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Learning From One Another

Letter from the 2023 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

2023 marked a milestone for the McGowan Fund—30 years of impactful philanthropy. Since our inception in 1993, we have evolved from filling gaps to strategically addressing community needs with a keen focus on three pillars: Education, Human Services, and Healthcare. Central to our mission is promoting ethical leadership, crucial for the effectiveness of our philanthropic efforts in both business and in charity.

This year, we embraced the notion of “listening to learn.” Understanding the inherent power dynamics between private foundations and public charities, we have strived to transform this relationship. Our grantees, deeply embedded in their communities, should be our guides to the most pressing and enduring problems. True listening is a reciprocal process; it demands openness, humility, and the willingness to be changed by what we hear.

Our 2023 Annual Report showcases inspiring stories from our grantees. For instance, Warren Village’s expansion in Denver exemplifies commitment to providing opportunities and support for families in need. In Kansas, Growing Futures Early Education Center gives children and parents experiencing poverty more opportunities through highly effective early childhood education (with an impressive kindergarten readiness rate); their work makes clear to us the impact of quality early education. And these are just a few examples.

Each of our stories is a testament to our commitment to listening. By engaging in active dialogue with our grantees, we’ve gained invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities within our communities. Their experiences have shaped our understanding and approach, enabling us to support solutions that are not only effective but also resonate deeply with those we aim to help. This reciprocal exchange of knowledge and ideas is at the heart of our mission, ensuring that our support is both relevant and impactful.

Looking ahead through 2024, we remain committed to meaningful collaboration within our communities. With a listening ear and a learning heart, we are poised to make a lasting difference in the lives we touch.


William P. McGowan, Chair

Brian Peckrill, Executive Director