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2021 Gratitude & 2022 Look Ahead

It’s hard to believe that this is the last Foundation Friday of 2021. It’s been a big year as we look back with gratitude on a few of the milestones, accomplishments, and lessons of the last year.

2021 Impact Metrics

Here are a few examples of our impact and reach this year:

  • 12 – Number of organizations that we have served through grants and partnerships
  • 86 – Number of programs that we have run within those organizations
  • 1 – Our first Jinny Ditzler Legacy Fund grant with the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay that reaches over 2,000 youth age 7 – 18

Learnings from 2021

One takeaway from this last year that makes me so proud is how we truly invest in our grantees and partners. We support each organization with a variety of programs to ensure:

  1. Depth – we create depth with our grantees and partners with a multitude of programs across multiple levels and of each organization
  2. Impact – our programs have impact that endures long after we complete our work
    with grantees
  3. “Stickability” – the learnings and takeaways from the program and coaching we provide have stickability for the long term, helping our grantees take the work forward themselves and apply it in ways that work for them and the people they serve

Looking ahead to 2022

As we look to the new year, we continue to focus on the common threads and themes that connect our grantees and partners. This last year, one important theme has come to the forefront: many of the organizations we serve work on the frontlines of their communities – educators, first responders, disaster relief, veterans, at-risk youth, and NextGen leadership development, among others.

One thing is clear – the challenges of the past 18+ months are not gone. Lisa Kogan-Praska, the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay, said it in such a powerful way:

The nonprofit sector as a whole is experiencing a new level of burnout. It’s been like asking your staff to run and sprint and then start a marathon, with no time to recover…While not unique to the Green Bay Club, it is a challenge that we will continue to face in the year ahead…Nonprofits have the core needs as any business. However, we are often funded and resourced in ways that decrease our efficiency and impact. The Best Year Yet Foundation helps to [increase performance] of nonprofits, which in turn creates higher impact for the clients we serve. Stronger nonprofits equal stronger communities.

Announcing “The Frontlines Initiative”

We have heard the needs of the non-profit community and are stepping in to meet those challenges in 2022. Today we are proud to announce the 2022 launch of the Frontlines Initiative. This initiative will focus on serving those organizations with boots on the ground and direct service on the frontlines in our communities. In doing so, we intend to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations, expand our impact, and further increase performance for those organizations that strengthen the communities in which we live – locally and globally.

This is how we live into our mission to “serve the servers” and we are excited to share more in the new year. We hope you will continue to support us with your thoughts, sharing, and donations. We look forward to continuing the conversation, as well as the work, around making our world better through serving those who serve our communities.

“Very great change starts from very small conversations, held among people who care.”

 – Margaret J. Wheatley

From all of us at the Best Year Yet Foundation, we want to wish you all a happy holiday season and new year!

Fondest regards,


Aaron Cohen

Executive Director, Best Year Yet Foundation