The Tapestry of Philanthropy

A LETTER FROM ASHLEY MAHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

January 15, 2020

A tapestry is a type of thick fabric that dates back to the 3rd Century BC. Woven on looms with heavier threads used in the warp (the strong vertical threads), with the design formed by crisscrossing the warp horizontally with the weft threads. The designs are intricate, complex and handmade; some weft threads were actually spun gold!

Many tapestries depicted events or told stories, providing a historical record. They were also valuable in providing warmth when hung on cold castle walls or used as curtains in medieval Europe. No matter their use, the designs were creative, things of beauty that were also useful.

Philanthropy creates its own tapestry. Helping our neighbors has a rich history that extends centuries into the past. A foundation, like Charlotte Community Foundation, is the loom. The warp threads are our strong Donors, with the weft threads—lengths of colorful fibers crisscrossing to create the design—being the nonprofits. Without the warp there could be no weft, no tapestry would result, no story subsequently could be told or event recorded.

The nonprofits in our community—organizations formed to benefit a variety of causes—are a colorful and complex group. Over time they have woven a wonderful story of positive events that have created the beautiful tapestry of philanthropy in Charlotte County. Just as the tapestries of old captured life as well as provided warmth, this new woven capsule of life in modern day has captured the stories of those in need and has offered assistance in many forms.

Our tapestry grows daily. It is exciting to see the story unfold as we eagerly anticipate the future beauty of its beneficial design. The colorful threads mingling with the warp strength of our Donors all led by the Charlotte Community Foundation loom as the center for philanthropy.

The tapestries of the lives of many of our neighbors haven’t been woven with gold threads. In fact, their stories aren’t complete. Solutions are still needed to improve difficult circumstances. The necessary work of the over 200 nonprofits in Charlotte County relies on the generosity of the many caring Donors who have created funds at Charlotte Community Foundation, as well as those who simply donate directly. Each caring as much as the other.

The weaving of the tapestry is continuous. The plot unfolds. The story improves. One warp thread and one weft thread after another, we think of both as gold, working together to create a beautiful story.

The tapestry of philanthropy, the story of many interwoven lives and circumstances, with happy endings often resulting.

 The Charlotte Community Foundation’s vision to continue our tapestry’s story of connecting people who care with causes that matter includes the following goals:

  •  To raise $2.5 million over the next 25 months, beginning in this, our 25th Anniversary Year. A portion of these funds will assist us in administering a Community-wide Needs and Asset Assessment that will be a tool to allow us to look at our entire County’s landscape. The resulting plan will be used now, as well as 25 years from now, to ensure that we become a responsive, as opposed to a reactive, community.

  • To grow a larger philanthropic family by welcoming new fund and grant makers from among our friends and neighbors so that we may continue to create lasting impacts through increased grant making.

We are honored to be your center for philanthropy in Charlotte County. We ask you to join us in reaching these beneficial goals that will allow us to help our family of nonprofit organizations continue their good work enhancing the beautiful fabric of our community. With your help we will do it!

Ashley Maher
Executive Director
Charlotte Community Foundation