When long-time supporter Ann O’Keefe talks about McLean, she uses words like “scale,” “impact,” and “sustainability.”
Ann is both eloquent and elegant in her approach to philanthropy and has honed her efforts into a process that both speaks to her own passions and provides maximum impact for McLean.
Ann comes from a philanthropic family. Her parents started a foundation, and since their deaths, Ann has been a careful steward of her family’s legacy. She refers to her parents as clever, informed, and involved donors—she might as well be describing herself.
Approaching each year as a new challenge, Ann has supported McLean for more than a decade with intelligence and enthusiasm, always searching for something that feels like the perfect storm of joy, innovation, and impact. She rolls up her sleeves and gets to work meeting with clinicians and researchers, asking probing questions, reading up on new initiatives, and listening to presentations.
“I’ve been all over McLean with my unflagging partner Lori Etringer [McLean’s chief development officer],” said Ann. “I learn so much every year, and Lori makes the process fun while we work together to answer my annual question: ‘What are we doing this year?’”
“I’m always looking for that great idea—one that needs a kick-start to get it off the ground so that it’s eligible for other funding or can become sustainable and won’t depend on my support for the long term,” explained Ann.
Ann’s own interests and background intersect perfectly with McLean’s mission. After attaining both a BA and an MA in psychology, she wanted to become a researcher, but “I was unable to accept a spot in a PhD program because I was suffering from alcoholism at the time,” she said.
Now, with 34 years of sobriety under her belt, she has raised two children and had a successful career. She feels that her partnership with McLean allows her to continue the education she was unable to complete years ago.