Recently, I had the responsibility and privilege to plan The Patterson Foundation’s Immersion 2024: Crafting Community alongside my fellow Fellow, Andrew Spector. Guided by the hand of TPF President and CEO Debra Jacobs, Immersion 2024 planning provided an opportunity to focus on connections and learning how to engage individuals in a way that was both interesting and also purposeful. It was also a unique opportunity to truly focus on the joy of the day and be present with those who help make TPF what it is.
The intention of Immersion is to bring together TPFers for a day of learning, engaging, and (this year!) crafting community. As we planned, we focused on TPF Values and Approach through the 13 activities that were carefully planned out to bring new understanding to everyone who engaged with them. While some activities, such as the values panel moderated by Michael Corley with TPF initiative leads Sara Leonard (Fueling Dynamic Fundraising), Cheri Coryea (Digital Access for All and Aspirations to Actions), and Don Bowman (Advancing Philanthropic Leadership) acting as the panelists, clearly engaged one of the focus areas and brought deeper understanding of the work of four different TPF initiatives to TPFers. Other activities like Balloon Bonanza, co-led by Alicia Exantus and Melissa Hirstein, might be less obvious initially.
Two individuals in clown costumes might not initially seem to be focused on TPF Values, but a deeper dive highlights their joyful stewardship of the tasks they took on and represents the fun and engaging way that TPFers approach their work each day. The opportunity for team building (and a little bit of friendly competition!) allowed for connections to be made across initiatives and emphasized the way that TPFers are willing to step in and do the work in unique and innovative ways.
While this example is just one instance of TPFers joyfully taking on their work, connecting with new staff members and initiatives, and crafting community, it was not the only time the TPF Values were seen in action throughout the day. Immersion 2024: Crafting Community was more than just an opportunity to bring everyone together. It was a chance to cultivate a deeper understanding of what TPF is at its core and to celebrate the individuals who make the work that we do possible.