Letter From the President 2023

Blog Post By: Heather Frank, MA, CFRE

A reflection on 2022 and hopes for 2023 with the lyrics of “Imagine” by John Lennon

“Imagine all the people…” 

We have high hopes for this new year. 2023 is the year of reconnection and reassertion. This is the year I believe we are called to identify who you are supposed to be, not just for yourself, but for others. This is the year to level yourself up in order to level up others. This is what it means to truly “imagine all the people,” take others into consideration, and make this a year to “come together” (did you catch that Beatles reference?). 

“You may say I’m a dreamer…”

STUDIO 4Forty, and myself personally, have truly been supported by so many executives and nonprofits across the country. It is through these relationships that I see we are truly changing lives, changing cities, and ultimately, making the world a better place for generations to come.

STUDIO 4Forty hit a milestone last year. We surpassed the $100 million mark raised alongside our nonprofit partners across North America. Can you imagine?! But we didn’t do it alone. It took daily conversations, continuous support, incredible leadership, hearts for service, and the imagination of many to reach this first mountaintop. We’re already imagining the next. 

In our pursuit to support our incredible nonprofit partners across the continent, we continue to imagine a world that refocuses its attention onto the individuals that define it and the life-changing work that our nonprofit partners are doing every day. We want to be a part of the solution where the dreams of many come together to make a better world, one where we can truly be “livin’ life in peace.” 

Imagine with me here. Can you imagine the day philanthropy becomes the topic of conversation rather than the second thought? Can you imagine the day that nonprofit executives rival Fortune 500 CEOs? Can you imagine that shift in economic and social power? Finally, those focused on truly doing GOOD would lead the charge to truly create a world with “no need for greed or hunger; a brotherhood of man.”

“Imagine no possessions…”

Aren’t we all, as philanthropists and industry leaders, trying to make the world a better place? That is ultimately our shared goal, the reason why we get into this work. My challenge to you is to be more for others than you are for yourself, to identify your New Year’s resolution as less about furthering the individual and more about furthering the whole. 

I think that as humans, in a world that continues to shake us, we identify with the fact that character is above all, and must remain stable when other foundations can crumble. We must seek out ways to align ourselves with others of equal or complimentary character in order to achieve the world we are working so hard to create. 

“Imagine all the people…” 

The year 2023 should truly be about the evaluation of those in your life and who you need to support. We are back in the world, needing to reconnect. Now is the time to reassess how we do that and what type of world we truly want to be a part of. So be the dreamer. Challenge the way things are. Focus on the people around you. Imagine.“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” Happy New Year.

Heather Frank,
President, STUDIO 4Forty