Letter from Steve McCormick
Celebrating 2009, looking ahead in 2010
February 27, 2010
The most rewarding part of working for a foundation is the opportunity to see the extraordinary accomplishments of the innumerable organizations and people we support. Having worked at an NGO, I know that these accomplishments come not only from great effort, but also from the lessons learned when things don’t go as planned. When I worked for an NGO, the most motivating comment I had, early in my career, was from a foundation president who said, “we want to enable you to fail, for we want to give you confidence to try some really innovative new ideas.”
We are honored to highlight some of the accomplishments of our grantees in 2009. I hesitate to say “our” grantees, because these organizations are supported by many other donors. But we’re proud to be a part of their successes, and also their failures, for all these examples share a dedication to continuous improvement.
So that we can better serve the fields in which we work we, too, need to be committed to continuous improvement at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Based in large part on the findings of a Grantee Perception Survey conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy in late 2008, we have been undertaking a systematic review of all aspects of the Foundation through the initiative we call “Building Our Future,” which I described in an earlier letter. I’ll provide a report on our progress in a future communication.
In the meantime, we applaud the work of our grantees and look forward to deepening our collaborative efforts in 2010.
Steven J. McCormick
President, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation