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The Disruptors

The Hub Newsletter

Every year, CNBC releases a list of 50 private companies who are revolutionizing their industries, unseating corporate giants, and banking billions. These feisty, forward-thinking startups—like Airbnb, Peloton, Rent the Runway, and Door Dash–have seriously shaken things up. They’ve made it possible for us to vacation in private castles, live-stream boot camp workouts, rent $1200 Christian Siriano dresses for $150, and have steamy little cases of White Castle burgers delivered right to our front doors.

They’re called the Disruptors. By making waves, these companies are making a difference. By changing the rules, they’re changing the way we think, the way we act, and the way we live. They’re creating a new frenzy of followers across every single industry. Including ours.

Like their for-profit counterparts, the trailblazers in today’s nonprofit sector have realized that to really drive social change, you need to buckle up, shift gears, and get into a totally different lane. We did. Over the past five years alone, we’ve shifted our strategy dramatically; we’ve changed who we invest in, what we invest in, and how we invest.

Now, as we dive into another decade of disruption, we want to share our Disruptor Playbook with you. Why? Because we need likeminded rulebreakers, wavemakers, instigators, and agitators who are ready to wreak havoc on the status quo in our community together–for good.

WHO WE INVEST IN

There are thousands of nonprofit organizations on Cape Cod. While all their missions resonate with us in some way, we can’t help them all. After years of giving “too little to too many,” we’ve deepened our support for those that will have the most profound impact in the community.

We invest in strong organizations. Passion for mission isn’t enough. We support organizations with strong leaders who are poised to expand their impact with our investment. They may not have all the tools yet, but they must be ready to take them on.

We support strategic partnerships with broad regional impact. Our multi-year investment in the Cape Housing Partnership Initiative has had a significant impact throughout the region. It focused on driving social change through community education. By working together, the partners advanced their individual missions more than they could have alone.

We support collaborating for the common good. Specifically, nonprofit organizations need to integrate resources, not duplicate them. By finding ways to share back-office support, combine purchasing power, develop shared programming and co-train, they can decrease costs, improve efficiencies, and stay focused on their core missions. For example, The Family Pantry’s mission is to provide food; yet, their clients also need help applying for various benefit programs. So, they’ve partnered with staff from Homeless Prevention Council who are trained in benefits enrollment to work with their clients onsite. No unnecessary duplication of services; no additional costs; wrap-around client service; more time and resources for core mission work.

WHAT WE INVEST IN

Capacity-building. Capacity-building. Capacity-building. That’s our mantra. While we still invest in programs, we prioritize initiatives that help nonprofits reach the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity.

Nonprofit Leadership Development Opportunities. We invest in people. They are our greatest assets. Through multiple partnerships, we support ongoing professional development opportunities that empower nonprofit management, staff, board members, and volunteers.

Shared Resources. Information fuels transformation. Over the years, we’ve helped fund everything from compensation studies to online resources. This spring, we’ll release our latest shared resource, the follow-up to our 2009 report Understanding Cape Cod. It provides critical data about the region and summarizes promising practices. This information will guide our decision-making as funders and civic leaders and be available to the community as a resource and agent for change.

HOW WE INVEST

We invest in all areas of the community. Problems don’t live in siloes. Everything is connected. While we must address immediate needs, we must also focus on long-term solutions to the region’s greatest challenges. The nature of community foundation work allows us to be a very strategic partner because we recognize, embrace, and respond to that connectivity.

Larger Grants, Multi-Year Grants. We now award significantly larger grants to fewer, carefully selected organizations. We are also moving toward multi-year grants to give the nonprofits we support adequate funding and runways to build capacity.

Trust-based Funding. We’ve also relaxed the rules and restrictions. We strive to build relationships with our grantees that are built on trust. Those in which we invest know how to scale for success; they also know when to pivot or stay the course. Our job is to support them on that journey and be flexible and responsive.

THE DISRUPTORS

It takes a community to change a community. Your community foundation—this community foundation—is a powerful force. We have a vision and strategy in place. We are actively building resources and deploying resources—where the needs are the greatest, where they will have the most impact. We are mobilizing existing donors and welcoming new donors.

  • Over the last three years, we’ve invested more than $300,000 in strategic, innovative partnerships and alliances.
  • Over the past four years, we’ve raised over $400,000 through a funder collaborative to support leadership development programs for 74 local nonprofit leaders.
  • Through our Vision 2020 initiative, we have raised $400,000 to support Nonprofit Capacity Building and Youth Development. Our goal is to reach $1 million by the end of the year.
  • This year, we’ll announce a pilot grant program, the next step in the expansion of our capacity-building work.

By supporting the Foundation, you become part of the region’s largest philanthropic think-tank, funder collaborative and agent for change. You become a Disruptor. For Good.

START DISRUPTING NOW

STAY INFORMED:
Follow our initiatives and achievements in our newsletter. Sign up at capecodfoundation.org.
For a digital copy of our community report, Connecting Cape Cod, which will be released this spring, email info@capecodfoundation.org.

MEET OTHER DISRUPTORS:
If you missed Dan Pallotta’s keynote speech at Philanthropy Day Cape Cod, listen to his TEDTalk now.
In May, many of our partners and donors will have the opportunity to meet Vu Le, another industry disruptor. Read his latest column about trust-based philanthropy here.

Previous Columns

GHOST IN THE GRAVEYARD
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I grew up playing Ghost in the Graveyard. Think of it as a giant game of tag with dozens of neighborhood kids. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a Halloween thing. It was a daily-never-get-tired-of thing. And, because the boundaries for the game crossed multiple blocks (Remember the good old days when kids could roam?), the moms had trouble keeping track of us. So, they developed a calling tree. When my mom was looking for me, she’d push-button her way down the phone list until she found a mom who knew where we had all drifted to tag me to come home. READ

THE MIX MASTER
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I’m a Mixmaster. Have been since the ‘80s. And lately, my “Country-Boy-Road-Warrior” mix is the only thing blasting through the car speakers: Life is a Highway, Every Mile a Memory, Red Dirt Road and Dirt Road Anthem. I know every skip, crackle, and pause on this well-used mix, because after a quick daily touch-down at the office, Willy and I are inevitably On the Road Again. And, by the time October rolls around every year, I’m feeling a lot like a Johnny Cash song: I’ve Been Everywhere. While Foundation work hasn’t taken me to Fond du Lac, Little Rock, or any of the other 91 places fired off in rapid succession in this name-dropping ditty, it has taken me all over the Cape for Road Warrior Recon, reconnaissance missions with the movers and shakers in the region. READ

THE OPPORTUNISTS
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Dear Optimist, Pessimist, and Realist,
–The Opportunist
While you were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it. 

While opportunists usually get a bad rap; this one got the last laugh. And that got me thinking. There’s nothing wrong with seizing opportunities. Carpe diem, so they say. It’s what Foundation work is all about—in a more altruistic kind of way. Our mission is to bring resources to our community. Period. End of story. Well, not really. We just added a new chapter. READ

THE GRIT FACTOR
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
It was my Junior year of high school, the Brown Invitational cross-country meet. I was never the fastest runner–usually number 7 or 8–so I straddled the JV and Varsity team. This time, the coach put me in the JV race, counting on me to place. The pressure was on. In the first quarter mile loop of these races, hundreds of runners are jam-packed together. At the start, one of them stepped on the back of my sneaker—and off it went. I was out in front, where I wanted to be, had to be. If I stopped for my shoe, I would fall back in the pack. So, I just kept running without it.  READ

ON TREND
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Most kids fall into whatever fashion trend comes along.  As a child in the 80’s, I fell hard for my Madonna “Lucky Star” look: ripped sweatshirt, lacy fingerless gloves, an armful of jelly bracelets and a head full of hairspray. In middle school, I jumped permed-head first into pegged pants, rugby shirts and high-top Reeboks. And in high school, comfort was key: nothing but baggy flannel shirts, overalls, and a pair of Adidas slides. Today, I really couldn’t tell you if I’m fashion-forward or fashion-backward. Being “on-trend” isn’t high on my radar anymore.  At least fashion-wise.  Today, I follow philanthropic trends and can’t get enough of what businesses are doing.  For good.  READ

FRIDGE WORTHY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
When I was in third grade, I had absolutely no idea how to spell scholarship, but I somehow managed to win one.  Everyone in my class had to write an essay, “Why I Love My Mother.”  I can’t remember what I wrote, but it was definitely fridge-worthy.  Back then, I’d do anything to earn a spot on the harvest gold door of our trusted, old Whirlpool.  It was the magnetized, centralized, optimized place for all kids’ achievements (and the weekly grocery list). READ

OUR ROARING TWENTIES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
When they were in their twenties, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, Thomas Edison made the first phone call, and a young Dane named Bohr published a theory of the atom which rocked the physics world.  When I was in my twenties, I started drinking coffee. I also learned that if you push hard enough, you really can get a sleeper sofa up the 5 narrow flights of stairs of a Beacon Hill apartment building.  The coffee probably helped.  READ

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I’ve always loved the expression, “Where the rubber meets the road.” Until recently, I had no idea how or when that phrase originated. So, I did what all curious minds do. I googled it. Surprise. The idiom trail leads back to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and a TV commercial jingle from the mid-1960s.  READ

SUPERHEROES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Things my six-year-old has taught me: 1) Every song has a danceable beat; 2) the “H” on the Montreal Canadians uniforms stands for Hockey not Habitants–that stumped us; 3) Not all super heroes have superpowers.  I supposed I knew that one. Superman has super-human everything, and Batman without the suit is just Bruce Wayne.READ

SMART HOMES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Over the past 30 years, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod has built 127 homes throughout the Cape. By the end of this year, 430 people will live in a Habitat Home. Thirty-four more homes are under construction or on the drawing board. Find out why we’re calling these “smart homes.”READ

THE HEART OF THE MATTER
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
In my last column, Beam me up, Scotty, I talked about the Foundation’s commitment to capacity-building. This isn’t just a passive buzz word. It’s an action verb. It’s a way to make our community stronger.  Find out how we’ve supported Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod​ and hear how this organization is making a big impact in our community.  READ

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

Full disclosure.  I’m not really a Trekkie or Trekker (whatever most Star Trek fans prefer to be called). But, I do admire Scotty (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott), the chief engineer and “miracle worker” of the USS Enterprise.  It’s purely professional.  Let me explain. READ

THE HOUSE THAT BILL BUILT
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

The house that Bill built took seven years to complete and cost $63 million. It has six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, and garage space for 23 cars. The pool house is bigger than my entire house. So is the gym (probably because of the trampoline). And, the reception hall is the perfect place for a plated dinner if you keep the guest list to 150. READ

NOTHING BUT BLUE SKIES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

New Year. New Resolution. I’m swearing off buzz words. Sunsetting them. Sending them straight over the bleeding edge. No more drilling down, reaching out or circling back.  No more pivoting, piggybacking or peeling back the layers of the onion. Our board is not the S.W.A.T. team, you are not stakeholders, and today’s agenda is not Mission Critical.  READ

END-OF-THE-YEAR APPEAL (AND  CONFESSION)
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

I’ve had a serious crush since the 1980s. His name is Pac-Man. That neon-yellow, dot-gobbling character stole my heart the minute I powered up my first Commodore 64 computer. Pac and I spent hours together in his video maze, devouring dots and evading four murderous monsters: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Together, we relentlessly pursued those flashing Power Pellets. These power-ups made us temporarily invulnerable so we could swallow up the enemy, earn bonus points, and advance to the next level of play. What a guy! WHAT. A. CONCEPT!  READ

WHAT’S YOUR GIVING STORY?
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

My children are five and seven.  They already know I’m not a chef, an artist or an editor. Right now, I’m known for burnt pots, stick figure drawings and long, rambling life lessons. Some legacy, huh?  In time, though, what I hope they’ll remember me for is teaching them the value of giving. READ

MY HOME TOWN
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

Some people think you can’t go home again. I don’t.  I grew up in Dennis. (Ok, I know.  It’s a very short trip, but that’s not the point of the story.) See, whenever I hang out in my home town, I get those warm and fuzzy feelings of childhood.  Although many things have definitely changed there over the years, my feelings haven’t.  Going home still gives me goosebumps. READ

GIFT GIVERS ANONYMOUS
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

We’ve all had shocking self-revelations.  Mine came in my early thirties when I finally had to concede: I am a lousy gift-giver.  That long-delayed admission came one chilly Christmas Day when the presents I put under the tree received (yet again) an even chillier reception from my family members. When my mother said, “Really, honey, you shouldn’t have,” I finally heard it.  Really.  You.  Shouldn’t. Have. Ever. Again. READ

THE BLUE JEANS BLUES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I have a serious love/hate relationship with blue jeans. LOVE wearing them. HATE shopping for them. But, when I had worn my Lucky Brand dark-washed, gently-whiskered, 5-pocket, zipper-fly, boot-cut besties way beyond respectability, I had no choice but to hit the mall. No biggie. Dash in. Dash out. A new pair of these made-for-me blues was a quick credit-card swipe away. Right? Wrong. READ

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Recently, I had a surreal experience. It made me feel like I had walked out of my ordinary life and onto a television set. Not Game of Thrones or House of Cards. That might have been cool. No, I had landed on Sesame Street, PBS’s perky place for preschoolers. There was Bob (the affable music teacher who lives in an apartment above Hooper’s Store) and a handful of Muppets (no pun intended).  READ

WHAT I LEARNED FROM PRINCESS POPPY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
I’m reluctant to admit it–and half-hoping you won’t believe it. One of my mentors is a troll–not one of those provocative-posting cyber trolls who purposefully disrupts online discussion groups. My superhero is a spunky little pink-haired, pink-skinned do-gooder named Princess Poppy. What’s more this pink paragon (who’s cooler than a pack of peppermints) sings! READ

YOU CAN’T PLAY HOCKEY IN HIGH HEELS
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Last winter, I became a new mom: a hockey mom. Every week I raced out of the office to pick up my 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter for practice.  To be honest, I looked totally out of place in full business attire and seriously hoped there would never be a parental duty requiring me to skitter across the ice in 3-inch high heels.  READ

POWERING UP
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
I’m a runner. Not a fast runner. I like taking my time, going the distance. I run a few miles most mornings, step it up on the weekends and work in a half marathon every chance I get. Like most runners, I have a ritual. Breathe. Stretch. Repeat. I close my eyes, run the course in my mind, then release slowly, purposefully. READ

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