Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

A Personal Note from Bob

March 18, 2020

Greetings Colleagues and Friends,

I am writing to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President & CEO for these past three-plus years. It has been a sincere pleasure to become better acquainted with all of you, and work alongside you and our amazing FPN staff on behalf of your many worthwhile causes.

As Térèse and the FPN Board shared with you last week, I am transitioning from FPN at the end of March to take an informal sabbatical or, as I like to say, to push the ‘pause button.’ I'm looking forward to reflecting on my professional future, whether in philanthropy, in the nonprofit arena working with elders and adults with disabilities, a renewed focus on emergency preparedness, or with a growth opportunity yet to be discovered. (I want to note that while this announcement comes amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it was not influenced by the situation.)

I value having had the opportunity to be in connection with all of you. I appreciate Térèse and the Board’s affirmation in this professional journey: “In his three years as our president and CEO, Bob has been a valuable member of our network. His commitment to Florida philanthropy is evidenced in his many accomplishments including (but not limited to): leading three statewide summits; management of the College Access and Success Initiative; attracting national funders to Florida and to FPN’s work; coordinating with community foundations in disaster relief efforts following Irma, Michael, Florence and Dorian; supporting FPN’s affinity groups; and advancing FPN’s policy work.”

Indeed, together we have accomplished much, and I want to reflect on a few personal highlights from my time working with you and FPN’s fantastic staff.

  • Leading three and participating in four dynamic statewide summits with you, and helping FPN achieve record sponsorship participation for 67 percent of those.
  • Completing a highly successful College Access and Success Initiative in partnership with FCAN and community foundations, and guiding FPN, FCAN and foundations preparations for CASI 2.0.
  • Growing FPN’s capacity to bring national funder participation to the sector’s work with more than $2.4 million raised from national funders to fund CASI and census collaborative work.
  • Implementing administrative improvements, notably shifting from financial reviews to full audits, saving FPN $48,000 in the process through competitive bidding, and with each audit  being issued with an unmodified opinion.
  • Advancing the important work of our affinity groups and strategic initiatives, with the help of your investments of $646,000.
  • Tracking more than $12 million in giving by your institutions to support disaster relief.
  • Uplifting the sector’s leadership voice on policy at the annual Foundations on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., with plans for a forum with The Pew Charitable Trusts later this year and action on several policy fronts, including advocating for sufficient appropriations for the Census Bureau to conduct its 2020 follow-up outreach and opposing any repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

I have enjoyed working with you and being FPN’s President & CEO and chief servant leader. You can count on the Board to keep you updated about future FPN leadership. I hope that you will stay in touch—starting in April, feel free to reach out to me at!

In closing, let’s recall this philanthropic truth illustrated by Emily Dickinson, “Hope inspires the good to reveal itself.” Be well, and lead on in service to others.

Best regards,

Bob McFalls
President & CEO
Florida Philanthropic Network

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