Why Does Isles Do this Work, this Way?

Dear Friends,

People ask, “Why does Isles do this work, this way?”

Well, over 37(!) years ago, we wanted to find better ways to strengthen communities and restore the environment at the local, “isles” level. Since then, we’ve searched and tested the best, affordable pathways to our mission: self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities.

After nearly 4 decades of trial, error, learning, and shifting political and financial trends (especially this past year), today’s Isles provides a unique toolbox for families and communities. In four ways, we foster self-reliance. We plan and develop healthy places, build financial wealth, clean up environmental hazards, and educate and train students and workers.

Our staff, board, and volunteers are social entrepreneurs that work with communities to blend local wisdom with the best thinking and evidence-based data across the country. At times that’s a messy process. But it’s the best way we know to succeed. The results are highlighted in this year’s Annual Report.

This year, I expanded my teaching load at the Keller Center at Princeton University, and the Isles leadership team of John Hart, Julia Taylor, Shenette Gray, and Peter Rose stepped up to lead on numerous fronts. We expanded our work on the ground. We shared lessons with others across the state and country. We developed webinars, case studies for the classroom, op-eds, and the first draft of Isles’ history.

This doing and thinking are possible because of organized people and diverse funds. That includes our volunteer board under Michele Minter’s leadership, our awesome staff, and supporters like you, who provide critical flexible funding.

This work is more important than ever, and we can’t do it without you.

Thanks for being there! Check out this year’s annual report, and let us know what you think.

In community,