• Karen Harshaw

New Year, New You, New SPARK!

Updated: Jan 4


Happy New Year!


“My, my, my, my, my” as my mother would say, what a year we just had. I do believe Webster’s Dictionary Words of the Year will be “unprecedented, tumultuous, and virtual.” I would say that we made it through to the other side, but the fact is, we are still going through the ongoing effects of the pandemic and possibly looking at a few more months of Zoom calls, virtual events, and social distancing. One thing for sure, 2020 will forever be a year we all will remember.


Many of you experienced generosity overload from your donors defining 2020 as the most dynamic giving in your history from donors and volunteers. For us, it was the year of social injustice, reform, equity, and change.


When SPARK Philanthropy was built in 2018, we made a commitment to intentionally build the firm on the guiding principles of committing to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Being the first and only Black woman-led consulting firm in Cincinnati, we acknowledge the ways that institutions and society has discriminated against diverse people of color, backgrounds and gender. One thing is for sure, SPARK Philanthropy is fully committed to DEI of all people to spark awareness and bring change.


As the world changes, philanthropy must change. You have shown resilience, grit and determination to overcome anything. YOU are the change! Your nonprofit organization can be the change. As we enter into 2021 we want to share these three things with you in which we live by:

  1. When you step into the light be worthy of the attention you command;

  2. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power say yes.” (My daily mantra.); and

  3. Change your mindset, change the world and achieve anything.

Friends, this is your breakthrough year of greater impact, bolder goals, and yes, more money generated from your new and loyal donors.


Onward, upward and full speed ahead.


I am glad you are here.


Stay healthy, stay safe and start 2021 with SPARK.

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