Looking Ahead

New President and CEO, Steve Adams, shares his thoughts on the future of the Community Foundation

As with most new adventures, beginning my role as President of the Community Foundation fills me with excitement and some trepidation.  Whether its preserving the region’s natural beauty through land trusts, honoring the memory of beloved family members through scholarships and named funds, or bringing innovative solutions to critical needs that might otherwise slip through the cracks, our work is a reflection of the generosity, energy and ingenuity of the people of North Central Massachusetts. It is hard to imagine a more exciting and rewarding responsibility.  At the same time, what the Community Foundation has accomplished with a part-time CEO and small but dedicated staff is truly remarkable. So, the bar has been set high. 

In the coming years I will work with the Trustees, staff and fund holders to build on the remarkable progress of the first 17 years.  This will include sharpening our strategic focus and bringing our resources to bear more effectively on the issues facing the region. We will strive to better understand the impact we are having, and establish more collaborations that will allow the Community Foundation to deepen our knowledge of the needs and opportunities in the fields of interest we choose to pursue.  

With a full-time CEO, focused solely on the Community Foundation, we will redouble our efforts to grow our financial assets.  

Our reputation for skilled stewardship, earned by overseeing over $50 million residing in more than 200 funds, will allow us to bring more  North Central Massachusetts residents into the region’s family of philanthropy.

This assignment is not without its challenges. A growing number of NCM families with philanthropic capacity earn their living outside the region. One big challenge is connecting with these families and letting them know how the Community Foundation can help them maintain and strengthen their connections to their home communities.  And we are almost certain to experience an economic downturn in the next few years. While it is unlikely to be as severe as the 2007-2008 recession, it will affect the ability of people to be philanthropic at the same time that the need to strengthen community supports will be intensified.

Whatever comes, the Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to help knit together the diverse people, perspectives and communities of North Central Massachusetts, bolstering the region’s ability to address its area’s most pressing challenges and to act on its opportunities.  I am excited by the prospect of playing a role in strengthening the ties between the 33 communities of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts.

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