Regularly, the John Rex Endowment takes time to step back and assess our funding focus and role in the community. Right now we are formally doing that work as it will inform our decisions about priorities, grant investments and our external actions. This planning process balances community needs, local and national trends and lessons learned over the last five years of our current plan. While this process is forward looking, it is grounded in our mission, principles and values.
As I said in my First 100 Days message, the initial half of 2018 has been dedicated to thoughtful conversations, active listening and working meetings to develop a direction that will ensure that children and families in greater Wake County live healthy lives. The planning process included these activities:
- Listening to nonprofit leaders through a planning session and individual meetings,
- Reviewing strategies and outcomes of peer foundations,
- Considering national philanthropic innovations and trends,
- Learning from the Wake County Population Health Task Force,
- Working with the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) to assess the current social determinants of health in Wake County,
- Developing a Wake County Story Map with NCIPH using 12 key indicators to visually identify vulnerabilities and assets at the neighborhood level, and
- Engaging our Board of Directors in multiple work sessions to review previous Endowment work, strategies and our current findings.
Right now we are refining and reviewing what we have learned during this process and will provide you with updates by the end of the summer.
I think you will agree with me when I say that the needs of our community are many and that today’s social issues are more complex than ever. With that same recognition, I am hopeful about our collective future. Thank you for your support as we move forward to create a stronger Wake County.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback.