Site Visits: Seeing is Believing
When Bill and Nancy Smith walked into the new Eastside Community Center at the recent grand opening, they could hardly believe what they were seeing. “Our perception of what the community center would look like was nothing compared to what was actually built,” said Bill. “The thought and planning that has gone into this facility is incredible.” The Smiths knew it took significant effort on the part of many people to bring a vision of that magnitude to life.
“As hard as we try to paint a picture for our investors with graphs, pictures and stories, nothing captures the heart of our work more than seeing it in person.” – Carrie Holden, President/CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound
Two years ago, while the Community Center was still in the planning stages, the Smiths learned the project launched after the tragic murder of Billy Ray Shirley III. They were inspired to learn more, “Both Nancy and I consider ourselves somewhat ‘visual’ people. Sometimes things make a lot more sense to us when we can ‘see’ something as opposed to just hear about it.” Sherrana Kildun, GTCF Director of Philanthropy, suggested a site visit could give them a better understanding of the need for a community center on the Eastside of Tacoma.
A site visit is an opportunity to see first-hand how organizations approach their work, and also to ask questions and learn more about the issues. As Bill remembers it, “We were given a tour and background information from the executive director of the Greater Metro Parks Foundation and we also learned more about the needs of the Boys and Girls Club.”
For organizations, site visits give supporters a chance to experience their work in a moving and memorable way. “’Seeing is believing’ is truly spot on when it comes to introducing our Club ,” said Carrie Holden, President/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. “As hard as we try to paint a picture for our investors with graphs, pictures and stories, nothing captures the heart of our work more than seeing it in person.”
At the Eastside Community Center opening, the Smiths continued to learn about challenges and opportunities for local youth, “We discussed the need to provide bus service from individual schools to the Eastside Community Center pool. Currently the school district does not have funds to bus children back-and-forth from their schools.” Site visits allow individuals to develop a personal relationship with the work, and to discover new connections.
GTCF provides a wide range of resources for individuals and organizations to work together for a stronger Pierce County. Reach out to GTCF’s donor services to learn more about how individual philanthropy can make a difference for the causes that matter to you.