2018 State of Our Foundation

Season’s greetings from all of us at CFWM!

As we approach the end of the year, we’re taking a deep, collective breath as we reflect on how CFWM has held steadfast in meeting its mission: to improve the quality of life for all in our region.

And we could not do it without you. We’re profoundly grateful for the abundant spirit of generosity that defines the culture and character of our Valley. Your ongoing support, time and effort is crucial to bolstering the good work that touches and changes so many lives for the better.

We invite you to read our Annual Report here, and below, where we’ve chosen some highlights of growth, change, and milestones from this past year. Thanks to you, we can keep striving to support our mission by:

Encouraging philanthropy with our sixth and final year of Valley Gives Day. We launched Valley Gives Day to make our region the most generous in the country–and to help area nonprofits build capacity so they remained relevant and visible in an increasingly digital age. And the Valley gave — to the tune of over $10.4 million to 898 local nonprofit organization over six 24-hour giving days—a level of generosity that we can all be proud of.

Developing a permanent, flexible endowment by raising long-term funding for our region. We couldn’t do what we do without the dollars coming in. Our fundraising and development efforts continue to connect deep generosity to CFWM, which makes it possible for us to keep supporting the important work being done in our Valley, as well as investing in vital resources for the Foundation itself.

Assessing and responding to emerging and changing needs by closely examining how our well-established Scholarship and Loan program helps students over the long-term. We’re learning more about the critical issue of college dropout rates (30% nationally) and overwhelming student loan debt. By working closely with ten local colleges, we’ll find out how many of our scholarship recipients complete their course of study. And, thanks to a grant from the Irene E and George A Davis Foundation, we’re exploring loan forgiveness programs—which could strengthen our region by retaining young talent for critical professions that are currently unfilled.

Serving as a resource, catalyst, and coordinator for charitable activities.
In the last year, over 850 people from various community groups have convened in the meeting spaces in our new offices at 333 Bridge Street. We’ve launched an Innovation Grant program that’s creating solutions to address serious issues including affordable housing, food security and diversity of teachers in area schools. And, through a collaboration with the Boston-based Barr Foundation, we’ve launched ValleyCreates—an arts initiative designed to connect and strengthen the diverse arts community in our region.

Promoting efficiency in the management of charitable funds.
Our investment strategy remains diversified and focused on low cost, passive investments to ensure our fiscal growth and stability, evidenced by a 11.2% return on our flagship Global Growth portfolio. Our dedicated Investment Committee members’ expertise of efficiently overseeing our investment strategy is a key to our long-term stewardship, and we are deeply grateful for their ongoing commitment and insight.

We extend our warmest wishes to you for a healthy and happy holiday season – enjoy the time with your family and friends! And, once again, thank you for your support in 2018!

Katie Allan Zobel