Dear Friends, 

Every year, I look forward to this moment as I sit down with my erasable pen and notebook and start to brainstorm key elements of this letter written to YOU.  Like every year, this letter is a reflection of the past 365 days and a preview of the upcoming year. However, as we welcome 2024, this letter is more than an annual task. It is also the official kick-off to our 30th anniversary. 
We hoped to be courageous at the outset of 2023. Our staff knew that if we applied the skills and knowledge gained through navigating the pandemic, the community would benefit. Being courageous meant asking tough questions, changing processes, trying new things, and knowing when it was best to remain the same. As a result, our mission to activate generosity for a strong community was part of progress in many different areas. Here are just a few examples of our courage at work: 

  • Gathering community leaders to address the housing crisis. 
  • Leveraging outside funding to increase training beyond high school. 
  • Providing opportunities for nonprofits to learn and grow. 
  • Connecting tornado survivors to services to become whole. 
  • Enhancing our grant-making framework in hopes of changing lives. 

With this momentum, we are excited to continue our work in 2024 as well as celebrating three decades of serving the community.  We are still working on the exact details, and we don’t anticipate one grand event but a yearlong effort weaving in snippets of our roots, our progress, and our future, all while celebrating our community.  Like anything we do, YOU are an important part of this celebration.   
What is your first memory of the OCF? What is your favorite memory that includes the OCF?  In the next 30 years, 100 years, etc., how can the OCF strengthen our community?   
We are humbled and strengthened by the generosity and heart of this community. YOU give us the courage to move in new directions, take on new endeavors, and envision a bold future for Otsego County.  
Thank you.  

Dana Bensinger 
Executive Director