Over 10 years ago, GoPhilanthropic Foundation was founded through the combined efforts of Lydia Dean, Linda DeWolf, and Tracey Morrell. Their aim was to identify people who, like them, wanted a safe place to explore and engage in philanthropy and to build bridges with communities and individuals around the world in a way that is inclusive and empowering.
Over the last decade, they achieved this through carefully vetting partners, team members, volunteers, and donors to ensure that we are all working toward the same goals. Since its inception, the GoPhil community has identified and supported 32 partners in over 7 countries in Asia, Africa, and Central America. Under their leadership, GoPhil has become a thriving community of global humanitarians, changemakers, and travelers looking to engage in thoughtful and meaningful philanthropy around the world!
During GoPhil’s 10 year anniversary celebration in September 2021, we celebrated the incredible legacy of our Co-Founders, and their decision to pass the leadership torch by the end of 2021 to the GoPhilanthropic team.
While they will all continue to be involved in GoPhil through various capacities, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for establishing this organization that has advanced global equity in so many ways and changed the lives of countless individuals around the world.
From 2022 onward, they will be continuing to support the team in new and evolved roles as we work to follow their legacy with the new exciting projects!
In the meantime, we would love to invite you to hear from our Co-Founders directly as they share their heartfelt messages with our community including their lessons learned as founders and philanthropists, and their plans going forward.
Message from Lydia
Message from Linda
Hello all and greetings in 2022!
Yes, we are still, unfortunately, in the midst of COVID -and it has slowed many of us down some- but we are also entering the promise of a new year and with that comes new beginnings and opportunities while staying true to who we are, our dreams and aspirations, and an honoring of our past experiences and history.
It has, indeed, taken over 10 years of co-creating GoPhil (and by co-creating, I mean all of us doing the hard, but beautiful work) and now it stands on its own. It is inextricably bound with all the people whose lives we have touched, and all the people who have made us what we are today… partners, donors, volunteers, staff alike.
GoPhil has always been, and will continue to be, an organization based upon our strong values and commitment to learning, to a personal touch with donors and partners…an approach that literally redefines philanthropy as less top down and more community focused. And the process and the outcomes, the relationships built, have resulted in change for so many of us.
Now it is time to let go and trust our collective future. And what better time than the new year, given we have a solid team and board in place, a new board chair, our amazing Co -Founder Tracey Morrell, to usher in exciting new opportunities for this year and beyond.
I want to share my own plans with you in the new year. I will continue to support GoPhil as is helpful and the team would like. This includes working on special projects, continuing some cultivation and relationship building with external organizations and donors and providing general support and advisement…and of course just being part of this magnificent community. I do see, however, a stepping back from day to day operations and a pretty significant reduction in hours worked.
In those other hours of my life, I plan to spend more time with my family and friends as well as re-explore my passions for art, film, literature, spirituality, and giving back to my own, local community through all I have learned over my many years of work in philanthropy and the not -for- profit arena. Oh yes, and travel is at the top of my list… we shall see how that unfolds!
And, as to the excitement I referenced earlier for GoPhil, you will hear more from the team, but a little “spoiler” includes developing a new strategic plan and greater opportunities for community building through GoLearn and, hopefully, a GoPhil journey to the new region of Oaxaca, Mexico in later ‘22. So, stay tuned!
And with that all that in mind, I leave you with a few heartfelt remarks I wish to reiterate from our 10- year anniversary celebration this past fall…
With love and great respect,
Message from Tracey
As many of you know, I stepped out of an operational role at GoPhilanthropic almost two years ago to focus on my family and create the space for GoPhilanthropic to grow and fully embrace the transition from CO-Founder led to team led. I missed so much about GoPhil- the wonderful people it attracts, the dedicated team, the donors with whom I have shared so much, the deeply committed board and my fellow Co-Founders. I also missed everything that GoPhil represents to me; a constant source of education, an opportunity to be pulled out of my comfort zone, a way to give back and a constant source of inspiration, as our partners tirelessly go about their incredible work, no matter what!
So, when I was asked in the fall of 2021 if I would consider the role of board chair, beginning the first of the year, I jumped at the chance.
January has been spent reconnecting and meeting all the team and board members. I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to ‘onboard’ me and bring me back up to speed on all things GoPhil. I have been incredibly impressed with all that has been accomplished during the last year and half. The challenge of running an organization is that you are so busy with your head down, doing the work, that sometimes you do not even realize how much has been accomplished until you are asked to tell someone else and have a moment to lift your head. A few notes from my conversations that I would like to share…
- For the first time EVER GoPhil started the year with ALL our partner’s grant commitments for January fulfilled and by also getting a great head start on filling the funding gaps for grant cycles starting later in the year!
- Another record was receiving almost $80K ‘where needed most’ donations, giving GoPhil the flexibility to designate funds where they will make the greatest impact. Historically this was more like $15K.
- The new region of Oaxaca and several new programs has been fully researched and vetted.
- The team found ways to continue critical networking and capacity building workshops and personalized individual trainings for our partners, supporting them with the skills needed to navigate the current landscape.
- GoPhil has already welcomed 68 new donors so far, this fiscal year, suggesting that some of the new development strategies are starting to gain momentum.
- And we have maintained our all important “personal touch” with donor retention rate at 50%.
- Behind the scenes, numerous systems and structures have been put in place to greatly improve efficiency and workflow.
- The directors have found their own rhythm in a shared leadership model and are full of ideas for the future.
Overall I find myself returning to a more mature organization with a solid foundation from which to launch GoPhil’s next chapter – all this during unprecedented times! I am in awe of everything accomplished and, as importantly, the wonderful and inspiring people and stories that are core to who GoPhil is and has always been. Huge thanks to Lydia and Linda for all your support over the past couple of years. What a great way to start this new year.
I’m so excited to be back and look forward to connecting with you more this year.
Thank you, Lydia, Linda, and Tracey for everything you have done and continue to do for our team, partners, donors, and our community! We appreciate you so much and we all look forward to making you all proud!