Community Resource Exchange
Annual Report 2021

“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

— Arundhati Roy

In 2020, our worlds turned upside down.

Coronavirus ravaged the City – taking countless lives and upending businesses. While there was little known about the novel virus, we knew the very nature of it demanded a new way of being. For many nonprofits, this meant quickly pivoting to support community needs even as the crisis continued to evolve day by day; from developing new food and technology distribution programs to providing remote programming, the social sector had transformed dramatically. At CRE, we experienced great shifts too. We transitioned all of our services virtually and even developed a COVID-19 Crisis Response Advisory to provide sector-wide consultation. We adopted tech tools like Zoom, Jamboard, and Slack, like many other nonprofits learning to navigate virtual work. Although such transitions were created during immensely difficult times and were not without hurdles, one thing was clear: the pandemic presented an opportunity to do things radically differently. It allowed us to reimagine our world. It created a new realm of possibilities.

At CRE, we boldly step into this new realm.

We've learned what the nonprofit sector needs. Capacity-building support that centers and cares for the individual at the heart of all our work. Championing of the community-based organizations who held everything down for their constituents before, during and after the pandemic. Bold imagination to do things differently. Over the course of FY21, our team delved into conversation to envision the Upbuild, a way to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Upbuilding is a vision and call for the social sector to imagine and define the world that we want to live in. It centers care, believes in abundance and sustainability of the sector, and embodies social justice values. Our team commits to Upbuilding, knowing we have the power to build a new world that we want and need.

We are grateful.

We celebrate the incredible impact our organization has had on nonprofits across the City and look toward embodying the Upbuild more and more. We uplift the great achievements in supporting small and mighty grassroots organizations to larger institutions from this past year, some of which are shared in this Report. With utmost gratitude, we express our sincere appreciation for our team, the Board, community, clients, and funders, as we boldly step into this new world of possibilities.