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A Special Message for Our Community

Publish Date: October 29, 2020


A few years ago, we set a course to address the long-term financial stability of Pathfinders. Due to the support of all of our donors and grants we’ve been awarded at every level of government, we have been able to continue to offer uninterrupted service since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic

While much of our work continues in person, with precautions in place, some of our work transitioned to virtual spaces. Regardless of how we connect, we’re here for our young people because of your ongoing investment in our work.

Pathfinders is honoring 50 years of serving Milwaukee’s most vulnerable young people this year. Since the beginning, our work has focused on change at the individual level – which leans directly into our current mission statement of Empowering Youth and Changing Lives. At the same time, the organization has always advocated for changes at a system level to give voice to the issues impacting marginalized youth. That includes philanthropy and our relationship with our donors.

We’re so grateful to have you stand alongside us in this work. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the ways our donor community has embraced Pathfinders and our values this year.

  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a long-standing champion for issues impacting the most vulnerable in our community. They mobilized resources since the beginning of the pandemic, offering critical supplies like masks and sanitizer.
  • Before school resumed this fall, United Way anticipated a need and offered Chromebooks to Pathfinders and other area shelters so young people experiencing housing instability could participate in virtual classes.
  • United Way, in addition to other foundations and individual donors, removed funding restrictions, allowing Pathfinders to address immediate needs as they surface in response to the pandemic. This type of funding flexibility allows us to be innovative and nimble in our service delivery.
  • Numerous corporate and private foundations, like Brady Corp. Foundation, adjusted their 2020 giving plans to offer COVID-19 response grants. These financial gifts ensured that our direct service staffing didn’t retract at any point this year. It also allowed us to offer hazard pay to those staff providing face-to-face direct service in recognition of the risks they’ve taken in order to provide uninterrupted support for our young people.
  • So many of you, far too many to call out, gave larger unrestricted gifts and gave gifts earlier in the year. We are honored to welcome many new donors in 2020 as well – both those providing financial support and in-kind resources.

This isn’t how we expected to celebrate our 50th year of service to the greater Milwaukee community. But in many ways, we have felt truly blessed. It is an incredible honor that you entrust us with your investments at a time when the world feels unstable. Our incredible staff will continue to keep our vulnerable young people as their primary focus.

We have a long way to go until we are able to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. On behalf of our board of directors, staff and the youth and young adults we serve, thank you for your continued support throughout this difficult and challenging time.

Yours in partnership,

Tim Baack
President & CEO

P.S. View our 2019 Annual Report here, which again highlights the fiscal stability you’ve contributed to that allows us to Empower Youth and Change Lives.

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