Caring. Connecting. Collaborating. Contributing. Creating. The Five Cs are ingrained into everything that The Patterson Foundation (TPF) does. While it took me a little while to remember what each C stands for, it is obvious that the Five Cs are put into action daily at TPF. As I mark my six-month point as a TPF Fellow, I want to reflect on how the Five Cs have shown up in my work.

Caring. I have felt cared for by TPF since before I even stepped foot in Sarasota to begin my fellowship. The willingness of existing Fellows to guide the moving process, being checked in on regularly, receiving a basket of goodies to welcome us to Florida, and the friendliness and openness of everyone I have met are just a few examples of how TPF has modeled caring.

Connecting. I recently helped facilitate webversations for Suncoast Remake Learning Days 2024 (SRLD) and was amazed at how these sessions fostered connection among organizations. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading served as a connector and encouraged people to share their ideas, concerns, and hopes for improving SRLD. It also enabled these organizations to organically create partnerships based on their shared goals and aspirations for the coming festival.

Collaborating. I have found that TPFers are everywhere and that each of them is willing to use their resources to help me get to where I need to be. In multiple instances in my time with TPF, I have found myself conversing with someone about my work, and they have immediately used their networks to put me into contact with someone they knew who had similar aspirations. This push to collaborate with other people and organizations working to create a better future has been central to my experience at TPF.

Contributing. TPF believes in working beyond the check and focuses on long-term thrivability and mission impact. I have been able to be a part of this approach in many ways, but one recent project stands out. The Fueling Dynamic Fundraising initiative recently offered two courses to nonprofits focused on expanding their capacity to do good. Through this initiative, we have provided free resources and expertise to assist in developing and executing a strong fundraising program at more than 50 nonprofits within the Suncoast Region.

Creating. TPFers are a uniquely creative bunch. From the spectacular cake toppers curated by Nancy Henry to the glossary that had to be created to explain all of the TPFisms, TPF and the people that support it create and innovate in everything they do.

No matter the circumstances, TPF enters each day focused on these five constants that power its ability to thrive in the face of change while harnessing that change to work in new, impactful ways. The Five Cs have shown up continuously in my time at TPF, and they have slowly started to make themselves a part of my thinking regardless of whether it is work-related or not.

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