Building Connective Tissue: The Patterson Foundation and The Declaration Initiative

Posted on November 15, 2011 by Roxanne Joffe, MagnifyGood

By Roxanne Joffe, The Patterson Foundation Strategic Communications Partner

After completing my third Southeastern Council of Foundations conference, I found myself looking for ways to relate and connect our innovative approach to other philanthropic efforts in the South.

The last day of the conference proved to be the highlight for me. I was honored to enjoy an extended breakfast with Linetta Gilbert, who along with Claire Gaudiani, is heading up The Declaration Initiative (TDI), a movement to make the pursuit of happiness a reality for all Americans by 2026.

Linetta educated me on the state of poverty in US and The Declaration Initiative's plan to engage the community in solving the issue. She believes that we have to work differently by not just investing dollars but also by investing in imagination and risk taking. Change happens through people and feet on the street working on a bigger vision.

The idea is to think globally and act locally. Her belief is that poverty is a failure of imagination. The nation should be taught to eliminate multi-generation extreme poverty by July 4, 2026 (Our nation's 250th birthday). TDI hopes to help the poorest people among us become decision makers on their own behalf.

Now, this may sound daunting and impossible but imagine collectively engaging philanthropy, community leadership and poverty stricken communities to work together – this is where The Patterson Foundation's tenets and TDI’s goals are aligned.

As we hear about TDI’s quest for engagement, leverage, future vision and a new ways of looking at solutions, it becomes evident that TPF’s tenets of building connective tissue to create new realities apply. TPF’s initial investment was as an early catalyst and will continue by providing communications support to help build networks.

The Patterson Foundation's involvement with TDI touches many of its values and there are many efforts to do good – the grand opportunity comes from connecting for the greatest impact. Claire and Linetta’s reputation in the field provide quality and assurance that their dedication will indeed create new realities. Their commitment is supported  by TPF as an early catalyst as well as an investment toward building communication capabilities. The Patterson Foundation's work will involve creative ways to make new connections.

About The Patterson Foundation Communications Lens

As The Patterson Foundation’s strategic communications partner, the communications lens provides strategic consultation and ensures all communications are consistent with TPF’s mission and values. The strategic communications partner also works with TPF, its initiatives and lenses to leverage and build relationships for the greatest impact.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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