After 38 Years, We’re Just Getting Started

To say this week was exciting for me would be an understatement.  

To say this week was exciting for me would be an understatement.  

While the entire Prosperity Now team has much to be proud about, this week took me back to when I was a young 20-something with a vision for a country where everyone has the chance to realize their full productive capacity. I didn’t quite have it all figured out back then—I really didn’t know what I was creating. But what I did know was that, especially in dark times, when most families struggle in quiet desperation, light is needed. I knew I had to do something to shed some light, and so I came up with a plan—to introduce the world to the Corporation for Enterprise Development. 

Back then, we were like the little nonprofit that could. The road was always winding, but those early years were always a lot of fun. This week, when CFED officially became Prosperity Now, I was transported back to those early days in the late 70s and early 80s. As much as we’ve grown over the nearly four decades we’ve been in business, this week gave me the same excitement I felt back then, when the road ahead—the twists and turns in which were yet to reveal themselves—was filled with nothing but possibility. 

And that’s exactly why this moment feels so powerful: because despite a long and winding history, we really are just getting started. 

Now, I’m not (that) naïve. I know that the challenges we face in putting prosperity within reach for everyone in this country are perhaps more pronounced now than at any other point in my lifetime. I also know that changing our name and having a bold new logo and launching a shiny new website are not, on their own, going to solve these challenges. 

But a name can mean a lot, and I have a lot of love for this name. We wanted—and I think achieved—a generous brand, which at once clarifies our purpose as an organization and as a far-reaching, vibrant movement. I love the resonance of “Prosperity.” I love the urgency of the “Now.” And I love the fact that all of it is built on four decades of working with our partners, with whom we’ve piled up proven solutions that are ready for application, now. 

As dark as it is for the millions of families who are quietly struggling, I’ve never been as confident in the ability of our community to tackle these challenges as I am now. I am enormously impressed by my 80 diverse and committed colleagues who comprise this organization, who partner every day with 24,000 more colleagues (and growing) who are unwavering in your commitment to helping people who want only to contribute their skills, talents and work to the common enterprise.  

And so, as I look back on the past week and the past 38 years, I recognize that it’s not a new name—or a new logo, or a new website—that will make the difference. Rather, all of those things are markers of our deepened commitment to serving you. So, while you’re pouring your heart into the work you do to serve your community, we’re ready to pour our hearts into serving you. Because this is just the beginning, and I couldn’t be more proud. 

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