“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
This quote always stops me in the best possible way for two reasons; first: I grew up in Doylestown, PA where Margaret Mead was raised (I actually got to hear her speak when I was about 10 or 11); and second because having spent my career working in the social sector - I know this statement to be absolutely true and prophetic.
With the barrage of disturbing images and commentary that come at us each day – seemingly curated for effect – these are unsettling times to say the least. Like many of you, at times of uncertainty, one way I work to stay grounded is to focus on what I’m grateful for. This is where so many of you come in.
With our recent move to a new building, and this being our 20th Anniversary, I’ve had the opportunity to look back over old newsletters, board minutes, reports, and various photos. I am struck by the incredible legacy of great volunteers we’ve had at the Council over the years. In truth, CNJG would not exist were it not for the many, many people who have given generously of their time and talent.
At any given time, the Council is honored to have 50 or so members volunteering in some capacity. Our Affinity Group co-chairs are working together with staff to design compelling conversations and meetings. Special working groups are assisting with our strategic visioning process to help guide our future, and thoughtfully counseling us on our ramifications of racism programming. There are a number of committees advising the Board of Directors such as Finance, Leadership & Policy, Member Engagement and Programs. And then there is our Board of Directors themselves, meeting four times a year in addition to committee assignments, supporting our Signature events, being available to recruit prospective members, and so much more. The Council is stronger, more responsive, and far more effective because of our member volunteers. The Council has a reputation for boxing way outside its weight class -- a big reason we’re able to do this is because of our volunteers. So in deep gratitude, thank you.
And, because this is our 20th anniversary and our move has me traipsing through the Council’s past, we are hopeful that a number of past board members who may no longer be involved with CNJG will help us celebrate at the Annual Meeting and Holiday Luncheon on December 15. Stay tuned for more information and an invitation. It is more than timely that our keynote from Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor will focus on the importance of bringing different ideas and people to the table.
Nina Stack, President
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers