Just in time for the giving season, the Vermont Community Foundation has published Opportunity: 11 Critical Paths for Philanthropy in Vermont, a new resource to help guide potential donors as they consider which organizations or programs to support.
Opportunity identifies 11 issue areas that present especially strong opportunities for charitable giving in Vermont right now. These issues are the challenges that Vermonters think about every day and include bringing quality education to all residents, cleaning up our rivers and lakes, expanding affordable housing, and tackling substance abuse, among others. The 40-page publication offers a concise background on each issue and highlights some successful approaches already underway in towns and cities across the state.
“A big part of our job is to encourage giving,” says Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation. “This new tool will help show Vermonters how their gifts can help right now. We think it can be a useful guide for families making donations during the holidays and throughout the year.”
Comstock-Gay acknowledges that no list of this kind could ever hope to be definitive or comprehensive. He says that in coming up with the recommendations, the Community Foundation reviewed studies, articles, and reports that shed light on what’s working and what’s not; talked with people throughout the state who work on a wide variety of issues; evaluated its own grant programs; and looked at which organizations its own fundholders support.
“Our hope in publishing this report is to spark dialogue about what philanthropy can do, and to stimulate new thinking about the opportunities that exist today to help our communities thrive,” Comstock-Gay said. “Some people will be inspired to give to the programs discussed in the report. Others can use it as a springboard for discussions about the hundreds of other worthy programs in the state.”