One of my favorite parts of living in New England is experiencing all four seasons each year. From the brilliant fall leaves to the first buds of spring, we are reminded of new beginnings, changes and the beauty and complexity of nature. The landscape of nonprofits is not much different. And while many of us fundraisers wish that money really did grow on trees, we must work hard to harvest meaningful, impactful, philanthropic support.

Today at JF&CS we are addressing some of the most pressing challenges in society, from income inequality to food insecurity, opioid addiction to social isolation. Our clients walk through our doors needing food, diapers, safety, employment, respite, friendship and community. Our collaborative model of care ensures that we will find the resources our clients need, we will partner with organizations and we will leave no stone unturned to help our clients and their families.

Our agency is fortunate to have the loyalty and generosity of our individual donors, who make up more than half of our philanthropic support. We are, of course, grateful for the support of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the dozens of foundations who sustain our work, providing the resources and inspiration to provide impactful programs to our 14,000 clients and their families. And we are grateful to live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where we are fortunate to work closely with our elected officials to ensure that our most vulnerable families and those experiencing trauma and mental illness can access the resources they need. We are proud of the nearly 100 partnerships we have with hospitals, universities and other social service agencies that realize, like us, that we cannot do this work alone.

Today, we find that donors of all ages are seeking more meaning in their giving. For some, that means including JF&CS in their estate plan, and for others it means sharing their time and expertise as volunteers. We are excited to work with individuals, families and corporations to create meaningful volunteer experiences. Last year, we welcomed close to 50 volunteer groups and are grateful to the more than 2,000 volunteers who help us build a foundation of well-being and resilience for our clients.

To the more than 5,000 donors who gave to JF&CS in 2019, thank you. Your philanthropic support is truly life-changing for our clients and their families, for generations to come.

If you would like to join our community of donors, you can make a gift to JF&CS online.

Wendy Schiffman Wilsker is the chief advancement officer at JF&CS.

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