By Matt Farrells, VP Planning & Development
Happy New Year! I wish everyone a healthy and prosperous new year. As we enter 2018, I’d like to take a quick moment to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year. The VP Planning & Development role has several programs under its purview, including internships and fellowships, scholarship, Legacy Fund grants and fund development programs.
This past fall, JACL completed another successful round of the scholarship program, where the organization awarded more than $82,000 in scholarships to 33 deserving applicants. The scholarship program supports JACL’s mission to assist young community members to pursue higher education and elevate JACL’s visibility within the civil rights arena. I believe this is one of the premier programs that ensures that JACL continues to engage young community members and hopefully contribute to filling the membership ranks of the JACL for years to come.
Looking ahead to 2018, the Legacy Fund Grant program and fund development are two areas of focus. First, the Legacy Fund Grant committee and staff are hard at work to deliver another successful round of grants this summer. Each year, JACL awards approximately $60,000 in grants to numerous applicants with the goal of furthering the mission of the JACL. In 2017, 12 recipients received a grant, and the committee continues to seek ways to grow the program into 2018.
In addition to the Legacy Fund Grant program, another major area of focus for JACL in 2018 is fund development.
At the 2016 National Convention in Las Vegas, I ran on the platform of making fund development my No. 1 priority during my term, and I am happy to report that we’ve made significant strides in planning a national fundraising campaign. We are currently in the process of interviewing JACL leaders, documenting a shared vision between the board and executive director as to the optimal use of funds and designing the marketing collateral to convey our important message to the public. In addition, we are finalizing an implementation strategy to execute the fundraising plan. More details will be forthcoming.
In conclusion, as this new year begins, JACL has many great opportunities ahead. From continuing the great work of the scholarship and Legacy Fund grant programs, ushering in new interns and fellows to support the programs and advocacy efforts of JACL and reviving existing and forging new fundraising initiatives, JACL will continue to thrive and challenge the status quo.
Lastly, I’d be remiss not to recognize the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers that carry out the good work of JACL. These individuals devote their time and a huge amount of effort to ensure our programs remain positively impactful on our community and the organization’s members.