January 11, 2012
FRL announces wind-down of its operations
Dear Friends, Colleagues, Community and Funding Partners, and Rural Stakeholders:
For over the past 12 months, the Foundation for Rural Living (FRL) has been engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning process. This process has involved outreach to key stakeholders through surveys, key informant interviews (Nov 2010 to Jan 2011), and a key stakeholder meeting (May 2011).
And it is through this process and after much dialogue and thoughtful deliberation that we are writing to let you to know that FRL will be divesting itself of all program delivery effective Friday, February 3, 2012. Shortly thereafter we will be voluntarily revoking our charitable status and closing down FRL.
For over 30 years, we have worked in collaboration with public, private and philanthropic sectors partners, and staff and volunteers of community-based organizations to build the capacity of the rural charitable and nonprofit sector.
Our programs and collaborations have produced important outcomes over these years, and we are honoured to have contributed in some way to:
- incubating emerging rural initiatives some of which have evolved to become incorporated charitable organizations in their own right,
- acting as a vehicle to receive and disseminate charitable donations in support of rural relief
- establishing a baseline of knowledge on the rural charitable sector,
- building the knowledge and skills of volunteers and staff of rural charitable and nonprofit organizations in resource development so they could become more resilient, more sustainable, and better respond to the social and economic priorities of their communities,
- influencing funders, policy makers and program delivery agents to re-frame how they relate to rural charitable and nonprofit organizations,
- acting as an intermediary to leverage provincial and national resources and assets to grassroots rural charitable and nonprofit organizations,'
- injecting the needs of rural community-based organizations to mainstream provincial national and even international dialogue and policy development,
- building a culture of rural philanthropy through our beliefs, values and programs,
- promoting authentic leadership and collaboration through our behaviour, through our relationships and through our work.
It is our greatest hope that through you, our friends, colleagues and partners that our efforts to build sustainable rural capacity to enhance the quality of life of rural citizens in Ontario will continue. As such, weâ€™re pleased to announce that after months of partnership cultivation, development and stewardship, FRL staff have been successful in transitioning the essence of our current social enterprise capacity building program to new partners and collaborations. The capacity building efforts of our rural development officer program will continue through the legacy that has been built with past and current rural development officers and community partners.
We thank the many people who joined with us on our journey. You reminded us to take time to listen and to reflect. You challenged us. You helped us learn. You contributed to creating and actualizing our vision. You have been key to our shared successes. We have truly valued all those who thought enough of our vision, our mission, our organization, and our people to help us make our work more meaningful, more impactful, and more relevant to those we served.
We also want to thank our staff, Anita Hayes, Grace Gruber, Jennifer Girvin, Melissa Bosselaar and James Finlay for their unwavering contributions of knowledge, skill and energy to FRL, and in particular for their authentic leadership and their integrity in the face of this difficult decision. Their demonstrated commitment to our vision, mission and programs, to our stakeholders and our community and funding partners serves as inspiration to all those who have had the privilege of working with them. The remaining weeks of operations are as important to FRL as ever. Know that Anita, Grace, Jennifer and Melissa will continue to support our constituents through the final weeks of our programs.
For those of you interested in reading about all FRL has achieved this year, final program reports will be posted to FRLâ€™s website by Friday, February 3, 2012.
Lastly, we want to express to you all what an honour it has been to be FRLâ€™s Board of Directors and to have been entrusted with this organization. This decision, though difficult, is tempered with the knowledge that the essence of our work will be carried forward by those who have shared our vision.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Rural Living:
Douglas C. Jack