Bill Creighton’s family has been coming to Lake George ever since his great grandfather built a camp on Pilot Knob in 1898. Currently Bill is enjoying his deep Lake George roots with wife, Dale, at a newer family camp on Pilot Knob where their children and grandchildren enjoy the splendors of this storied lake.
As Bill geared up for retirement in 2015, he and Dale planned on plenty of hiking and ambitious trips in their camper. He also began to think about board service with nonprofits to which he could bring the financial and leadership skillsets he developed over his long career at IBM. Given his family’s six generation connection to Lake George, The Fund for Lake George was an early choice for him. His deep engagement with The Fund eventually led him to Adirondack Foundation.
I was attracted to the mission of Adirondack Foundation, which aims to connect philanthropically minded people with needs of the region. People can create donor directed funds or give unrestricted contributions to Generous Acts, for instance, to support a number of impact areas, helping nonprofits that address socioeconomic needs for seniors or children, or ones involved with the arts or environmental issues.”
When he heard about the Foundation's efforts to expand its Generous Acts granting through increased unrestricted giving, Bill saw the Foundation making necessary, strategic moves to meet growing need. He feels that the Foundation, “has been growing into a leadership position. Given the conversations we regularly have with community leaders and the insights staff gains from convening the Adirondack Nonprofit Network, this organization gradually has come to be at the hub of effective philanthropy for this region. And I think the Foundation was especially resourceful as COVID impacted the Adirondack region. There was a huge groundswell of community support, and the Foundation was there at a critical moment. We worked strategically with partner foundations, philanthropists, and nonprofits to mobilize relief funds.”
As Board Treasurer and an IBM veteran who is process-oriented and fond of creating efficiencies, Bill has been deeply involved in financial and strategic planning to ensure that the foundation is an attractive option for philanthropic investment – especially now that the needs are so great. He has worked assiduously to make Adirondack Foundation as effective a giving vehicle as possible, leading the transition this year of the Foundation's asset management to Vanguard. Bill is also helping the Foundation adopt Theory of Change methodology to guide the Board and staff as they pursue the goals of our five-year strategic plan. Using the Theory of Change process, Bill believes, “gives weight to our planning and helps us to think deeper about the changes we want to make. The process helps you identify what needs to change and why – it helps you establish goals for that change, then you end up making a roadmap for actions and measures.”
This approach can be especially helpful as the Foundation moves beyond COVID-19 rapid relief grants to invest in systemic issues such as food access and childcare availability. “If we demonstrate bold, but well thought out planning, both as a facilitator of philanthropic funds and an agent for effective social change, more people will want to utilize Adirondack Foundation for their philanthropy,” Bill stated. We couldn’t agree more, and we’re lucky to have such a devoted thinker – and doer – behind this Foundation.