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 After multiple discussions with numerous community leaders, David Jobin, the Executive Director of Our Fund, has been chosen as SFGN’s ‘Person of the Year.’ He claims the award in 2018 for his achievements in excellence the past five years in South Florida. 

Working in the South Florida philanthropic community, Jobin has cultivated an unparalleled spirit of camaraderie and volunteerism. Our Fund is changing the landscape for nonprofits.

First, Jobin’s stewardship and management of Our Fund has brought the heralded agency to new heights. He has been acclaimed for his professionalism, praised for his congeniality, and admired for building new partnerships. He is respected by all as a unifier. Rightly so.

Our Fund has lived up to its mission of responsible philanthropy. Since its founding in 2011, it has supported our community with over six million dollars in grants in its first seven years. Its reputation has been sterling. 

As reported in SFGN last week, eighteen more grants were added to the table this year.At Our Fund Foundation’s Fall Community Grant Program, held at Fort Lauderdale’s New River Fine Art Gallery, more than $120,000 in grant money was given out. 

Our Fund has achieved success by reaching within the box and thinking outside it. It has encouraged generous donors by being innovative, transparent, and professional.

Under Jobin’s leadership, Our Fund has started programs which heretofore had not been seen in South Florida. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Anthony Timiraos, Jobin has kept Our Fund relevant and reliable.

First, Our Fund’s annual LGBT Leadership Forum has brought together consequential voices to promote social issues. The overflow crowds are a tribute to its seriousness of purpose on matters of substance.

Our Fund now also hosts quarterly forums for local not for profits, discussing shared concerns, management, and fund raising opportunities. When they first started, they had meetings with 15-20 groups participating. They now need a bigger space. It has doubled in size, with almost 40 agencies checking in to their meetings.

“It is a cross pollination of resources,” Jobin said. “Our Fund has fostered a camaraderie amongst neighboring nonprofits from Miami to Palm Beach.” The plan is working.

Established only in 2011, Our Fund has quickly become one of the largest LGBT community foundations in the U.S. Its $10 million endowment ranks third in the nation, behind much older and longer-established foundations in San Francisco and Seattle. 

“I am a director who enjoys fund raising,” said Jobin, who acknowledges that Our Fund focuses on “more substantive donors. We do not want to take away from members of the LGBTQ community assisting their favorite projects and causes they already support.” 

“Our aspiration is to triple that number; reach a higher plateau. That would enable us to focus on programs more and fundraise less.”

Jobin said the number of organizations applying for grants has tripled over the last few years, due, in large part, to the Foundation’s expansion into Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The grants are disbursed to a wide variety of unique groups. 

One recipient this year was a little-known group, ‘Thou Art Woman.’ Jobin explained, “They focus on raising the profile of LBT women and their allies through performance and visual arts. And Our Fund wants to reach groups and agencies others have not been able to.”

Jobin is hands on, reviewing applications personally.

Still, more established groups, such as SunServe and the Smart Ride have also benefited from Our Fund’s grants, along with Compass, Aqua, and the Alzheimer’s Association of South Florida. More importantly, everyone in the community benefits when nonprofits are trusted and run well.

The Board of Directors of Our Fund has grown too, inviting and allowing distinguished community leaders to provide oversight and counsel, guidance and supervision. Transparency. It matters.

Sadly, one of those members, Chuck Shields, a distinguished attorney, passed away unexpectedly this Fall. Shields had been president of the Broward County Estate Planning Council. An annual estate planning series will be now be developed and named in his honor. 

Our Fund employs its resources to also sponsor leadership forums and educational seminars. They just hosted a chat with an FAU professor, developed around the play ‘Hamilton’ running now at the Broward Center. Standing room only.

“We are changing the landscape for nonprofits,” Jobin advised. “We are showing what can be achieved.” 

Philanthropy is in Jobin’s blood. From 2009-2013, prior to moving to Florida, he had served as the Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D. C. His success there was a precursor to his achievements here. 

While singing for the chorus part time, he oversaw an increase in their revenues by 65 per cent full time in his short tenure as its ED. When he relocated to South Florida, he took on the task of becoming Executive Director of the fledgling Stonewall National Museum & Archives. He handled the tasks for two years, but enthusiastically jumped at the chance to lead Our Fund. 

Anthony Timiraos, Jobin’s distinguished predecessor, said “I knew the day that David applied for the position of CEO/President that he was the right man for the job. I did not want to see someone who did not understand the needs of our community and the importance of philanthropy.”

Timiraos, who spent five years as the first CEO and President of Our Fund, building its reputation and stature, added, “David’s success with Stonewall National Museum and Archives gave me the comfort level I needed. I was very happy when the Board of Directors decided to offer him the position.”

While at Stonewall, Jobin had launched the Stonewall Gallery on Wilton Drive, placing the organization at the intersection of gay South Florida. It was a quiet start to a greater journey.

Before becoming active in LGBT causes professionally, Jobin spent twenty years in theater management, first at Magic Theatre in San Francisco and then at the City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. 

Jobin lives in Wilton Manors with his partner, Angel Burgos, a university executive. He still has a love for all things thespian. When he has spare time away from Our Fund, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Slow Burn Theater. 

“One of my goals is to showcase South Florida as the most hospitable place in the world for LGBTQ people to live. I appreciate the chance to do my part as well.”

Our Fund will break new ground again in February with its debut of the LGBT Philanthropy Awards. The inaugural event will celebrate individuals and families whose generosity of time, talent and resources make a significant impact on South Florida’s GBTQ community.

This visionary way of paying it forward can be said of David Jobin himself. 

He has fostered a culture of philanthropy by uniting donors with groups supporting the LGBT community. 

He has strengthened community organizations. 

He has inspired ‘giving’ to ensure that Our Fund secures our future for generations to come.

For all these reasons, SFGN has selected David Jobin with our “Person of the Year” award.

He who brings sunshine to others cannot help but bring it back to himself.