Annual Report: Message from the Board

I wrote several donor engagement pieces for the Headwaters Foundation for Justice, including this from its 2006 annual report.


Here’s to giant strides together.

This Headwaters Foundation for Justice annual report celebrates the social change made possible when individuals come together—not just in what we say, but what we do. This was the guiding principle when a group of young visionaries launched Headwaters 22 years ago, and it undergirds our work today.

Headwaters is community, made up of the many partners who fuel every aspect of our work. Headwaters would not have grown into the powerful social change foundation it is today without our grantees, allies and donors sharing a vision for justice.

But even as we celebrate the Headwaters’ community, we also pay tribute to leaders, the people who corral our potential and our passion to build long-lasting power. We need those able to trailblaze a strategic path to bring about systemic change.

This is no small feat.

Ours remains a world with more need than any of us can individually address and more work than any of us can accomplish alone. Thankfully, it also is a world where an organization like Headwaters can be giant when guided by courage and determination.

For 18 years Steve Newcom did that. During his tenure as executive director, Headwaters grew from $175,000 to $1.4 million, launched an array of innovative grant-making programs and increased its giving ten-fold. Headwaters also expanded the meaning of philanthropy—providing startup funds to vital organizations like the Minnesota AIDS Project during a time when the larger philanthropic community was avoiding controversy. Steve also imagined and crafted groundbreaking partnerships with other foundations to ensure such risk-taking well into the future.

Thank you to all those involved in this incredible work. For those of you reading about Headwaters for the first time, we invite you to joins us in creating an even more powerful community resource for progressive change.