To us, Powering Community Together means we are tapping into your power to create positive change in our community. The theme of this year’s Community Benefit Report, The Many Shapes and Sizes of Giving, is a tribute to our partners whose important work is providing hope and changing lives.
When nine-year-old Jenna received a $20 Giving eCard to use on KidsforColoradoGives.org, she did something remarkable. Rather than donate this money straightaway, she took it to her school so her classmates could experience the joy of giving. With guidance from their teacher, Jenna and her classmates voted for their favorite organizations and donated to a local animal protection league.
Jenna’s story is one of many born from the new Kids for ColoradoGives program. Community First Foundation launched the KidsforColoradoGives.org website in 2016 to connect the next generation of Colorado givers with local nonprofit organizations. From daughters and grandsons to neighbors and nephews, Kids for ColoradoGives is redefining what charitable giving looks like for families across the state.
At KidsforColoradoGives.org, young donors can experience the joy of giving in a fun, safe environment. The website features videos of kids explaining the purpose of nonprofits and why they need our help. Learn more about the program and how you can get involved at KidsforColoradoGives.org.
ColoradoGives.org is a year-round, online giving website featuring the missions, programs and finances of more than 2,000 Colorado nonprofits. In 2016, donations through the site reached a new high of $44.7 million. Gifts came from more than 80,000 people representing all 64 counties in the state. By accepting donations starting at $10, ColoradoGives.org makes charitable giving accessible and safe for all Coloradans.
Colorado Gives Day, the largest day of giving in the state, has captured the passion of Coloradans for seven years. It has become a movement where everyone can get behind a cause, regardless of age or income. On Colorado Gives Day 2016, $33.8 million in donations surged through ColoradoGives.org in just 24 hours to support more than 2,000 local nonprofits.
In The Innovators Society’s inaugural year, 574 community members were involved in the process of selecting, coaching and granting $650,000 to nonprofits with innovative ideas to improve mental wellness.
We launched The Innovators Society to accelerate fresh solutions for mental wellness across Denver communities. In a first-of-its-kind approach, The Innovators Society selected six nonprofits and invested $150,000 to support them in a nine-month coaching program. This helped them develop their mental wellness innovations and prepare for a pitch competition to garner additional funding.
At The Innovators Society pitch competition in September 2016, we invited a community audience to judge the value of each innovation presented. Real-time voting empowered audience members to wear the hat of a funder and award $500,000 in Community First Foundation grant dollars that would benefit their communities.
Staff & Board
Core 40 Leadership
Community Grant Awards
|Carson J Spencer Foundation||$77,596|
|Bright by Three||$66,175|
|Center on Network Science, CU Denver||$65,745|
|Clayton Early Learning||$49,740|
Colorado’s mental wellness field is complex and fragmented. To improve this landscape, we are taking a three-pronged approach: investing in early childhood mental wellness programs, improving systems that support mental wellness and striving to change public perceptions of mental illness and mental health.
We are using the national Project LAUNCH framework, a project of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to guide our early childhood mental wellness grantmaking. The power of the Project LAUNCH framework lies in its clarity and simplicity. With the plethora of outstanding community projects, the framework keeps us centered in our approach.
Eight local funders* have pooled $11.2 million and created LAUNCH Together. Based on the national framework, LAUNCH Together is helping local communities incorporate mental health screening and treatment into services that already support young children. Pediatricians, childcare providers, educators and others are coordinating their services to ensure the needs of vulnerable young children don’t fall through the cracks.
*LAUNCH Together funding partners include Community First Foundation, The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, Buell Foundation, Caring for Colorado Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, The Piton Foundation at Gary Community Investments and Rose Community Foundation.
Community First Foundation has a special relationship with Jefferson County: we started as the fundraising arm of Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge. Now a community foundation headquartered in Arvada, we honor our heritage with a strategic focus on this region.
The Action Center
The Colorado Education Initiative
Jeffco Public Schools
Jefferson County Public Health
Metro Community Provider Network
Seniors’ Resource Center
Word is out: there is a shiny new meeting space for nonprofits on Denver’s West Side!
We launched the space in January 2016, shortly after the grand opening of our new office building in Olde Town Arvada. In the first year alone, we hosted nearly 300 meetings and welcomed more than 5,600 people to the space.
The meeting space offers five free room options, a large catering kitchen, the latest technology, free parking and a dedicated administrator. This space was designed to address the scarcity of affordable meeting and collaboration space for nonprofits in Jefferson County and the Denver metropolitan area.
We help donors make a difference in ways that matter to them through donor-advised funds, a charitable option that combines people’s visions with our personal service and in-depth understanding of the nonprofit community. Gifts are eligible for an immediate tax benefit; however, grant distributions can be made over time.
Our philanthropic services team also helps donors create a lasting legacy through charitable bequests, life insurance gifts, retirement assets and other planned giving vehicles.
Field of Interest Funds and Giving Circles are other ways for donors to power their passion. These types of giving groups unite people who care about a specific cause or want to make giving decisions together.
Our endowment-building programs help local nonprofits secure their future and ability to serve the community today and tomorrow. Nonprofit Endowment Partners benefit from the Foundation’s sound investment and asset management, trainings and resources.
The goal of our 2016 Incentive Grant Program was to incentivize Community First Foundation’s Nonprofit Endowment Partners to add to their endowment and to invest for the future needs of their organization so the good they do can continue. Endowments provide a steady revenue source, allow donors to leave a legacy and convey stability, fiscal responsibility and prudent planning.
As we look to the future of the nonprofit sector, we believe a strong workforce is essential. In 2016, Community First Foundation and Red Rocks Community College forged a partnership to create a certificate program for careers in the nonprofit sector. The program’s goals are to prepare individuals to enter the nonprofit sector, provide additional training to experienced nonprofit professionals and increase diversity throughout the sector. Classes begin in fall 2017.
Cash and Investments
Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses
Total Liabilities & Net Assets
Other Program Expenses
Total Grants and Expenses
Net Return on Investments
Net Assets, Beginning of Year
Senior Wealth Advisor and Trust Officer
Colorado State Bank and Trust
Felix W. Cook, Sr.
Audit and Compliance Committee
Retired, Director of Technical Service Center
Bureau of Reclamation
Finance and Investment Committee
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
John E. Litz
Community Impact Committee
J.E. Litz and Associates, LLC
Malcolm Tarkanian, M.D.
Arvada Eye Associates
Audit and Compliance Committee
President – Arvada
John U. Trefny, Ph.D.
Colorado School of Mines
Community Impact Committee
Vice President of Child and Family Services
Mental Health Center of Denver