Before I leave

Monday, February 25, 2019

As I end my tenure leading Philanthropy Ohio at the end of February, I‘ve reflected on the experience and gathered some thoughts and reflections from my time here. The past six years have been a tremendous learning opportunity for me, due in large part to our members.

I thank our members for being such strong proponents of the work we do to strengthen not only their organizations but to strengthen the sector in Ohio and beyond. All of Ohio philanthropy benefits because leaders choose to be members, engaging their staff and board in the learning, networking and advocacy activities we offer. We are dedicated to leading and equipping Ohio’s philanthropy to be effective, powerful change agents because we believe that impactful philanthropy can help create a just and vibrant Ohio.

Thanks go as well to so many members for their friendship and for helping me grow as a leader. I’ve enjoyed many opportunities, both personally and professionally, and I thank you. In conversation with many members over the course of my tenure, I have received absolute gems of wisdom regarding life in leadership, as well as what the world looks like from a funder’s view. And as I write this last blog post, I’d like to share a few that I had to write down and several others that I’ve taken to heart.

“When you’ve met one community foundation, you’ve met one community foundation (substitute community for corporate/family/private.)” You get the picture…

“Leadership is lonely, and when you get lonely, give me a call. I’ve been there, I know.”

“Good is the enemy of great.”

“Spend time and money developing your organization’s culture and people.”

“Never stop focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value of your leadership. It’s hard and it takes courage.”

“Sometimes the most important thing you can do is to show up.”

“To be effective grantmakers, we have to really view our grantees as our partners in social innovations.”

“You cannot change what you refuse to confront.”

And similarly, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

One of my personal favorites, “Suck it up, buttercup!”

I wish you all the best, and I’ll certainly see you in the future as a member of Philanthropy Ohio!

Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

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