To start the new year, we are both reflecting on where we have been and designing our path for the future. In doing so, we have been thinking about our key circle of support, our Advisory Board. Back in 2006, Libby and Joanie gathered a group of friends, family, and community members to re-imagine the Wild Oats Foundation. This is when the first iteration for the mission of Philanthropiece Foundation emerged. In those days, the foundation did not have a staff; it was the Advisory Board members who brought ideas, program proposals, and partnership potential to the table. They nurtured relationships and put words into action.

Philanthropiece Advisory Board in Pucara, Ecuador in 2011

This was the era in which Randy Clapp (former Advisory Board member) led our partnership with BVSD to initiate the Jr. Philanthropy Program, which later evolved into a partnership with the Community Foundation of Boulder County to co-create the Non-Profit Art Contest Program. At this time Lee Lazar (Advisory Board member on pause) connected us with Beth Osnes, leading to our sponsorship of the (M)other Tour, an initiative that introduced vocal empowerment to women across our state, country, and world. Lee also sparked the conversation with Tony Moats, who connected us with the local-global collaboration in BCS, México, that was working to bring renewable energy resources to rural schools in the area. Julie and Cathy (current Advisory Board members) played critical roles in fostering relationships there, and following up the collaboration with community projects. This was when our now Executive Director Katie Doyle Myers introduced Libby and Joanie to Katie Morrow, co-founder of Limitless Horizons Ixil, which led to our partnership with the organization and, eventually, to our continued work in Chajul, Guatemala. Katie became an Advisory Board member as a result and, when Libby and Joanie decided it was time to build a team, Katie transitioned into the Director of Programs role to help build the new staff team.

From there, Advisory Board members were involved in the design and development of our core programs. In Mexico the involvement meant renewable energy for schools, rural health promotion, small business development and loans, and English courses for eco-tourism employment. In Guatemala it meant the development of our university scholarship program, our engagement in social action projects, and the seeds of the social entrepreneurship initiative. Here in Boulder County that involvement meant co-creating the Youth Global Leadership program alongside local teens and community leaders. As our programs evolved, so did our team. Our Advisory Board transitioned from being in the “point person” role to playing a critical role of providing feedback, council, and support.

Philanthropiece Advisory Board in Chajul, Guatemala in 2013.

As we look toward the direction we are heading with the relationships we are cultivating, the initiatives we are co-creating, and the organizations that we are sustaining, it’s an opportune moment to consider the involvement of our Advisory Board. There are many examples from this past year of how members have played important roles in the emergent design of our work, including fostering relationships, program consultation, research, and capacity building. Overall, our Board currently forms the backbone of our Philanthropiece community, supports our team, believes in our mission, and champions our work. This new year holds some ambitious goals for our foundation, and we look toward our Board, as well as our community partners and allies, to realize them.

Our 2019 goals are to:

  1. Create an organization that adheres to values of collaboration, innovation, inclusion, celebration, and integrity.

  2. Foster the professional and personal growth of each team member, empowering them to be changemakers within our organization and the greater community.

  3. Assure excellent diligence in the care and use of our resources in order to best sustain our work and grow our impact.

  4. Work together to ensure that our physical environment reflects our organizational values.

  5. Encourage opportunity and space for Advisory Board members to provide counsel and take action on organizational direction, resources, approach, and programs.

  6. Support the Philanthropiece AC Mexico team in establishing the leadership and deepening the impact of the association.

  7. Support the Filantropis ONG team in Guatemala to refine the sustainability strategy, and to make related programmatic shifts.

  8. Develop and implement initiatives that allow us to make positive change in our local community, and determine system(s) for measuring our impact.

  9. Create strategic communications in order to share our stories in a cohesive narrative about our work and impact.

We have outlined benchmarks, monthly objectives, and indicators to help us move towards successful realization of these goals, yet we know that it will take a large circle of support to get there.  We trust each and every one of our Advisory Board members, as well as community partners and changemakers, to help us make progress on these goals. 

Katie Doyle Myers is Philanthropiece’s Executive Director. She considers Philanthropiece’s Advisory Board members as some of her greatest life teachers, along with her sons Finn and Leo.