Getting Out from Behind the Desk

It’s tough to believe that I have already been working as a Davidson Impact Fellow at Foundation For The Carolinas for nearly 4 months now, the time has really flown by.

It has been really interesting to get my foot in the door and learn about how a Foundation, and more specifically, a Community Foundation operates.  While foundations are so closely linked to many non-profit organizations doing amazing work in a variety of fields, I’ve noticed that at times it can be difficult to remember how organizations are so much more than the short snippets of information they commonly provide in grant applications and other correspondences with a foundation.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of getting out of the offices to remind myself about some of the amazing work non-profits do on a daily basis, which can often be overlooked when researching their progress online, and sifting through applications for funding.  In addition to going on a few site visits to see some very dynamic organizations, I was also happy to participate in FFTC’s Staff Volunteer Day with TreesCharlotte, an amazing organization with aims to plant 15,000 trees annually around Charlotte until we ae able to once again achieve a 50% tree canopy by 2050.  Even though the staff was only able to barely scratch the surface of the 15,000 annual goal by planting a limited number of trees, it was an awesome opportunity to get my hands dirty and reconnect with direct service work that I often enjoyed as a Bonner Scholar during my time at Davidson.

Moreover, these opportunities helped remind me that while non-profit organizations cannot accomplish many of their goals without funding support from Foundations and generous individuals, it also helped remind me that funders and foundations can’t accomplish their goals of improving the world without the tireless work of non-profit organizations who leverage funding to improve their communities (as obvious as it may sound.) All of this gave me the  opportunity to see coworkers come together outside of the office and plant a ring of trees around Betty Rae Thomas Center, although it came at the price of a sore back for a couple of days.