GCN Celebrates Corporate Community at Annual Breakfast

March 07, 2014
| by Editor |

More than 100 corporate and foundation leaders gathered Wednesday morning for GCN’s annual Corporate Community Breakfast, where we stop to thank our network for their time, treasure, and talent while opening their eyes to the opportunity for deeper, more powerful partnerships—the kind that drive real, sustainable, and transformational change.

Paul Snyder, InterContinental Hotels Group’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs, welcomed the crowd to the InterContinental Buckhead hotel. Speaking as the chair of GCN’s 2014 Corporate Sustainers Steering Committee, he said he’s proud to support an organization that “doesn’t just represent one cause, but fuels the social sector to make a difference.” He also appreciated GCN’s work, “which everyone is experiencing today with this event,” to bring “the right players together, aligning the efforts of nonprofits, funders, companies, and community stakeholders.”

Jane Nelson, of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, delivered a presentation on the possibilities of corporate-nonprofit partnerships called “Driving Transformative Change,” based in her work on the Kennedy School’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative. Nelson described a triangle of forces made up by the business, government, and nonprofit sectors, and the desperate need for “new models of partnership” among them.

“'We were in the red, we’re now solidly in the black,' testified one executive director, which Beavor said 'pretty much sums up what we do [at GCN].'”

GCN President and CEO Karen Beavor took her time thanking GCN’s partners, as well as its staff (“they complete me”), for specific accomplishments over the past year (including the leap of faith corporate partners took in the first stages of Georgia Gives Day and the funding community’s investment in the Momentum initiative, but also for their efforts every day to encourage individual employees to give back as donors, volunteers, and board members. Recalling Nelson’s triangle of forces (businesses, governments, and nonprofits), Beavor positioned GCN in the center, connecting the leaders, interests, and resources of all three sectors to create the “new models of partnership” and “transformative change” Nelson prescribed.

Beavor also played some compelling recorded remarks from nonprofit CEOs on the power of GCN’s work: “We were in the red, we’re now solidly in the black,” testified one executive director, which Beavor said “pretty much sums up what we do here.”

To provide a more specific picture of “what we do,” however, GCN also used the gathering to debut our 2013 Annual Report. Titled Fueling Impact, the overview of GCN’s past year covers the success of our second Georgia Gives Day (raising $1.5 million, 85% more than 2012’s), the progress made by participants in our Momentum initiative (and our plans to take it statewide), the impact of our whole-community collective action partnerships (like the High School Graduation Blueprint), and more.

Marc Schultz is contributing editor at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

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