Marissa's Farewell Message to Members
This is my final CEO letter before stepping down as IPA President. It has been an extraordinary gift and a profound privilege to serve in this role these past 12 years, and I feel very good about leaving this precious network in the hands of our exceptional IPA team, under the exciting new leadership of Claudia Cummings.
I’ve been struggling with what to say in my farewell message to all of you, the spectacular membership of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.
First and foremost, I want to express my thanks and gratitude. Thank you to everyone who was able to join in the lovely retirement celebration last week. Words are inadequate to express how much the outpouring of love and support meant to me!
I stepped into this role in January 2007 after having spent almost 30 years on the grantseeking side of the nonprofit sector. Thank you for the deep and wide education I’ve received these past 12 years because of all you do and want to do better. I’ve learned that when a funder joins IPA, it means they recognize they cannot do their best work in a vacuum or in isolation.
I’ve learned that effective grantmaking involves so much more than matching up grant proposals with funds budgeted in various categories of grantmaking focus. I’ve been humbled by our members who understand the power dynamic at play between funder and grantee yet seek candid, colleague-to-colleague conversations and problem-solving with nonprofit leaders. I’ve witnessed the evolution of Indiana’s unique community foundation network from “community savings accounts” to community problem solvers. I’ve been inspired by all types of members that bring a generous and thoughtful approach to addressing needs, balanced with innovative risk taking to support promising new solutions. And I have immense gratitude for the wonderful relationships I’ve experienced and lasting friendships I’ve developed with some of the smartest, most caring, and resourceful people imaginable.
As I reflect on the past 12 years, I am proud of what we—members and staff—have accomplished together. Indiana Philanthropy Alliance has a presence and voice at state and national levels that is recognized by policymakers, community leaders, and our peers. I’m seeing an ever-increasing spirit of connectedness, of seeking to come together in a shared desire to leverage the opportunities that philanthropy can bring to issues that no single foundation or sector alone can address.
IPA will be celebrating 30 years as a membership association in 2020, and I look forward to enjoying all the ways you are transforming Indiana through effective philanthropy.
With bountiful thanks and appreciation,
Marissa S. Manlove
IPA President and CEO
This letter was featured in the December 2019 issue of INPhilanthropy, IPA's monthly member newsletter.