Here at WHRL, we are counting our blessings. In August, an anonymous philanthropist visited us for a tour of Milbridge Commons and our new 87 Main Street office. In September, they contacted us and set up a call to discuss our most pressing needs. Less than two weeks later, they paid off our mortgage and gave us funds to put toward an executive director salary, which has always been a volunteer position. For a very small grassroots organization in rural Washington County, this gift is transformative.
Most individual donors and foundations enjoy supporting the programs and projects that help better the community. For us, those projects include Incredible Edible Milbridge, Milbridge Commons Wellness Park and the Elaine Hill Nursing Scholarship. Without donations, these programs would not exist.
But most nonprofits need support for the behind-the-scenes costs—things like rent or mortgage, salaries, utilities. When nonprofits spend a big chunk of their time raising funds for the “guts”–the organizational infrastructure, there is less time to spend on the programs that help the community grow and thrive. It is that simple. More foundations and philanthropists are recognizing the transformative power of supporting the organization itself and not just its services. They help create a secure and sustainable future for the organizations they trust. And vibrant community building is the natural result.
That is where our loyal supporters come in. We still need your help to make the most of our community, to maximize our greatest resources—our people. Let us all work from a place of gratitude as we create the robust programs that best serve our neighbors.
If you don’t know the story of Thankful Haskell Smith, the original matriarch of our Main Street home, check it out here. We are once again amazed by the kindness that motivates people to help others. And we are, above all else, Thankful.