Friday, January 01, 2010

A New Year at Wilder Research

10 years ago, we feared we might wake up to Y2K havoc. As we transition to the teens, what do we call the first decade of the 21st century? The “ones”? The “Os”? “The aughts”?

Whatever we call them, the opening years of this century did not bring Y2K, but they did bring many other challenges and opportunities. At Wilder Research, we look forward to continuing to collaborate with you to take full advantage of the skills and reputation we have gained through the long legacy of Wilder’s community-oriented research, along with the current resources which the Foundation can dedicate to meeting needs and improving our community.

The Board of the Wilder Foundation has decided that Wilder will focus on:

  • Children and Families
  • The Elderly
  • Community Research and Leadership

In establishing that third focus, the Board formally acknowledged something very significant: Meeting the needs of vulnerable people and others who need assistance, along with promoting the quality of life for all of us and preventing problems before they occur, cannot be accomplished solely by providing direct services. We, as a community, do not have the combination of resources, systems, organizations, and services to satisfy the duty we feel as a result of the compassionate, caring values which we share.

So, at Wilder Research, we take Community Research and Leadership very seriously. Over the coming years, we will continue to dedicate the efforts of our 80+ staff to work with you to identify how we can have more impact with limited resources. What can our communities do better? What can our nonprofit organizations do better? What can government do better? Let’s determine this, and take steps to implement worthwhile improvements.

We hope to bring people together and empower them to care for others, to build better organizations and communities, and to create new ways of thinking and new policies that will improve everyone’s quality of life. “Leadership” does not mean that the Wilder Foundation or Wilder Research has all the answers, knows the best direction to pursue, or expects to dictate anything to others. It does mean that, as a foundation, we have an obligation to stimulate, enlighten, and engage people in ways that human service delivery organizations and government cannot. We can put the best interests of our metro area in the forefront and act in a nonpartisan way to bring together people of all types and perspectives in literally hundreds of small efforts and large initiatives – to foster positive change.

Research has historically led individuals and communities to consider new options, to think in new ways. Wilder’s Community Research activities began in the teens of the 20th century. We are the oldest existing part of the Foundation. Heightened emphasis on Community Research and Leadership, during the teens of the 21st century carries out the intent of our founders and gives our community a precious resource for ongoing improvement of our well-being.

Again, we look forward to all we can do with and for you during the years ahead.

Happy New Year!

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