Review the headlines from the past twelve months, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges dividing our communities, nation and world . Yet during the past year, our clients continue to prove that, together, we can transform causes, conversations and communities for good.
From education to health and from community engagement to international development, we’ve collaborated with more than 20 nonprofits this year to clarify their purpose and amplify their impact. Irrespective of issue or audience, a few key themes defined 2018.
Here are the three most important:
Across our partner organizations, we saw a concentrated effort to bring resources, relationships and rights to all. This was particularly evident in higher education. Small liberal arts colleges, large private research universities and the Ivy League created new ways to democratize knowledge. For some, this was a renewed commitment to building an inclusive, diverse campus. For others, this meant expanding options for today’s non-traditional student. In every case, these shifts focused on meeting students where they are — whether that’s in the classroom, in the community or online — and taking them where they want to go.
Perhaps as an antidote to the digitization of daily life, many of our partners made a case for the life-affirming, thought-provoking experiences that only happen when people come together. This year, we helped articulate the power of community in its many forms — the power to comfort, support, teach, entertain and heal. Above all, we saw how, across organizations, face-to-face interactions and strong bonds helped us rediscover and celebrate our shared humanity.
This year, we were also honored and humbled to work with organizations that took bold action for a better future. Our partners are leading the fight against fake news with tools to help students consume information critically — sowing the seeds of healthier, informed discourse. We also collaborated with a leading medical school who made headlines by offering full tuition scholarships to its students — because financial ability should never dictate who gives or receives care.
Although 2018 revealed deep rifts in our nation and world, these themes — along with the people, programs and places we partnered with — continue to give us hope for 2019.
Image via Flickr Kohei Kanno