NACF Travel Scholarship Recipients Announced

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 11:30 am EST
Natalie Ross

The Council on Foundations is thrilled to be co-hosting the first-ever North American Community Foundations Summit (NACF) in Mexico City, February 5-6, 2018. More than 120 community foundation leaders will gather in the capital of Mexico this winter to learn new ways to think globally and act locally — and forge new connections that we are confident will lead to future collaborations.

To ensure the greatest representation from our members at NACF, we have awarded travel scholarships, made possible thanks to Knight Foundation, International Community Foundation, Arizona Community Foundation and Hispanics in Philanthropy, to nine deserving foundation leaders whose voices and experiences will enrich the conversations.

Congratulations to our NACF travel scholarship recipients — all of whom have shared why they are excited to attend:

Lisa Adkins | Blue Grass Community Foundation | Lexington, Kentucky

The 17 sustainable development goals fully align with our Community Foundation's focus to help the communities we serve become more vibrant, engaged, sustainable and equitable. We look forward to learning from colleagues in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The summit will help to inform and enrich our day-to-day work. 

Betsy Covington |Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley | Columbus, Georgia

I want to bring back ideas and potentially new relationships that would benefit our economically challenged portion of the Southeast. As the head of a young organization that has grown quickly, I always want to stay up to date with best practices in the field and new ways to leverage our donors' philanthropy to maximize results.

Flozell Daniels, Jr. | Foundation for Louisiana | Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Foundation for Louisiana's emphasis on sustainable development goals are well-aligned with the intentions of the 2018 NACF Summit. Our Coastal Resiliency Leverage Fund and partnerships with the public, private, and community sectors present a great opportunity to learn and share what we've learned in our work. As a small community foundation, we "punch above our weight" from an impact perspective and it would be great to see how others are getting it done.

T. Duane Gordon | Middletown Community Foundation | Middletown, Ohio

I love the international aspect of the Summit. I am intrigued by the focus on the UN SDGs, specifically the goals addressing poverty. Last year, we launched a community-wide collective impact initiative aimed at addressing poverty through improving education in our community. We call it ‘Ready’. In the development of this plan, we found the resources from COF conferences highly beneficial. I’m excited to have the exposure to what others are doing, so that we may learn from the group and work toward continuous improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the limited philanthropic dollars in our control.

Mike Kane | Community Foundation for the Alleghenies | Johnstown, Pennsylvania

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are aligned with the work we are trying to do with our Circles of Resilience. I’m really interested in what other communities are doing—how they are engaging their members at all levels, how they are realizing their visions of connecting the disenfranchised, the young, and advocates around participating in and growing a sustainable community in various ways. We’re working within a framework designed to be community driven, but it still requires leadership and support from the top. I want to know how other communities are doing this in fields they have prioritized, whether it be community engagement or any of the SDGs.

Lauren Kugler | Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley | Gunnison, Colorado

I hope to meet North American colleagues and identify similar experiences addressing topics such as rural living, tourism, immigration, and poverty. Attending the Council on Foundation's Annual Conference for Community Foundations in Cleveland a few years back was a wonderful way to hear from international community foundations about the work they're doing abroad. Identifying connections to our work and our region made it easier to apply concepts and ideas right here at home.

Molly Kunkel | Centre Foundation | State College, Pennsylvania

I always find the connections and exchange of ideas with other foundation leaders to be very valuable. I look forward to discussing inspirational ideas for community engagement and best practices for development and grantmaking.

Courtney Lopez | Santa Fe Community Foundation | Santa Fe, New Mexico

I’m interested in attending the 2018 NACF Summit because issues like education, health, economic development, and immigration are at the core of the challenges we're facing in New Mexico. I’m eager to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals and the progress being made since this set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all was adopted. I believe this summit represents an incredible opportunity to not only share challenges, but gain knowledge on how to address them for the betterment of New Mexico communities and the people we serve.

Sarah Owen | Southwest Florida Community Foundation | Fort Meyers, Florida

Several years ago, our Foundation began the process of aligning all our work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have created evaluation and mapping platforms to measure our grant making, community initiatives and community leadership to these goals. We look forward to leaving with a greater understanding of how we can most effectively progress in creating regional change through the framework of the SDGs and an opportunity to learn from others who have incorporated the SDGs in their work.

Inspired? Join our travel scholarship recipients — and more than 100 other thought leaders — in Mexico. Space is limited, and registration is first-come; first-served. Browse the full schedule, then secure your seat.

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