This month, the Community Foundation is saying goodbye to John Good as he completes his term as our Director, Fund Development.
When John joined the Foundation as Executive Director in 2014, having just completed graduate studies in social innovation, he arrived with a restless impatience to address complex social, economic and environmental issues. Stepping into an organization that, although not yet five years old, was already earning a reputation as an innovator and change maker, John saw a significant opportunity to grow the impact of community philanthropy in the Peterborough area.
“I remember wondering why Peterborough had only just formed its community foundation, when so many communities had had theirs for years,” John recalls. “It was clear to me then, as it is now, that a community foundation, however long overdue, was very much needed in Peterborough, and I know the Foundation will be a force for good, for years to come.”
There’s no doubt that the Community Foundation has become a growing force for good in the Peterborough region. In 2014, a small group of supporters and donors enabled the Foundation to provide 12 grants totaling $285,000. Six years later in 2020, the Foundation was able to invest more than 200 grants in local charities, totaling over $1.5 million. This astounding impact comes from the dedication of many community minded people who share the Foundation’s purpose of building a vital community for everyone.
Building a network of support around that purpose has fueled John’s work at the Foundation. “John’s approach to community philanthropy has always been about relationships,” notes Betty Morris, Past Chair and Board Member at the Foundation. “Through his caring demeanor, his passion for the philanthropic goals of donors and his understanding of the community, John has embodied everything that the Community Foundation stands for.”
As he reflects on his time leading the Foundation, John is especially proud of the way that the Community Foundation and local donors sprang into action in 2020, providing emergency financial relief for local charities supporting vulnerable residents during the pandemic.
“I am always surprised by the generosity of our community, as one ambitious campaign after another is announced, goals are reached and projects are completed,” says John. “But truly, what I’ve enjoyed doing most in my time with the Community Foundation is helping many of those generous donors arrange legacy gifts that will continue to support the charities and causes important to them, for generations to come.”
In many ways, that work is a part of John’s legacy, too. As he steps away from his leadership role at the Foundation, John knows that the organization is in good hands. Two years ago, he led the Foundation in adopting an innovative shared-leadership model, shifting out of the executive director role to create opportunities to tap into the leadership of long-time staff members Jennifer DeBues and Nicole Gagliardi in a three-person executive team.
“Together with the board, we’ve learned a lot over the past two years, and the Foundation has embraced the shared-leadership approach,” John remarks. “I’ve had the privilege of working with Jennifer and Nicole over the past seven years. They are highly qualified, well respected leaders in our community; their passion for community building and their commitment to the Foundation are unmatched.”
While John is looking forward to tending his gardens and enjoying life with his partner, Doug, on the Indian River, his restless impatience remains, and he will continue working on the kinds of complex issues that brought him to the Foundation in the first place. ”Much of my work life, prior to my time with the Foundation, was focused on parks and conservation and I look forward to having more time to devote to environmental interests and action on climate change and sustainability.”
“It’s always hard to close a chapter,” says John. “But as I look to the future, I see the Community Foundation’s capacity growing in an important way that will enable the community to better address fundamental issues of inequality, poverty and marginalization. There is so much potential in our community, and in our community’s Foundation.”
Make a donation to the the COVID-19 Community Response Fund
One year into the pandemic, the needs in our community continue to increase, stretching the capacity of local charities. In lieu of a retirement celebration, we are asking for donations in John’s honour to be directed to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which continues to provide financial assistance for charities as they adapt and recover from the effects of the pandemic. Click here to donate.