Letter from Jessica Muroff, CEO
We know that the community members we serve, the families we elevate and the strategic partners we support – no matter how strong they may have appeared over the last year – all carried a heavy load as they continued to endure the pandemic. We’ve witnessed how a confluence of factors impacted your friends, your families, and your lives.
Our empathy arises from our own experiences at United Way Suncoast. Your journey is our journey. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s shown us we cannot take on these challenges in silos. We must work together to have the greatest impact.
The drive to collaborate and convene, to create a collective community will, has served as a foundation for our work for nearly 100 years. That approach continued to be our formula for success in 2021. From our dedicated board members to our corporate donors, our coalition again delivered for those most in need.
Over the last 12 months, we focused on a key question: How can we strengthen our organization so we can emerge from this pandemic better prepared to handle the future?
We answered that question with a new strategic vision that will serve as our GPS. We coupled that vision with recommendations from our R.I.S.E. Task Force, a group of community leaders and stakeholders who employed radical transparency in laying out how we would utilize our transformational gift from philanthropist MacKenze Scott.
At the same time, we balanced that foundation for the future with a continuing focus on creating lasting community impact and addressing immediate needs. We funded 93 programs through 78 organizations, sparked more success with our own initiatives and launched a new effort to help community members facing eviction.
Internally, we continued to revamp our operational excellence. For the first time in several years, we surpassed our fundraising goals, and we set new standards in revitalizing our culture and creating a more cohesive team.
So, the load we carried in 2021 was indeed heavy, and the load we carry into 2022 appears to be just as weighty. But make no mistake, we will carry it well because of your support, your tenacity, your strength. We’re all in this together, and it’s together that we will succeed.
United We Rise, United We Win.