When we first got started as a nonprofit, we called ourselves The Abundance Foundation, because we believed, and still do believe, in the theory of abundance – that there is enough of everything we need, for everyone, if we all live simply and sustainably, and share what we have.
But because of the word “foundation” in our name, people are often asking us if we are a family foundation with a lot of money to dole out in the form of grants. That’s not who we are. We’re small (only four employees, some part time!), but we get a lot done with a little. So, we decided to do away with the word, “foundation.”
People also often ask us, “So… I’ve seen your name around a lot, but what exactly is it that you all do?” We decided we need to do a better job of explaining to everyone what we are all about.
So in the spirit of clarity, and in the hope that doing this would make us better at doing what we came here to do, we created new mission and vision statements, a new name, a new logo, and two new websites that better explain what we do and why.
What we do, in a nutshell:
While we do a lot of different things that might at first seem unrelated – DIY workshops, PepperFest, a Climate Change Adaptation conference for farmers, helping get fledgling nonprofits off the ground, kid’s sustainability work, movie nights with documentary directors, a small house contest, and the list goes on – all of this stems from one underlying goal: cultivating and celebrating community resilience.
We are driven by the belief that a community that can meet its needs locally (within its own community) and sustainably (without harming the land it depends on) is a strong community.
Read our new mission and vision statements.
Getting to this place was quite a journey:
Our re-visioning process really got underway in the early summer of 2013, when our staff and board gathered on executive director Tami Schwerin’s back porch for our semi-annual board retreat. We discussed how people perceived us in the community, and came to the realization that not many people understood what we did, or how any one project of ours related to our other projects, programs and events.
We talked about our original mission, and we asked ourselves, “How has that changed? How have we evolved, and how can we explain that to people?” We brainstormed how we’d like to grow and talked about our strengths and weaknesses.
After that meeting, we each had homework, to answer a couple dozen questions like, “If Abundance were a car, what kind would it be, and why?”, “What do you think is important about the work we do?”, and “Why did you get involved with Abundance in the first place?”
More and more meetings ensued, our visioning team worked hard, and we hammered out a rough new mission and vision statement. These statements were pretty long, but they encapsulated well what we did. We decided to change our name to Abundance North Carolina, to draw attention to our focus on local economy and sustainability.
We had a tagline contest on Facebook, where we asked our friends to come up with a new tagline. The winning entry was Karen Craig’s “Making sustainable attainable.” The runner up was “Everything we need… right here at home,” which you can see in the header image at the top of the page.
Beth Tacular and her partner Phil began work on our new website, arranging it according to our newly minted mission statement, and with a front page that would highlight both what we are up to and what we think is amazing about this area we call home.
Our new website has a section called Stories from the Piedmont (find it linked in the top navigation bar), which is an online magazine of sorts, in which we will highlight news and happenings around sustainability, local economy, and the things that make our community strong. We hope these stories will encourage people to go meet their neighbors, live more sustainably, be more self-sufficient, eat and shop locally, and take part in their local community.
We had one final meeting this spring with facilitator Don Wells, who gracefully helped us simplify our mission and vision statements – making them more “pithy” and concise. It then took a few months to transfer all the information from our huge old website over to this new one, because we rewrote almost everything to make it more clear and to relate to our new mission.
We are finally ready, a year later, to reveal the results of our hard work. We hope you like the new website and find it useful!