Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Fond Farewell From Our Fearless Leader: Groundwater Foundation President Retires

It is with mixed emotions that I’m wrapping up my responsibilities here at the Groundwater Foundation. As many of you know, I founded the Groundwater Foundation almost 24 years ago with the intention of helping people understand and protect this precious but widely unknown resource. Many programs later, I feel good that the Foundation may have helped move groundwater into a more prominent position in the environmental world and helped it become more visible as it continues to nourish us in so many ways.

I always knew that it would be important to leave at some point—before my ability to make a difference was diminished. I also believe that it is crucial to have a smooth transition when founders and long term leaders leave a position and I am so pleased with the hard work of our board and staff in this process. We are all excited to welcome the new Groundwater Foundation President, Jane Griffin on Monday, February 11, 2008. Jane will bring her own vision and talent to groundwater, the Groundwater Foundation, and our members and partners.

Jane will be entering a challenging position in a challenging non-profit environment. Resources are increasingly scarce and meeting standards of accountability and accounting take up more and more of every non-profit’s time and energy. As business demands have grown, I started to dream about returning to my first passion, educating youth. I am very blessed to be realizing this dream through my current course work at the University of Nebraska and practicum at a local High School.

As I leave, questions remain. How do non-profit organizations achieve a balance between business and mission in these competitive times? Why are funding sources dictating programs rather than allowing their grantees the freedom to create and innovate? How will non-profit organizations survive and thrive in the 21st century—at a time when the importance of their work and messages is growing by leaps and bounds? Please chime in on these important questions—and help launch a lively blog discussion for the ages!

I look forward to hearing from you and wish all of you good health, good groundwater, and many blessings in the years ahead!