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FY21 Letter from the President

May 23, 2022

Letter from Community Foundation of Abilene President/CEO Katie Alford, from the fiscal year 2021 annual report:

Responsibility is often equated with the ability to respond. Part of our mission is to “respond to community needs.” This facet of our mission has been on full display over the past fiscal year as our fundholders, community donors, volunteer grant committees, local nonprofits and staff responded to a variety of emerging needs.

Together, we quickly mobilized funding to support pressing needs brought on by: the COVID-19 pandemic, the February winter storm, an apartment fire that displaced dozens of people, and other events that abruptly altered livelihoods.

The impact was unprecedented! The combination of our responsive, unrestricted grantmaking along with grants made from all of our other fund types resulted in $13.4 MILLION in grants to charitable causes. That’s a 34% increase in grants over our previous fiscal year.

This response was not something CFA accomplished on our own. It took a community. Our fundholders recommended grants from their funds to support nonprofits meeting important needs. Partners like Beltway Park Church made significant contributions to increase our unrestricted grantmaking. Our volunteer grant committees and board of trustees made quick and thorough decisions to award grants. Nonprofits diligently used the funding to serve people with the greatest needs. And our staff worked tirelessly to set it all in motion.

Such a profound level of impact is a true testament to the power of endowment and our community’s determination to take care of our neighbors.

Because endowments are designed to grow, this sustainable model of philanthropy strongly positions the foundation and our fundholders to respond when our community needs it most. We liken this growth to a well-nourished tree that grows and puts off fruit year after year. Look at the tree on the cover of this report. The trunk represents a person. The vast expanse of leaves and fruit represent the perpetual impact that person’s single gift can make year after year, for impact that lasts.

More than anything, as I look back on the past year, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the role you have played in responding to local needs. We look forward to continued work with the amazing people of our community as we continue moving towards our vision for a thriving Abilene, endowed forever.

We are honored to be your Community Foundation of Abilene.

Katie Alford, President/CEO


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