Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation President Tom Kuebler
2009 Was another year of change and development for
The Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation.
Many thanks to our supporters for helping to achieve our mission: “To gather and steward community support to be used by The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. in providing productive employment, training and support services to people who are blind, Deaf-Blind, and blind with other disabilities.” We could not succeed without the support of our community.
I am proud to be part of such a generous group of community members dedicated to creating opportunities for blind and Deaf-Blind people to succeed.
I would like to share some of the reasons why it is important to support the Foundation and The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.
- Private community support from individuals and institutions fund mission-related costs that our earned income from manufacturing operations cannot cover.
- We have $2.5 million in annual program and support service costs. Therefore, we rely on private donations and endowment income to support expenses other manufacturers don’t have.
- Community support ensures all jobs are accessible for people with visual disabilities by funding costly assistive equipment.
- Community support ensures that our earned revenue goes toward creating new livable wage jobs for people with visual disabilities.
- Community support builds infrastructure, funds capital projects, and provides training programs needed to meet our strategic goal of 500 livable wage jobs by 2016.
On a personal level, I have a son who has been employed at Seattle Lighthouse for over 20 years. He commutes from work from Redmond, owns a condo, has a wonderful guide dog, and visits the Oregon Coast on vacation every year. I have seen first-hand how Lighthouse programs are successful and allow the people we serve to become productive and involved citizens.
During 2009, we implemented a facilitated fundraising planning retreat to support The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.’s long-range strategic plan.
As part of our retreat, we created a special Fundraising Planning Committee to develop a comprehensive resource development plan. Three key Foundation committees emerged out of this new fundraising program:
- Trusteeship Committee which is responsible for expanding the Foundation board.
- Major Gifts Committee which is responsible for engaging community philanthropists committed to promoting opportunities for people with visual disabilities.
- Planned Giving Advisory Committee which is responsible for providing guidance in building endowment and advancing tax-advantaged planned giving vehicles.
In addition to raising the funds to cover our annual cost of mission-related programs and services, we hope to accomplish the following:
- Building the Lighthouse endowment fund to ensure that future opportunities will always be available for blind and Deaf-Blind people.
- Raising visibility of The Lighthouse and the blindness community; we want to make sure our community is aware of the accomplishments and abilities of our Lighthouse workforce and the disability community at large.
In the years ahead, community philanthropy will be critical to furthering our mission, reaching our goal of 500 livable wage jobs, and providing equal access to training and information for people with visual disabilities. To the generous donors who have made an investment in Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, we express our sincere gratitude.
The Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation