What a time it has been for our world. It is almost surreal to witness the job loss, health concerns and overall chaos that the coronavirus has waged on our lives. A year ago we would never have imagined such a crisis. It was a show stopper for all of us, including our family.
In 2020 we received nearly 50 grant requests. It seemed like we were swimming in human need, thinking about creative and effective programs that serve others really well. It was difficult to make our decisions, particularly since we were unable to meet face-to-face as a Board.
We did make decisions. We created a personal philanthropy profile for our Board members so we could learn about what is important to each person in our family. We also decided to retool what we do and how we do it for 2021. We welcome out-of-the-box discussions with anyone who is interested in wading in. How does a family work together in a unified way, when family members have different values?
Since 2016 we’ve been funding all of the charities our employees are passionate about. This is important to us because the employees of Briljent are rock stars. They are all currently working from home, providing solutions and consulting services to our clients. We salute the fine work that our team does, even during this tough and unusual year.
We are a donor advised fund, partnering with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne (CGFGW). They have done a phenomenal job with the administration of our grants. More importantly, we piloted a new system they were implementing this year and used it for our grant submission and review process. It worked like a charm; we tossed aside our 50-pound grant binders and did the entire process this year electronically. Thank you to CFGFW for walking alongside us as we improve what we do and how we do it.
So what matters to our family? This year we funded 34 agencies and we think the work that they do matters. Dave and I are proud of our four children, their spouses/significant others and our grandchildren. They are alert to what is happening around them, they are defining their values and they stand by them even in the face of conflict. They are thoughtful, caring, compassionate people who look out for others and they are hard workers.
Here’s a salute to our family and to our service to others.
Kathy Carrier, Secretary of The Luminous Fund, alongside the Carrier, Odum, McLean and Baumgartner Families
To whom much is given, much is required.
Never, never, never, give up.