By Richard Weinstein, President & COO
Ocean Reef Community Foundation

“If you don’t know where you are going… any road will take you there.”

It’s Summertime! That still means loading up the car and driving somewhere… with the kids, to see the kids, the grandkids… or even a shorter drive just to get away and cool off! Cars have come a long way since we took those trips in our parent’s car. Back then cars were much larger, but seemingly; with less amenities. There weren’t even cup holders unless you bought them separately and hooked them to the side of the window. We had three canteens with our names on them for water, because back then, there was no bottled water yet!

Cars have evolved to add cup holders and even video screens – first the drop down kind to watch a movie in the back seat, then the more important center screen in the front seat. Soon we’ll have the ability to watch a movie while the car drives itself! Air conditioning is standard now. Remember the vents that actually opened by your feet and were literally a door to the engine compartment that let in the road air?

Today most of the car is already a computer and these analog age gadgets are all gone, except for one. We’ve lost the cigarette ashtray, which used to be in the front dash and also in every door handle, but we do still have that round hole where the cigarette lighter used to be. You remember that press in cigarette lighter that your parents would never let you play with. How dangerous was that little knob? Now it’s gone but that round hole is still there. I guess over the years they manufactured just enough 12 volt gadgets with that plug that it’s still there… but alas, also fading into memory as it’s slowly replaced by the USB port.

Technology and growth seem to be at the core of these transitions and the Ocean Reef Community Foundation has embraced these same advancements. Starting with our website upgrade last summer, we have continued our evolution by engaging a company called Foundant for our new accounting system. Already a great success, Foundant provides the Ocean Reef Community Foundation with grant making software that automates our application process for our nearby charity partners. This new accounting program will allow us to automate our Donor Advised Fund management and create a new portal on our website so fund holders will have the option to manage their accounts, see their balances and request distributions all online.

We are evolving in other ways as well. Our Executive Director, Yuri Mikolay, has been working toward her Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation certified through the American College of Financial Services. It is not a qualification as a Financial Planner but it is an important designation focused on the philanthropic options and opportunities that exist for Financial Planners and Donors. This will add a new level of expertise for Ocean Reef Members looking to maximize the value of their donated funds.

All Charities Director, Lesa Crayne, is working on streamlining the auction invoicing process with the bidding software company to have statements available as soon as the auction is over.

Our Manager of Communications and Events, Amy Cornaire, is also working on a Certificate in Social Media Marketing & Fundraising to boost our ability to engage and communicate with the Membership and those who have chosen to be more active with their giving in the Ocean Reef and nearby communities.

We are not on just any road. We are on a journey. One that will not end when the summer is over, but continue as we look for the next advancement that can assist Ocean Reef Members in their philanthropic goals. Why not join us on this road trip? We’ll even let you call “Shotgun.”