Just as COVID-19 was known to arrive in South Carolina, GPP’s Governance Team approved our strategic direction for 2020 – 2025 and two year operating plan. This was the result of an eight-month process led by Patrick Jinks with The Jinks Perspective that included surveys, stakeholder interviews, planning retreats with the full GPP membership and our Governance Team, and a scan of other funder networks in the nation.
What were the biggest outcomes?
First, GPP’s mission statement was shortened to simply maximizing the impact of philanthropy on our community. The older, longer version included the who (and that was just grantmakers) and the how. But we recognized that maximizing philanthropy’s impact is an activity that involves nonprofits, government officials and staff, private sector representatives, and other individuals who care deeply about the community.
Second, we affirmed that our core activities should continue, but with more intention and impact. What do we mean by that?
Sharing and increasing knowledge by offering high-quality education and discussion sessions on community issues and philanthropic practices that engage diverse partners/stakeholders. We will be more intentional about building our knowledge of both timely, critical issues and on topics fundamental to our work in philanthropy. And, we will do this by engaging community partners in every educational activity.
Improving practice by conducting research to understand key issues in philanthropy and facilitating working groups to impact them. Improving our practice as funders has been part of our mission since our founding, and this has largely been through education. Going forward, we will expand that through research projects and working groups – which in the next two years will include a joint study of nonprofit revenues with NonProfit Alliance and continued work on impact investing.
Pursuing opportunities for positive change by engaging GPP partners in public policy advocacy and in pursuit of a more equitable community. When GPP began, we took a more responsive stance to opportunities for change. But now, we are naming two issues that we will proactively pursue – engagement in the policy sphere and in pursuit of equity.
Strengthening GPP by engaging GPP members in ensuring the partnership’s capacity to deliver on the mission. This internally-focused goal looks at how we communicate, how we financially sustain ourselves, and the degree to which members help carry the work forward.
You can view the outline of the plan, including modifications made to pivot to address COVID in our community. We look forward to working with our partners, and will continue to work in partnership to make Greenville County a better place for all.