I continue to learn a lot from wise leaders throughout our region and state. My second meeting of the League of California Community Foundations was the last for John Kobara, the soon-to be-retired chief operating officer of Los Angeles County’s community foundation.
John has been a leader of California Community Foundation for 16 years—initially on its board, then as one of its senior officers. He was asked to provide a valedictory near the end of the meeting.
I was told that John was a remarkable orator—and he held up to that high esteem. So, this blog—and the next one, too—are focused on some of John’s key remarks that have been percolating in my head for the last several weeks.
John mentioned that as leaders of California’s largest community foundations, the CEOs in the League all had one deeply abiding thing in common. After a little suspense, he uttered the words:
“a shared monogamy of geography. “
We paused for a minute to take that in. Almost in unison, all of us began to smile and nod in agreement. John explained that all of us who love our work in our respective communities are doing so out of a love for our regions and to realize the best days for all residents in the not-too-distant future.
A Deep Love
When I think about the incredible work of The San Diego Foundation that is fueled by individuals, families, corporations, nonprofit organizations and more, we all share one thing in common: a deep love of San Diego County.
It really is a monogamous relationship: we love this place we call home. Where children have been raised, careers and companies have prospered, special moments shared, friendships fostered, inspirational experiences remembered, nature enjoyed, and so much more.
My family and I have lived in San Diego for 14 years. While we will never be able to say we are “natives,” we certainly feel that way and cannot imagine living anywhere else.
Every Thursday afternoon, I approve hundreds of grant recommendations from fundholders at The Foundation. It is, without doubt, the best part of my week. I am amazed at the diversity of the grants that leave our office every seven days to do good in our community. And as almost 80 percent of all of our grants stay in San Diego County, it is quite clear to me that others share this monogamy of geography.
Renew Your Vows
As this is the most generous time of the year, I hope you will consider your love of San Diego County. Many readers of this blog have thrived here, prospered here, and easily feel like they belong in San Diego County—this is home. But for many others, the opportunities to thrive, prosper and feel like they belong here, too, have been elusive or just beyond their grasp. Let’s fix that together!
So, why not renew your vows to our region right now? It is the perfect time to think about others and their sense of belonging. By making an additional gift to your donor-advised fund or opening one before December 31, you can share your love of all things possible in our region with others who pine for the opportunities to lift themselves up and to fall in love with San Diego.
Give us a call or send an email message to learn more. Community foundations are set up to accept just about any type of asset.
My best wishes to you for the holiday season!
P.S. Just a tease about the next blog thanks to John Kobara: you can buy this tiny, tiny thing on Amazon (by the hundreds, in fact), but only with great care, nurture and time, it will become one of the greatest wonders you will ever see.