Reflecting on 2017 — CRE’s end of year letter

December 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

There is no doubt this year has been a challenging one for many. We’ve seen divisive rhetoric, intolerance, and other behaviors that challenge the very values that are core to an inclusive and thriving society – and to our collective humanity.

Yet through that, the people and communities most targeted in this environment have continued to push forward. As have the nonprofits that serve them. Indeed, many have come together to discuss and reassess how we create, support, and strengthen social change. And they have acted.

At CRE we have been honored to be part of those efforts, working with a diverse cross section of nonprofits and community-based organizations, as well as foundations and government agencies. We’ve been privileged to lead and facilitate those conversations, when appropriate, as we work to ensure the sustainable delivery of services and programs.

This past year we served nearly 400 organizations, partnering with 170 through customized consulting or coaching engagements and 280 in our leadership and professional development programs — with some organizations working with us in both capacities. This work has affirmed our strong belief in the power of people and nonprofits to create the change we need to see in our communities across this country. The resilience and creativity of our partners motivates us to stay responsive to their needs, as we continue to offer high-quality consulting and capacity building support.

We will continue to grow and evolve to best partner with these groups. For example, to address the great uncertainty that nonprofits are facing with regards to funding and program shifts, we created and ran “Resilience and Response” trainings to help nonprofits respond to emerging needs, and were proud to officially launch the CRE Fitness Test (CREFT), a risk assessment tool to help nonprofits identify and mitigate risk. In addition, we expanded access to our pro bono consulting initiative, the CRE Rising Fund. We also grew our external Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice through which we support social change organizations in their efforts to become more equitable, and we have taken an intentional approach to address our own relationships with race as a staff, through an internal racial equity initiative.

As we head into 2018, we look forward to another year of working together to strengthen our sector. We will continue exploring how to better serve institutions and their communities, which will include finding new ways to provide support and platforms for leaders to come together to reflect, discuss, and collaborate.

We are grateful for your partnership this year, and are excited to continue this work with you.


Katie Leonberger

President and CEO

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