs, we know there are three main areas of focus for the next year: Being a community catalyst; leadership and convening, and bridging opportunities.
As a community catalyst, the Foundation will create cross-sector investments in order to build opportunities for innovation of programs and services in Tillamook. This could mean being able to take donations for people in times of crisis, or hosting long-term projects such as downtown beautification, revitalization, and place making. The possibilities, while not entirely endless, are much broader than what we can focus on as a Chamber because we can bring together the business community, nonprofit organizations, and individuals for projects that fall outside the scope of the Chamber’s mission. A good example of this is the Foundation recently agreed to be the fiscal agent for the Tillamook Junior High School’s trip to Washington DC because they didn’t have a way to process donations. Those are the kinds of connections – both big and small – that we are excited to create and be able to make a difference in the lives of our community members.
The Foundation will also focus on building relationships across the business and nonprofit and individuals in Tillamook so we can strategize and streamline efforts for anyone wanting to do a project or start a program.
Our third area of focus is on bridging opportunities. We have been doing a lot of work in this area recently with the Young Pros and will continue to build up the young workforce in Tillamook and prepare them to take on leadership roles and improve their professional lives. Another action item for this focus is to work on ways to make Tillamook more welcoming to people who are new to the area and offer networking opportunities.
I am excited to see where this goes as over the next 60 days, we will be applying for over $220,000 in grant funds from outside of our community to build this foundation to support the community. Anytime our community can get further ahead by pairing local investment with outside sources, we consider that a win.
If the community is your passion, please consider a year end tax-deducible donation to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation. Donations can be sent to the Tillamook Chamber Community Foundation at 208 Main Avenue, Tillamook, OR 97141. If you would like to know more about the foundation, give a call at 503-842-7525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.