It was scheduled as brief morning chat, followed by a tour. Instead ECCF’s CEO Dave Welbourn stayed for nearly two hours with the exceptional leaders at CLASS, an agency that has provided services to individuals with disabilities for over 30 years across the Merrimack Valley. Family and community supporters established the Citizen's League for Adult Special Services—now known as CLASS—which today provides an amazing range of services to over 400 individuals and families.
Both regulars at ECCF’s Institute for Trustees, Bob Harris, the president of CLASS, and Tim Allen, a board member and former chair of the board for CLASS, had invited Dave to help them think better about an issue affecting many nonprofits across the county: how to make the shift from operating on shrinking government funds to pursuing private fundraising efforts. “Charitable giving is the strong balance to government funding,” Dave said. “So it’s important to create a system that invests and develops philanthropic support. How? By telling the story of an already impressive, well run and respectful organization that serves a vital need.”
From Lawrence, Dave drove to Hamilton for a special luncheon hosted by Windrush Farm, a nonprofit horse farm and national leader that specializes in teaching physically, emotionally, learning disabled children and adults to ride and work with horses. The annual celebration lunch honored the service and contributions of director emeritus Nat Coolidge, who Dave described as “the central link in the friendship between our organizations and a careful, generous guy who helps people go beyond doing what they thought they could do. “
All in all? “I was inspired today by some life-changing community work, met a few new friends over a much deserved celebration lunch, and then came back to the office to work on the budget for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence next year. Pretty typical, exciting stuff!”
Wait till next week!