President’s Message 2017

Tim Thorpe
When things were upsetting to her, my grandmother used to say, “The world is going to hell in a handbasket!” 2017 was a year during which I think she would have used the same phrase.

From chaotic elections to mass killings and public scandals, the year has indeed been one full of unpredictability. Through the philanthropic lens, many nonprofits felt the earth move a little in terms of financial stability adding to the sense of uncertainty.

Through the cloud of uncertainty, the board and staff at the James R Thorpe Foundation kept our focus and attention on our work in the Minneapolis community, supporting the grantees upon whose grant requests we deliberated and decided.

In May, we moved forward with support for 17 youth-focused organizations, and in our recent November meeting, voted to support 16 of the senior-focused organizations. We also made some special gifts to two food shelf organizations in recognition of the time of year when food becomes even more scarce for many.

Our work in the intergenerational arena continued to move forward, with continued engagement in building the capacity of our grantees to use intergenerational approaches in their work. We welcomed the opportunity to co-present our intergenerational work at the 2017 Age & Disability Odyssey conference.

On the lighter side, we also had some fun, attending a wonderful performance last spring by one of our senior grantees, Alive & Kickin’– amazing to see such vitality and energy carried into the ‘golden years’!

For 2018, we look forward to continued grantee partnerships and the opportunity for learning more about our community, knowing that both remain a bright spot for the Thorpe Foundation staff and board.

Tim Thorpe
December 2017