Photo: The CEP Conference 2023

CEP Conference 2023: A Path to Connection and Impact

Posted on November 03, 2023 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
Over the years, I have learned that the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) conferences always deliver thought-stimulating sessions along with attracting leaders who might not participate in other philanthropic gatherings….providing a fertile field for connective-tissue building and enduring messages. This year’s meeting in Boston affirmed my impression.

While the topics may not directly relate to The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives, the themes resonate….keeping people at the center of our work and being proximate as we strive to strengthen individuals, organizations and communities.

With one of the sessions being, “We Are All Disaster Funders,” with Center for Disaster Philanthropy CEO Patty McIlreavy moderating a panel that included Community Foundation of Sarasota County CEO Roxie Jerde, TPF was mentioned more than once for how we partner and catalyze philanthropy…whether for economic disasters handled through Season of Sharing or Mother Nature disasters such as the triple “I’s”, Irma, Ian and Idalia, which resulted in the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund.

During the session on “Closing the Racial Wealth Gap,” moderated by Barr Foundation CEO Jim Canales, his use of alliteration resonated: Stories, Systems, Stumbles, Strategies…and while his fifth was “Send-off”, I mentally substituted Sectors thinking about how TPF works.

Click here for a glimpse into my CEP experience.

A bonus was listening to Michael Zimmerman, TPF Fellow who launched to the Farash Foundation in Rochester, New York, share how he landed in the perfect place to make a difference with a team focused on possibilities and impact. Yes, hoping the same for the current TPF Fellows in various stages of their muscle-building and connective-tissue building.

Indeed, our work to create new realities continues,

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