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A Billion Reasons To Celebrate (And It’s Not About the Money)

At first blush, you’d think the fact that The Pittsburgh Foundation passed the $1 billion mark in assets, a major milestone in its history, would be reason enough to celebrate.

But what if the reason for celebrating really isn’t about the money after all?  What do you do?

For Pittsburgh Foundation President Grant Oliphant, you write a poem, and use it as for the voice over for video to tell people what the real story is. As he asks in the video (below), “Was this what we were striving for…this billion?”

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Says Oliphant, “For any community foundation, crossing the billion dollar threshold is a big deal and an opportunity to assert even greater credibility. But I struggled with this for The Pittsburgh Foundation because we are very clear that the point is not and never has been the money. We believe the money is just a means to an end, which is about community change.

“I wrote this poem for my board and staff to help us acknowledge this fundamental tension so that we can celebrate our achievement while at the same time refocusing on what really matters in our work.”

The video was released earlier this week and, according to Oliphant, “reaction so far tells me that people get it and appreciate the message.”


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