A Message from Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios
Dear Board Members and Generous Supporters of Pioneer,
With the close of Pioneer Institute’s 2020 fiscal year on September 30th, I want to thank you. This has been an unprecedented year for the Institute in terms of our ability to improve the lives of citizens in Massachusetts and beyond. As we work to implement our new Pioneer2024 strategic plan, we are also gratified to see significant progress in reaching a greater range of audiences. We are, above all, grateful for your trust and investment in us. With focus and energy, even in these trying times, we exceeded the first-year objectives in the Pioneer2024 plan.
2020 presented unexpected challenges to the well-being of all. Pioneer immediately engaged with real solutions to increase public understanding of the pandemic. This included how to protect elder residents and caregivers and how to expand access to health care, including expansion of telehealth and the ability of trained nurses to provide medical services. We have had a continuous focus on getting kids back to learning in a range of formats. We have advocated for help for small business enterprises, including state tax relief for restaurants and other actions to support hard-hit industries.
“In 2020, Pioneer approached the immediate challenges of COVID-19 in an energetic and sober-minded way, even as the Institute kept its eye on opportunities for large-scale change.”~ Stephen D. Fantone, Pioneer’s Chairman
Our team worked with passion and a “press on” spirit to make good on important policy goals. Here are two examples of meaningful outcomes — at the national and local levels. Nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Pioneer’s amicus curiae brief in the landmark Espinoza case, a decision that creates the opportunity to give hundreds of thousands of children around the country access to school choice. At a local level, as part of its ongoing work to improve neighborhoods and good transportation options, the Institute secured the inclusion of an at-grade option for consideration in the final design of the I-90 Allston multimodal project. The project will impact the commutes of tens of thousands of MetroWest and Central Massachusetts residents for decades to come.
“Pioneer effects progress through communication and education, increasingly with younger audiences. We seek to make them more informed about public policy so that they will be able to open their own apertures of opportunity.”~ Mary Myers Kauppila, Pioneer Board of Directors
We proudly report that we reached, through multiple channels, a fast-growing number of leaders and citizens. Today, Pioneer is connected with nearly 300,000 people across its platforms, a 15-fold increase since 2012. During the year, Pioneer appeared 3,600 times in traditional media outlets and garnered more than 17 million social media impressions. Our podcasts and videos were listened to and viewed a total of 1.2 million times. In the coming year, we will grow our audiences even faster. We do not produce fake news; our work is based on research and facts, and it is delivered in a tone that is meant to model healthy civil discourse.
Pioneer’s revenues grew to $3.3 million, a year-over-year increase of 37 percent. Underscoring broad recognition of the Institute’s role as an important public policy thought leader, revenues increased in every category of giving including individual, corporate, foundation and legacy. Our gratitude for your support is heartfelt.
“We are grateful for the depth and breadth of your support. The response to the Pioneer2024 strategy has been inspiring. We will build even more momentum in 2021 and will be sure to keep you informed of these exciting developments.”
~ Adam Portnoy, Pioneer Board of Directors
The world is changing fast, and Pioneer is, too. The improvements we are making will enable us to take on even bigger challenges. In the Institute’s Pioneer2024 strategic plan, we outline key policies where we must win, if we are to significantly expand opportunity for all. Our focuses will remain in our core areas of expertise — education, health, the economy, transportation and infrastructure, and we are adding new capacities to ensure success. In 2021, these additions will include establishing a standalone legal entity to litigate on key issues and broadening the reach of our direct communications by 30 percent.
Pioneer’s founder, Pete Peters, once said, “Ideas have consequences and great ideas have great consequences, but they take time and well-directed effort to succeed.” With energy, focus and creativity, Pioneer will bring even more impact and help support a stronger, more prosperous Massachusetts and nation.
In the coming year Pioneer will continue to address the extraordinary challenges our state and the nation must boldly solve so that we may assure prosperity and liberty. The Pioneer team and I are excited for the opportunity to lead the Institute forward.