Saying Goodbye – Annette Smith

Posted: February 28th 2019

CFGFW Christmas staff party

After 9 years of service, Grants Manager and Donor Services Specialist, Annette Smith, has announced her retirement for the end of February. We asked her to share her story and what it meant to her to be a part of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.


After working 32 years in the corporate environment, it was a different world coming to work for the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. When I started with the Community Foundation in 2009, it was my job to learn all about our competitive grant cycle and granting to our local nonprofits. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the nonprofits in our community and being able to support them and all the great things they are doing.

After a few years of working with our grantees (nonprofits we give grants to), I began working with our donors and helping them with their charitable giving. I developed relationships with some of the most giving and kind people. When working with donors, you learn their stories and why giving back is so important to them. I met so many inspirational people that just wanted to give back to their hometown that has given them so much over the years.

Annette with her daughter Jamie and three grandchildren; Cecilia, Dominic, and Austin.
Annette with her daughter Jamie and three grandchildren; Cecilia, Dominic, and Austin.

One of our donors that I especially became close with over the years was one of the most charitable people I have ever met. Over several years I got to know him through meetings, phone calls, and emails. I was able to learn about his passions, about his time in the military, his family, and his heart for giving. He gave regularly to his church, the arts, local schools, and many different organizations in Allen County because he wanted to give back to the community he called home. Eventually he wrote and published a book about his life and the

reasons why philanthropy is so important and then even lent me his only copy so I could read it. Eventually he moved away and the meetings and phone calls stopped, but his heart for giving back to this community never did. It was relationships that I developed like those that made my position at the Community Foundation the most fulfilling and rewarding position I have ever had.

During my 10 years at the Community Foundation I was able to meet so many wonderful people and experience so much positive change and impact. I will miss my colleagues and all of the wonderful, generous people I have met over the years. However, I am looking forward to the time I will be able to spend with my grandchildren and family during this new season of life.

Thank you, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, for having an impact in my life and in the lives of so many others.

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