Expected and Unexpected Thanks

Even though many started the holiday season right after Halloween, I’m doing my best to ease into the holiday spirit – taking time to enjoy fall and the celebration of Thanksgiving.  This month, my kids and I are sharing at least one thing we are thankful for on the way to school each morning.  It’s been a treat to learn about the things, big and small, they are grateful for in their young lives.  Family, a warm bed, their favorite toy were all expected answers, but I have to admit I was surprised when Nutella made the list!  Their daily revelations are a great reminder to me that delight and gratitude can be found in nearly everything – even in a simple (and yummy) hazelnut spread.

At KNN, there is so much to be thankful for!  We are thankful for the incredible work of nonprofits across Kentucky.  We are grateful for our growing members – the nonprofit staff, board members and volunteers who’ve invested in strengthening their organization and our sector through membership in their state association.  We are grateful for the individuals, corporations and foundations who are stepping up to make donations to support KNN’s  important transition to an independent 501 (c) 3 organization.  We are grateful for our new office space and the simple pleasure of easy parking.

For me personally, I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think of KNN’s nearly twelve year journey. I am thankful for key leaders at the University of Kentucky who saw the value in investing in programs and services to strengthen the nonprofit community. I am thankful for the nonprofits who’ve trusted me to help them craft plans for the future and strengthen their boards.   I am thankful for the small but mighty KNN staff – over our nearly 12 years, we’ve been blessed with talented and dedicated individuals working to serve you.  I am thankful for the community leaders and volunteers who’ve provided KNN with guidance, especially the new KNN board of directors.  I am thankful to have a career I love, serving a mission and a nonprofit sector so important to our communities.  I am thankful for change and growth, even when it’s painful or scary.  Like any founding director, KNN is almost like one of my children – I am proud, excited and scared to death to watch it continue to grow up.

As you and your nonprofit reflect during this season of Thanksgiving, it’s my sincere hope that KNN has made a positive impact on your work in some way.  Now is a great time to be involved with KNN!  To better serve you and chart our course toward sustainability, we are launching several new initiatives (and strengthening existing ones).  Whether your involvement with KNN is big or small, we need your support to ensure a strong, vibrant state association of nonprofits!  Please take a moment to let me hear from you – we’d love to hear your ideas!

DC headshot 2013

In Thanksgiving,


P.S.  If you aren’t a member – please become a KNN member today!  If you are already one of our members, please encourage nonprofits you work with to stand with you in creating a collective voice for our sector.   I hope you’ll also join me in making a personal gift to KNN.  These are ways, big and small, that we can invest in a strong state association that is proactive in meeting the challenges facing our sector and exists to serve your nonprofit for years to come!


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