It is an honor and a privilege to introduce myself as the third President of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
For nearly six decades, The Community Foundation has worked hand-in-hand with fundholders to support the vital work of nonprofits and address social issues throughout the region we serve. Today, the Foundation is uniquely positioned to enhance the quality of life in our communities and create permanent, positive change in people’s lives.
I have seen the impact of community philanthropy firsthand. As the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, I led through the Flint water crisis, engaging donors and communities to restore trust and help kids thrive despite exposure to lead.
All children hope to live in a just, equitable world where people have access to the resources they need to be whole. My oldest daughter, at 12 years old, believes we can co-create that world together, and I am betting on philanthropy to be a leader in making that vision possible.
The most pressing problems cannot and will not be solved by philanthropy alone. We must reach more deeply into communities affected by our region’s challenges, and we must work with partners, including business, government, and funders, to make the impact we wish to see.
Similarly, The Community Foundation’s success in the future depends on much more than one individual leader. I am proud to continue the work of donors, civic leaders and staff who have invested their time, talent and treasure in our work. Today, we are a strong, nationally renowned foundation, with peak assets of $630 million, a talented, 25-person staff, an unparalleled record of donor service and grantmaking that exceeded $57 million in 2022.
Most of all, I am humbled to succeed Nina Waters, whose leadership over the last 22 years has laid the strong foundation for our future. Throughout the next month, I’ll be working closely with Nina to learn about our work and history. I’m incredibly grateful for her time and leadership, and I wish her all the best as she moves to North Georgia later this month for her well-deserved retirement.
My first few months will be spent listening and learning – from our board of trustees, our staff, and our community. Our team has planned several opportunities, including the Nonprofit Partner Listening Session, for me to meet the individuals who are vital to our work, such as yourself. Please sign up for email updates about those events, as well as grant opportunities and our work more broadly. In the meantime, I encourage you to continue to keep in touch with your usual point of contact at the Foundation. We have an outstanding team, and they are eager to help you.
I am privileged to lead The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and I am looking forward to hearing from you as we work together to create an exciting future.
Isaiah M. Oliver
President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida