GoPhil’s Linda DeWolf hosted us all!

Last week was a milestone week for GoPhil as it celebrated its 5th Anniversary in Santa Fe, NM.   Our community members flew in from all over North America to gather, review, plan and play for three days.  And that we did!

It’s been a fantastic few years exploring how best to learn, partner and contribute to people and programs making a quiet but important difference in the world.

In the past 5 years we have granted over 1 million dollars to 22 organizations working in rural villages and marginalized communities helping to provide access to the single most important tool in the fight against poverty– education.  

We kicked off the fun by gathering at Santa Fe’s oldest cantina– magnetic energy filled the room as GoPhil members reunited and forged new friendships…

What does philanthropy mean to you?


Jeanie Mamula shares what philanthropy means to her.

As much as we are working together towards a common goal of sharing our time, talent and resources, philanthropy is oftentimes a deeply personal journey.   We began our Saturday morning strategy sessions by hearing about what philanthropy means to GoPhil members individually.  Honest and heartfelt descriptions were shared, ranging from the desire to have the spirit of a passed loved one continue to give, to a search for a genuine connection to something greater than oneself, to a return to childhood passions.

Insight from Our Community Matters

We then dove into discussions relating to the latest trends in philanthropy (impact investing, mistrust in philanthropy, creating tailored experiences) and how they relate to the most important lessons we have learned since our humble beginnings.  The ability to listen remains at the heart of GoPhil’s ethos while collaboration across all levels has been a key cornerstone–with our partner programs, between them so they can learn from each other, with our donors, and alongside like-minded development partners who believe that empowerment belongs at the local level.  By continuing to dig for the root causes and sources of vulnerability that lead to major global issues such as human trafficking and child labor– we begin to see where we can most effective direct our time and resources.

We looked “under the financial hood” for an inside look at the breakdown and distribution of  donors’ funds and discussed projections for future growth. Working in three separate groups, we explored important areas that directly affect GoPhil’s ability to scale our support to partner programs around the world, to communicate their impact, and to provide a personal philanthropic pathway for people who make this possible.

Our weekend celebrations were topped off with a candle–lit dinner at the Museum Hill Cafe, overlooking the stunning Santa Fe landscape. After a fantastic meal, we reflected on the image of the Flower of Life– a sacred geometric symbol representing the unity, harmony and interconnectedness of all things.  It reminds us that perhaps we don’t function, as much as we like to think, in isolation.   The responsibility that goes into providing everyone fair access to human rights and the opportunity to reach their true potential is our collective work to undertake.  In working together we can most definitely achieve a more beautiful whole.  After only a short five years, we know this to be true.

So what is GoPhil all about?

Perhaps way more than was captured in the carefully selected phrases in the Mission and Vision statements we crafted in loft apartment in Rochester, NY five years ago…   Anne Elgerd, one of GoPhil’s longstanding members summed up what it meant to her so beautifully –“It’s bigger than Foundation.  It’s a community, a philosophy, a mutual feeling of humanity.”

Thanks to ALL of you for making GoPhil’s first chapter such an amazing success…now let’s write the next!


GoPhilanthropic Co-Founders Lyda Dean, Tracey Morrell and Linda DeWolf