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Picture this: it’s year-end 2019. We’re all looking forward to a new year and a new decade. And everyone at the Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) is hard at work preparing to launch our new strategic plan in March 2020.

Needless to say, things didn’t go quite as planned.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic changed every aspect of our lives and community, it made our mission and mandate crystal clear: we had to take immediate action to support our community through these unprecedented times, and we couldn’t do that work alone. Hundreds of generous donors stepped up to support Brookline. Thanks to your generosity, we distributed over $1.3 million in grants from January 2020-June 2021 to local nonprofits and collectives to support community members and provide essential services.

At the same time, we saw firsthand that the pandemic was rapidly widening existing inequities locally and globally. Our work needed to evolve to address both the immediate impacts of these inequities and their root causes. Under our new Executive Director Giselle Ferro Puigbo’s leadership, and with the support of a revitalized team, we expanded our original strategy, centered an explicit commitment to equity and a better Brookline for all, and reaffirmed our core values to guide our work into the future. Today, we begin that work in earnest, drawing on the learnings, insights, and support you have shared with us.

This annual report is a testament to what we’ve accomplished together and to what you, our community, have made possible these past 18 months. I feel confident in saying that I have never been prouder to be part of BCF and of the Brookline community, nor more optimistic about our growing ability to effect positive change.