Peter Temple’s ‘extraordinary’ legacy


To the Editor:

I join the Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative (MVNC) board, the Island nonprofit community, many other Island organizations, and the Island community in thanking Peter Temple for his many years of service and value.

It is with a big thank-you that the board of MVNC announces that our executive director of 13 years, Peter Temple, will retire from that role at the end of 2019. 

Peter accelerated his planned retirement from MVNC when he received an unexpected job offer to manage the business affairs of a good friend who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and has now put his assets into a trust. This was an opportunity “too good” to turn down. This job will thankfully enable Peter to stay on Island.

Peter’s incredible set of skills and passion are legendary to most anyone at any stage of nonprofit life, from how to get started to how to grow, how to change, how to merge, how to retire; we affectionately called this “program” “1-800-Peter.”

In his executive director role, he helped us build a strong set of programs to help improve nonprofit effectiveness in areas of governance, marketing, fundraising, and board development. He became, and helped us become, a trusted voice for and of the Island’s nonprofit community. Peter’s capabilities also helped us become a “convener” of like-minded nonprofits to collaborate to address Island-wide issues. Three continuing initiatives are:

  • ArtsMV, an arts and culture collaborative, launched “Fall for the Arts,” a program that increased nonprofit programs and cultural tourism through the shoulder season; and helped create cultural districts in Tisbury, Aquinnah and Oak Bluffs.
  • Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard (HAMV). This Island-wide public and private collaborative was Peter and Paddy Moore’s brainchild, which they started in 2012 and built into a sustainable organization supported today by the six towns and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Peter was acting executive director of HAMV for five years.
  • Peter wore many hats, and MVNC supported his efforts as Aquinnah planning board chair in two Island-wide initiatives to support affordable housing. Peter chaired a subcommittee of the All-Island Planning Board that worked with the support of Island Housing Trust and MVC to find funding for and have all six Towns develop housing production plans and an Island-wide Housing Plan. He also co-led last year’s initiative to create a Housing Bank, a strategy identified in all the housing production plans.

Peter’s latest accomplishment was the development of an on-Island launch of the certificate program in nonprofit leadership with the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) and Tufts University. Intensive nine-month certificate programs like this are not really accessible to Vineyard nonprofit executive directors, or those who hope to become one, because of the time and cost of off-Island travel. Peter worked with the school to modify the program so two of the three monthly seminars are held on-Island, and he worked with local foundations and private donors to raise significant subsidies to lower the cost per nonprofit. The success of these efforts is evident in the results: Nine students graduated from the Vineyard program in 2019, nine more will graduate in 2020, and there is already enough interest to further continue the program. 

The nonprofit community is stronger, the Island is stronger, thanks in a huge way to Peter Temple. In speaking with many on nonprofit boards and staff, and Islanders who benefit from the impact of our important nonprofits, common feedback about Peter is “extraordinary” and “multitalented.”

The MVNC board thanks Peter for his enormous value to both the nonprofit community and to Martha’s Vineyard. His legacy of helping people and organizations “do good and well” will be long-lasting.

Gerald S. Jones, board chair
Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative