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1 Host Toolkit 2018

2 YOUR VOICE MATTERS. 2

3 Blue Grass Community Foundation is celebrating its golden anniversary 50 years of inspiring generosity. The Community Foundation was created from the passion of a single couple, C.W. and Irene Sulier, who shared their vision with a group of friends gathered around a table over a shared meal. The Suliers made the first gift of $1,000 in Fifty years later, through the individual and collective generosity of the Suliers and thousands of donors, the Community Foundation has awarded cumulative grants of more than $81.4 million all as the result of the idea and action of one couple. We know big ideas can spring from small conversations, and people invest in what they help create. When we come together as a community to listen to and learn from each other, we can make a powerful impact. With C.W. and Irene as our inspiration, this year s On The Table will explore not only the most important issues and opportunities facing our communities, but also how we can improve them through individual and collective civic activities like voting, volunteering, charitable giving and more. Your voice matters. Your actions do, too. That s what On The Table is all about.

4 ABOUT ON THE TABLE. Thanks for hosting a mealtime conversation as part of On The Table On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, you ll be part of an exciting, region-wide initiative to explore the ways in which we have the power to make our communities stronger, safer and more dynamic through our individual and collective civic action. Our first On The Table in 2017 demonstrated that area residents share a desire to increase their connection, collaboration, civic involvement and commitment to our communities. This act of people coming together to discuss the issues that matter most has never been more important. Progress will accelerate when residents, We believe in the power of conversation to clarify, energize and organize people to do things for good. organizations, businesses and government work together to make contributions that add up to greater solutions than we can achieve on our own. On The Table is an opportunity to connect individuals and communities of diverse perspectives and backgrounds to do just that. 4

5 LET S GET STARTED. Planning Your Event The Day Wednesday, March 28, On The Table can take place over breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in-between. Conversations can be hosted anywhere: in homes, restaurants, places of worship, schools, libraries, offices, parks and other community locations. The Guests The invite list is up to you. Start with people you know friends, family, colleagues and neighbors or expand your circle. Consider co-hosting your event with a local place of worship or nonprofit, asking your guests to bring a friend or inviting people from your network who don t already know each other. The Numbers Eight to 12 guests per table is ideal. On The Table is about giving everyone a chance to speak and be heard. If you want to host a larger gathering, consider breaking into smaller groups and allowing time for each to discuss and report out to the larger group. Registration Visit bgcf.org/onthetable to register your event. Spread the Word What are your ideas to create a better community? How will you use your On The Table conversation to bring your colleagues, friends, family and neighbors together to think about change in your organization, neighborhood or throughout the city? Blue Grass Community Foundation encourages you and your guests to share commitments and connections with us before, during and after your conversation using the hashtag #OnTheTable18. REGISTER YOUR EVENT! Whether you are hosting one conversation, several or 20 or more, be sure and register your event at bgcf.org/onthetable. 5 5

6 THE TABLE IS SET. NOW WHAT? Let s Talk First, to help get your conversation started, we ve provided a list of sample conversation starters on Page 7. These conversation prompts are intentionally left very openended. Why? To encourage participants to think creatively and reflect on possibilities rather than fixate on already identified challenges. Second, remember that every guest s ideas and stories are important. On The Table conversations should provide an opportunity for all participants to reflect on what we value most, consider choices and trade-offs, and invite all ideas. Third, encourage a look at positive steps forward. The Community Foundation wants to showcase what emerges from On The Table conversations in order to inspire collaboration and action to help drive progress across the region. DO Encourage everyone to participate. Invite guests to follow-up and expand on ideas. Share your photos, videos and stories on March 28 using the hashtag #OnTheTable18 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Call Blue Grass Community Foundation at with any questions. DON T Micromanage the conversation; let it flow freely. Be judgmental or dismissive of any person s comments or ideas. Promote arguments or unproductive debate. Be afraid to ask if you have questions on March 28 we have a team ready to help. 6

7 Conversation Starters We ve compiled a list of questions to inspire conversation that get at the heart of On The Table. There s no requirement to discuss them all or to take them in a particular order. Consider these examples: What inspires or motivates you to be involved in your city, community or neighborhood? What are your ideas for inspiring more people to be civically engaged (voting in local elections, volunteering, donating to a nonprofit or civic cause, helping out a neighbor, etc.)? What can we do together to create a stronger community? What is the single most important issue or opportunity in your city, community or neighborhood right now? Has this changed over the past year, and if so, why? How do you currently participate in efforts to address this issue/opportunity and/or to improve the quality of life in your community? Reflecting on this conversation, what is one commitment you (as an individual and/or with others participating in On The Table) will make today to improve the quality of life and increase civic engagement in Lexington or your community? Engaging Our Future Young people are critical to our city s future. On The Table strives to engage those voices and support creative and energetic ideas from our community s youth at home, around the family dinner table or through school, community groups and places of worship. For additional ideas on how to do this, you can find host toolkits specifically for families and schools/youth at bgcf.org/onthetable. 7

8 WRAPPING UP. After Your Event In today s world, this act of coming together has never been more important. Talking and listening to our neighbors is an important first step toward creating a more connected and engaged community. Before your guests depart, encourage them to help us record thoughts, actions and ideas coming out of your conversation by completing a short survey being conducted by the On The Table evaluation team. Last year, more than 1,400 participants responded to the On The Table survey providing us with analysis about the issues and themes emerging in On The Table conversations. This data not only informed the Community Foundation s work, it also provided critical information and feedback to the city of Lexington as it was finalizing its Comprehensive Plan, Imagine Lexington. Additionally, the data is available to the public through our website at bgcf.org/onthetable/2017impactreport, and we shared it with leaders throughout the city in an effort to help these individuals better understand the needs and concerns of the community. Again this year, the Community Foundation will issue a report highlighting the ideas, conversations, themes and outcomes that emerge from On The Table What happens next is up to you. Share your success stories, challenges and ideas with us and others the following ways: At bgcf.org/onthetable or through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using #OnTheTable18. us at Leave a message with us at Send us a note: Blue Grass Community Foundation On The Table 499 East High Street, Suite 112 Lexington, KY Thank you for coming to On The Table. We re excited you re joining this important conversation. 8

9 Notes Use this page to jot down a few ideas you want to share from your table. What are the most important things discussed at your table? Notes: What are your group s big ideas? Snap a pic! and send to bgcf.org Share on social media #OnTheTable18 #OTTyouth18 9

10 10

11 THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP. At Blue Grass Community Foundation, We're In It For Good. Neighborhoods energized and growing. A community made healthy and strong. A city that is engaged and connected from end to end. These are just a few of our goals. We are a public charity established by local citizens 50 years ago to promote giving and improve the quality of life in Lexington and the many communities we serve across Central and Appalachia Kentucky. The Community Foundation is a starting place for people who have always wanted to give and those who never knew they could. Do Good It s a place to bring ideas and to take them forward. By participating in the Community Foundation s efforts whether it s On The Table, establishing a charitable fund, contributing to the GoodGiving Challenge or giving time to community efforts your involvement can lead to a more generous, vibrant and engaged community, a community where everyone can give something. Since 1967, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $81.4 million in grant funding to thousands of organizations, including $10.6 million in For more information, visit bgcf.org or call us at Blue Grass Community Foundation believes by working together, we create a stronger, better community for all. On The Table is made possible by the efforts of our many committed partners. Thanks to our planning partners, which include the city of Lexington and its Global Lex office, CivicLex, Fayette Alliance, Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington Public Library, Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. Funds to support this effort were generously provided by the Community Foundation, Fayette Alliance and Knight Foundation. 11

12 March 28, 2018 bgcf.org/onthetable #OnTheTable East High Street Suite 112 Lexington, KY / / bgcf.org Photo credits: Geoff Maddock, Sarah Jane Sanders, Patrick J. Mitchell and Roya Ramezankhani

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