By Kim Goggins
The idea for the four community foundations in Simcoe County to form a strategic alliance was born about three years ago. The goal was to minimize the overall costs of shared administrative tasks and allow each foundation to focus more attention on endowment building and ultimately, granting more to charities in their communities.
There is no doubt that this initiative will improve community vitality in this Central Ontario region that lies between Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe/Lake Couchiching.
I admit, I wasn’t privy to the initial meetings, discussions, blood, sweat and tears that went into the planning and implementation of what is now known as the ‘Hub.’ Nor was I there to witness the growth of trust and respect between individuals of the four community foundation boards.
I was hired two-and-a-half years after the idea of an administrative hub came to fruition and funding was granted by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to explore it further. By the time I came on the scene to create more awareness about the collaboration, in May 2011, there was a deep-seated commitment to the plan, and each other.
I quickly noticed the camaraderie between members of this group, as well as a mutual respect for each others’ expertise. We meet once each month and while this comradeship does leave the door open for lively debates and differences of opinion, it’s during these times that we come up with the best ideas.
We are just beginning to make this collaboration public. We have created a new name and logo that encompasses all, while respecting the individuality of each. We have also developed collaborative messaging, started a Facebook page and plan to launch a website in the new year.
I’m optimistic that our Strong Communities. Strong Future. video contest, which will see four local charities receive $500, will draw more attention to the good work we do. We have 12 sponsors for this endeavour, including newspapers, radio and TV stations across the county, as well as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, so our new identity is receiving a lot of positive media attention.
Kim Goggins is the Marketing & Communications Specialist for the Community Foundations of Simcoe County