January 20, 2023
Last year, I delivered this report to the Potlatch Fund Board over Zoom. 2022 began slow, with the dregs of the COVID-19 shutdown still at our heels. Though we were able to meet in-person toward the end of 2021, it was in 2022 that we were able to come together more regularly and started truly building community with each other.
The accomplishment that I am most proud of is updating our mission, vision, and values. We engaged in some very serious discussion that made us evaluate who we are, who we want to be, and the direction that we want to go as an organization.
Philanthropy is experiencing a pivotal moment. At Potlatch Fund, we can either be ahead of that movement or stuck. In 2022, we began granting collaboratively. We partnered with Na’ah Illahee Fund on the Power of Ceremony & Healing Grant to provide support to our healers and ceremonial leaders. The work is important, and it can be very difficult to fund. We also worked with the Social Justice Fund to provide support to very small non-profits. We focused on organizations that had a lean operating budget and those that we hadn’t funded before. We didn’t want these very small organizations to jump through the typical hoops of applying for a grant.
In 2022, we moved away from the typical large gala and instead hosted the “Uplifting Artists” event, where the focus was on highlighting the work of, and providing opportunity for, Native artists- many of them our grantees! With a fashion show, Native Art market, and locally-sourced hors d’oeuvres, the event was incredibly successful! We are fortunate to have such talented staff to pull off an event of that caliber. For that event, we also developed the Potlatch Fund call-to-action in lieu of a land acknowledgement. The call-to-action demands support for our culture bearers, educators, and business owners.
Potlatch Fund is on a strong path. We have the right team in-place to propel us forward. This year marks our 20th anniversary, and I know that the staff has been scheming for months to mark this momentous occasion.
I am continually amazed at the brilliance and resilience of the Potlatch Fund. Thanks to the hard work of the Potlatch Fund staff- Cleora Hill-Scott, and to the rest of the team: Shannon, Rebecca, Brian, and KP, and Jessica- we shine. The Potlatch Fund Board members dedicate precious time away from their families to provide governance to this great organization. I appreciate them all, and I’m so proud to be part of this community.
And a personal Thank you to the board for allowing me to continue to serve this great organization. I am humbled and honored every day to be part of the Potlatch Fund.
Read more about our 2022 Stories & Reflections here: https://www.potlatchfund.org/about/reports-resources/