Dear Bridges Together Donors & Colleagues,
We are writing to update you on Bridges Together, specifically concerning, the point of clarity which the organization has today. The past three years have truly been a journey involving working and learning in all organizational areas: strategy, programs, development, communications and staffing. All of this has lead us to a new chapter for Bridges Together.
Bridges Together started with curriculum for elementary schools and has expanded across all grades. Recognition came in the form of grant funding year after year, allowing us to expand into new school districts and to offer training on the Bridges curriculum. From our outreach, and from those reaching out to Bridges Together, it became apparent that intergenerational (IG) education, training and tools were needed across the country, not just in schools, but in communities and workplaces, too. So new trainings were initiated: design your own IG program, supporting grandparents and multigenerational workforce. Added to curriculum and trainings, Bridges Together was naturally drawn into advocacy work around IG issues. The growth was both fun and challenging. But it also raised a serious question – how can the organization continue to be financially sustainable?
Bridges Together paired with Impact Catalysts to address the question of financial sustainability. Out of this work came one very powerful idea – a membership portal that included access to an online training platform: a place where schools, communities, senior centers, companies and grandparents could access IG program information, as often as they liked, for an annual fee. The membership portal also addressed another issue – how to get IG resources out to a much wider audience. A new staff member, with membership development experience, was brought on and in January, phase one of our membership plan was launched.
As spring came to a close, it became apparent the membership platform needed to be the focus this fiscal year beginning July 1st. Continuing to build content and membership is the work at hand. To this end, staff has been slimmed down to two: an Executive Director (Andrea Fonte Weaver) and a Membership & Development Director (Sarah Cavicchi). The reduction in staff allows Andrea, our Executive Director, to spend more time on developing materials for the training platform, advocacy, developing our donor base, board development and membership. It also allows for greater financial sustainability. We are grateful to the many people and organizations that have journeyed with us over the past six years and the foundations which are supporting this membership and online training platform development: Retirement Research Foundation, Cummings Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation.
We are excited about the year ahead at Bridges Together! As always, we value your thoughts and questions as well as your financial support. Please feel free to reach out to us with any comments (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com).
Andrea J. Fonte Weaver
Executive Director & Founder