This is the season when many people give thanks for wonderful experiences over the past twelve months and look with anticipation to a new year. All of us at Philanthropy New York are especially reflective because we are marking the end of a very productive year and -- with our new strategic plan in place for 2014-2016 -- we are excited about the next era.
Looking back over the past year, we are proud of the approximately 140 programs we produced with Philanthropy New York members. The annual meeting that focused on Hurricane Sandy recovery at the six-month mark with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, interviewed along with his City and State Sandy-recovery counterparts by MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, was a big highlight. That was followed this last October by a set of one-year anniversary convenings that brought funders together to focus on unmet needs left in communities still living with Sandy's destruction.
We're also very proud of the launch and wide public interest in the Education Funders Research Initiative, which issued a third research paper and a set of "Priorities for the Next Mayor and Chancellor" last month. Many of our members have told us that the project is a model for philanthropic collaboration. Through this initiative, we hope to connect members with a new Mayoral administration.
We are also grateful for the many, many members who have contributed significant time and wisdom to their colleagues through our programs, blogs, networks and committees. That, of course, barely scratches the surface. We provide the mechanism and support that so many of you use to contribute intellectually to your colleagues, both in the philanthropic and nonprofit communities, and sometimes, beyond. A good example is the conference we co-sponsored last February on Money, Power and Politics.
As we look to the future, we are excited by what lies ahead. Our new strategic plan refines and builds upon our work of the past three years. With the departure of several staff members over the past four months, we are hopeful that the new structure of our staffing will be even more responsive to your needs and the new personnel arriving over the coming months will bring new skills and fresh energy to our community.
It is indeed a season of thankfulness, good tidings and joy. We have many challenges ahead of us, but we also have the support and strength of an amazing membership. Thank you for being part of the Philanthropy New York community. We hope that in 2014 you join us in building an even stronger, more effective and collaborative circle of philanthropic professionals, donors and community leaders.
Best wishes for the New Year,