2020 Key Takeaways

2020 has been a record year for the Foundation for MetroWest. From celebrating its 25th anniversary to granting over double the amount of money than in a traditional year, the Foundation’s staff has been hard at work supporting the MetroWest community. While this year has been like no other, the members of the Foundation’s team will use the knowledge from 2020 to inform their work for many years to come. Here are the key takeaways from the eyes of the staff:

The Foundation’s Team and Partners 

Pretty safe to say at this time last year, we simply could not have imagined life as it is leading up to year-end 2020. So much has changed its pointless to enumerate, but the bravery and resilience of so many helps to temper the challenges and losses the nation and the world have faced. On a personal level as I reflect on these extraordinary 9 months, I am struck by the dedication, flexibility and commitment shown by my colleagues at the Foundation.  As everyone made the change to working remotely, they never missed a beat. They gave new meaning to the term multi-tasking, dealt with their own loss of routine, and time with friends and extended family with grace and an unwavering understanding of what was at stake for so many. -Mary Crowley, Director of Operations

Working in operations, my day-to-day work is behind the scenes, ensuring the systems we have created allow the Foundation’s team to work smoothly and efficiently.  My work allows me a bird’s-eye-view of all parts of the organization.  Every day since March I have been awed and humbled by the dedication of my colleagues and the outpouring of generosity from the MetroWest Community to support and care for their fellow neighbors.  The work of a community foundation has never been more important as we honor the worth and dignity of everyone that lives in MetroWest- now and always. –Megan Bransfield, Operations Associate

Never in my wildest thoughts would I have said the Foundation would be responding to a pandemic during its’ 25th year of service to MetroWest, but here we are. Through navigating the sometimes challenging, somewhat isolating, and worry-filled days, I’ve also spent a lot of time looking for the silver linings. While some have been harder to see, one of the brightest spots has been our nonprofit community. Every person I’ve spoken to since March has powered through heavy and uncharted territory to be there for our neighbors in small and great ways. I’m humbled everyday by the positive and hope-filled attitudes of nonprofit professionals who have constantly adapted, collaborated, and said “YES” along the way. Their work has not been easy, but their commitment has been inspiring to all of us at the Foundation as they serve as support systems and lifelines to so many who need them. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to oversee the Foundation’s COVID relief grantmaking efforts, as it has allowed me to be uplifted by stories of resilience, creative solutions, and commitment to community and people. –Caroline Muprhy, Director of Programs

Generosity from the MetroWest Community

I go to bed every night feeling so lucky that my family lives in MetroWest. This year I’ve had an opportunity to soak in the small, everyday things in my community that make it so special and bring me lots of joy. Holiday decorations on the homes, a warm cup of coffee from Coffee Haven, strolling down the Upper Charles River Rail Trail with my kids – the list goes on and on. What has made me smile the most, though, is the extreme generosity I’ve witnessed from my fellow neighbors. I’ve worked in fundraising for ten years. Although I’ve always been inspired by people’s generosity, this year has completely blown me away. It makes me realize that we are all going to be okay; that we can, and will, get through this together.  –Renee Quinn, Director of Development

While the events of 2020 have caused a lot of turmoil around the globe, there have been bright spots and stories of hope that have brought joy. Working at a community foundation, I get to witness small acts of generosity that when combined, make a big impact. Our supporters, as well as many new people, turned to the Foundation for MetroWest when they wanted to help relieve some of the hardships caused by the pandemic. From the school-aged children who made masks and donated the proceeds to the Foundation to the anonymous donors who sent gifts, the spirit of generosity is what I want to remember from 2020.  –Marisa Lutz, Development Assistant

Telling the Stories of Our Community

2020 has been a roller coaster year for so many, but the challenges we have all faced, have also been clarifying. It has allowed us to see what is most important and helped us remember what we value and prioritize. What I have found important, valued, and prioritized this year has been making a difference in my own community, the one in which I have spent so much time over the past year while working from home. Joining the Foundation in September has given me this chance, and I have already learned so much about the organizations that make up the robust nonprofit sector in MetroWest as well as the many remarkable individuals who lead them. -Matt Jose, Programs Officer

After joining the Foundation full-time in July, it became clear to me that there were so many amazing stories for the organization to tell. From the 25th anniversary to the emergency relief work of the Foundation doing, and everything in between, the community needed to understand the importance of a community foundation’s presence in the MetroWest region. My key takeaway from 2020 is that we can all get wrapped up in the day-to-day and doing the work that makes a difference, but it is equally as important to take a moment to stop, reflect, and tell the impactful stories that we’ve worked so hard to create. -Brandi Griffin, Marketing & Communications Specialist

As we look ahead to 2021, we are grateful for the lessons of this year. While the future is still uncertain, we are humbled to be part of the MetroWest community, doing important work for our most vulnerable neighbors, and we will continue this throughout the new year and beyond.


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