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Executing On Our Strategic Priorities

By Harriet Schiftan, MSW, MAJCS President & CEO

In September, when I began my new position as President and CEO of Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, I was given the organization’s recently completed strategic plan. What a gift to a new leader that our board, staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders had already identified a clear direction forward: financial sustainability, program accessibility, and increased awareness.

We have achieved much in these three priority areas in the past year, and we will remain focused on all three in the year ahead.

Financial Sustainability

• This year, we expanded our Advisory Board to include all past board chairs and key founders. These seasoned Gilda’s Club leaders embraced new avenues to support us through planned giving, annual support, corporate sponsorships, and lending expertise.
• Under the leadership of former Board Chair Harriet Karro and Board Member Denise Alper, we renewed focus on legacy giving to secure Gilda’s Club’s financial health now and in the future. Thank you to Denise and Harriet!
• Through your support in annual giving, foundation grants, and events, we had a record-setting year! Our Development team and committee deserve our thanks – as do all our donors who made this achievement possible. Check out our year-end financials in the next pages.

Program Accessibility

• Our two-year expansion into Williamson County enabled us to serve more members who live greater distances from our Midtown Clubhouse. Nine cancer support groups from our Franklin location continue to meet virtually.
• We taught hundreds of emerging doctors about the benefits of evidence-based psychosocial support at Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
• In the first four months of the pandemic, we received a typical year’s worth of requests for resources and support. The Virtual Self-Care Resource Guide, created by our program team, on our website and updated monthly, was sent to hundreds of members and community healthcare and mental health partners.
• The COVID-19 redesign of our entire cancer support program to online platforms was a feat of heroics by the program team, which never missed a day of providing cancer support to our members.

Awareness Building

• The 21 members, donors, and volunteers who, in the spirit of Gilda’s Club, told their true and honest cancer experiences in Everyone Has A Cancer Story will inspire so many to reach out for support. This campaign, designed by our marketing director, can be found on our website and social media channels, and is being used in our brochures.
• NFocus gave our annual Red Door Bash fundraiser two “Best of” awards, which inspired the Omni Nashville Hotel to celebrate Gilda’s Club with a full-page ad. What great community partners!

We cannot fit all of our year-end achievements here, nor can we adequately express our thanks and gratitude for the community that makes Gilda’s Club possible. Thank you! We hope to continue to exceed your expectations.

p.s. You can view our 2019/2020 fiscal year Annual Report – and learn more about our impact over the last year – here.