Image by Gordon Darrow.
Over the past two decades, the Brainerd Foundation has quietly invested about $50 million toward citizen advocacy aimed at protecting our region's precious natural resources. We've supported organizations and advocates taking on enormous challenges and we've seen them making tremendous progress. And we all know that protecting our environment will take everything we've got — and more.
Because of our deep commitment to make the biggest difference we can with the resources we have, we're spending every dollar remaining in our endowment between now and 2020.
This month marks the beginning of our final stretch. We have five years to go before our bank account is empty and we start archiving our files. As we enter this phase of our work, we're building on what we've learned since our founding in 1995. And we'll be doing some things a bit differently. For one thing, we've decided to be a little less quiet about the work we're undertaking. We want to share what we're learning…what we're seeing that inspires us, and what keeps us up at night.
These are the questions we ask our grantees every year, and we learn a lot from their responses. It seems only appropriate that we start sharing our own lessons and reflections with our community.
As our foundation spends out, we're setting our sights on the future:
Five years is not a lot of time, and some of this is unchartered territory for us. That's why we're eager to share what we're learning in real time, and learn together with those of you who are trying similar things.
We hope you'll follow us and be a part of the conversation with us here and on Twitter.