With concerns about inflation, the stock market and recession fears, it’s understandable to think that Oklahomans might be cutting back their support for nonprofits. The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that the number of donors to organizations fell nationally by 7% in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021. Fortunately for Oklahoma nonprofits, many individuals, families and business partners remain committed to steady support and being strong partners.
I’ve learned a lot about Oklahoma and the unique nature of charitable giving here. In August, I began leading the Oklahoma City Community Foundation when the former president, Nancy Anthony, retired after more than 37 years at the helm. With intention and energy, I have been working with our team and trustees to connect with as many nonprofit leaders, stakeholders, experts and donors as possible to better understand what drives charitable giving in Oklahoma. We talk about emerging practices and opportunities for giving and the significant needs of our friends and neighbors. We also explore the approaches that will lead us through challenging times toward our brightest future. How can we work together to catalyze positive change across Oklahoma City and the region? How can we deepen the impact of charitable giving? What can each of us do to improve the lives of Oklahomans in new ways? We will only identify and create the most promising practices and solutions by inviting and including even more people in the conversations and by joining many other tables where meaningful exploration is underway.
We remain committed to bringing people together from all across the community who want to invest in this place and the people who live here. We will continue to support educational attainment and workforce readiness through scholarships. We will extend nonprofit sustainability through endowments and maintain and expand our partnerships and collaborations. It’s by responding to the dynamic needs of our communities and bringing people and parties together that we will overcome uncertainty.
As difficult economic times come and go, we will continue to identify and elevate our communities’ needs now and keep our eyes on the horizon for what may lie ahead. And by working together and casting a wide net, we can access the rich range of perspectives and experiences needed to best support our communities and the people who live here. Something so true to Oklahomans it is called the standard.