HONORING OUR ROOTS AS WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE
You’ll see in this report what an exciting year it has been at Community First Foundation, full of change and growth. We said goodbye to our CEO Marla J. Williams, who successfully led Community First Foundation for eight years. She left us in a good place, with a talented staff, solid processes and strong financials. The Board then undertook the important task of launching a highly successful executive search for a new CEO and President.
A change in leadership always represents an opportunity, a precious moment in time, to reflect on how far we have come while looking intently at where we want to go. It is an opportunity to assess and reevaluate. A time to double down on what is working and create healthy change where needed.
As the Community First Foundation Board of Directors reflected on where we wanted to go, we realized we needed a leader who epitomized inclusivity and innovation. Someone who could inspire a new vision for the future while tending to the roots of what makes us strong and unique. With this vision in mind, we rolled up our sleeves and launched a national search. Out of more than 180 candidates, Kelly Dunkin rose to the top. Not only does Kelly bring foundation experience, she is an innovative thinker and is already exploring how to increase community impact.
As you read this report, we are halfway through 2019 and getting ready to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 10. Kelly has had a great start and I am thrilled to be working with her. I want to thank all of our partners, our great staff and my fellow Board of Directors. Our future is bright and this is a great time to be at Community First Foundation!
Lynne D. Valencia, Chair, Community First Foundation Board of Directors
Download 2018 Report PDF
As a community foundation, we engage people to be a positive force for change in their communities. We know it can be daunting to choose where and how to give. That’s why we offer a variety of giving options, from simple online donations to planned gifts.
SUPPORT MULTIPLE NONPROFITS WITH ONE IRA CHARITABLE DISTRIBUTION
Individuals aged 70 1⁄2 or older are required to withdraw a minimum distribution (RMD) from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) each year. By directing this distribution to a qualified charity, they bypass income tax on those dollars. In 2018 we created a way for people to make a single IRA Charitable Distribution to Community First Foundation and receive a Giving eCard for that amount. The eCard can then be used to support multiple charities on ColoradoGives.org. Last year, more than $280,000 was distributed to nearly 300 nonprofits this way.
DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS SUPPORT ENGAGED GIVING
Donor-Advised Funds are the perfect tool for individuals, families and businesses looking for greater engagement in their charitable giving process without undue administrative burdens. By creating a charitable fund at Community First Foundation, they can recommend grants and receive expert fund management as well as an immediate tax benefit. The minimum to establish a fund at the Foundation is $5,000.Learn More about Donor-Advised Funds
Martha Swanson, retired CPA and Treasurer, Empowerment Center of East County
AREAS OF GIVING FOR DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS
Grants from donor-advised funds support the causes individuals, families and businesses care about most. In 2018, grants from donor-advised funds supported the causes shown below. An additional seven percent was granted to miscellaneous causes.
AFFORDABLE PEER-TO-PEER FUNDRAISING
Peer-to-peer fundraising lets individuals, groups and organizations create personalized online fundraising pages to support charitable causes. It is an exceptional way for nonprofits to expand their reach through personal endorsement. ColoradoGives.org Fundraising Pages offer a uniquely local focus with only a two percent third-party processing fee. What’s more, donations are not subject to other transaction, setup or marketing fees commonly charged on other platforms. In 2018, $2.7 million was donated to nonprofits through ColoradoGives.org Fundraising Pages.Set up a fundraising page
KIDS HAVE A PLACE TO GIVE, TOO
Like most values, generosity takes hold best when modeled at home, early in life. That’s why we crafted age-appropriate activities to help families introduce the topic of generosity and community service to little ones. A clever online quiz helps children identify what matters to them the most. A Kindness Bingo game creates a giving mindset. These activities work in concert with KidsforColoradoGives.org, a safe place for kids to learn about and support local nonprofits. In 2018, 132 nonprofits received donations through KidsforColoradoGives.org.Give Today at KidsforColoradoGives
RECURRING DONATIONS: GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING
ColoradoGives.org offers donors the option to schedule gifts to recur. Donors can select what is best for them: weekly, monthly, or annually are just a few of the many options. Giving over time like this eases the impact on a donor’s pocket book while providing a reliable stream of funding to a nonprofit. In 2018, $2.5 million was raised through ColoradoGives.org for nonprofits in our community using this feature.
GIVING AS A STATE
$35.3 MILLION RAISED ON COLORADO GIVES DAY 2018
Giving together—Coloradans uniting on one special day of the year—is clearly a winning formula. Since 2010, donors have come together on Colorado Gives Day to raise more than $217 million for local nonprofits.
On the ninth annual Colorado Gives Day, 2,547 nonprofits participated, more than any previous year. Also, the number of donations exceeded previous years, with 161,060 donations made in 24 hours. Once again, Community First Foundation and FirstBank contributed equally to a $1 Million Incentive Fund, one of the largest giving day incentives in the country.
COLORADO GIVES DAY 2018
average raised per nonprofit
donations in 24 hrs
We believe a strong nonprofit sector is fundamental to a community’s strength. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping local nonprofits succeed and thrive. We provide a variety of programs and services, such as expert endowment management, workforce development, free meeting space, fundraising consultation and complimentary trainings led by industry experts.
STRENGTHENING THE NONPROFIT SECTOR WORKFORCE
The Nonprofit Pathway certificate program was created by Community First Foundation and Red Rocks Community College to supply the nonprofit sector with a skilled, inclusive workforce. In just a few years of the program, enrollment in this higher education program has doubled. Community First Foundation funded nearly $30,000 in staff scholarships for nonprofits with endowment funds at the Foundation.
Christina Hoffman, student
THE LOWRY FOUNDATION:
ENRICHING QUALITY OF LIFE
The Lowry area of east Denver was once home to Lowry Air Force Base, a prominent training center for the U.S. military and Allied Forces. Once occupied by aircraft hangers, barracks, and classrooms, Lowry is now home to a vibrant mixed-use community.
Preserving the legacy of Lowry Air Force Base and strengthening the community are cornerstones of The Lowry Foundation’s mission. In addition to operating the historic Eisenhower Chapel, The Lowry Foundation stewards a beloved reading garden and 12 pieces of public art in the neighborhood. In spring of 2018 The Lowry Foundation established a $500,000 endowment at Community First Foundation and was awarded $50,000, one of our largest incentive grants. Funds generated by the endowment will be used to enrich the quality of life in Lowry through programs of artistic, cultural, educational, and civic value.
WAYS WE SUPPORT NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Endowment-building grants and support
Expert endowment management
Planned giving resources
Free state-of-the-art meeting space
Workforce development and scholarshops
Online giving tools
ENDOWMENTS FOR A STRONG, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
For more than a decade, we have been offering endowment-building programs to help nonprofits prepare for their future needs. Although an endowment is a long-term investment, interest earnings can provide a steady revenue source and help organizations weather the ups and downs of other funding sources. Savvy donors recognize that an endowment reflects an organization’s stability, prudence and fiscal responsibility.
INCENTIVE GRANTS SUPPORT NONPROFITS BUILDING ENDOWMENT
In 2018 we dedicated $285,880 to an Incentive Grant Program to encourage organizations to establish and build endowments to prepare for their futures. Twenty-nine organizations benefited from the program.Is Your Nonprofit Endowment-Ready? Learn About the 2019 Incentive Grant Program (PDF)
Community First Foundation has been on a journey to understand the root causes of poor mental health outcomes in the Denver area. We’ve learned that investing early to support the mental health of infants and young children will produce benefits later. We’ve learned that social connections help people overcome the barriers to improving health, such as stigma. Most of all we’ve learned that it takes collective action from the community to transform the systems supporting mental health. The participation and leadership from those invested in mental wellness have helped us make bold investments in this field.
MENTAL WELLNESS FOCUS AREAS
Supporting the social and emotional development of infants and young children
Facilitating coordinated, systematic efforts to improve community mental wellness
Investing in promising approaches to reduce mental health stigma
GRANTS SUPPORT WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT FOR HOME VISITATION PROGRAMS
Home visitation programs give struggling parents the tools and support they need to raise emotionally healthy children. Yet the professionals who provide these services are often at risk for burnout and second-hand trauma. To strengthen their resilience and provide quality in-home services for families, Community First Foundation is granting $1.47 million for the workforce development of several nonprofits providing home visitation services. The grants, delivered over the past three years, pair workers with mental health consultants and ensure families receive the best in evidence-based care. In 2018, eight organizations received nearly $400,000 for year-two grants to support this work.
Home Visitation Grantees from 2017 & 2018
Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council
Jeffco Public Schools / HIPPY
Jeffco Schools Foundation / Parent Child Home Program
MSU Denver Foundation / MSU Denver’s Family Literacy Program
Mountain Resource Center
Roots Family Center
COLLABORATIONS SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUNG COLORADANS
Our community understands more than ever before that the social and emotional health of infants and young children is vital to proper development. To ensure behavioral health becomes part of the early care of children, several Colorado communities partnered with Community First Foundation and other funders to implement a program called LAUNCH Together.
Based on a successful national framework, LAUNCH Together is helping local communities incorporate behavioral health into services that already support young children. For example, pediatricians, childcare providers, school administrators, educators and others will be tasked with coordinating their services to ensure the needs of vulnerable young children don’t fall through the cracks. Community First Foundation is supporting this work in Jefferson County with an investment of $2.7 million in grants over five years.
Since 2015, The Innovators Society has supported 12 nonprofit innovations through a comprehensive accelerator experience.
The intensive and creative work of The Innovators Society has also connected networks of people who are passionate about mental health access, treatment and support. Bringing people together in this way has sparked even more exciting, creative ideas to improve mental wellness in the Denver area. Read on about youth programs, art outreach and a podcast series that have stemmed from the collaborative nature of The Innovators Society.
THE ACCELERATOR EXPERIENCE
In 2018 The Innovators Society selected nonprofit innovators to participate in an accelerator experience that included funding, rigorous coaching, program development, hands-on workshops, and the chance to win even more funding at a pitch competition. At the competition, community members were empowered to award $450,000 in Community First Foundation grant dollars among the innovators.
The Innovators Society 2.0 improved upon The Inaugural Innovators Society by changing the flow of the experience. This enabled the innovators to focus separately on the two main elements of the experience: preparing for the pitch competition and accelerating innovations. The Innovators Society 2.0 accelerated the mental health concepts of the following six innovators:
Community Grant Awarded
|Apprentice of Peace||$89,850|
|My Quiet Cave||$58,625|
PODCASTING TO REDUCE MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA
One in five adults live with mental illness in the U.S. and 70 percent of them don’t seek mental health treatment at all. Stigma is the main reason they don’t get the help they need. Community First Foundation provided funding to The National Mental Health Innovation Center to develop Crazed, a podcast series that shines a light on innovations in mental health and the people behind those ideas. Each month the podcast features promising new approaches and inspiring success stories, including guest appearances with our very own Innovators.
YOUNG PEOPLE DESIGN PROGRAMS TO REDUCE STIGMA
Community First Foundation believes young people can play an active role in reducing stigma and supporting mental wellness. To support this belief, we invited high school students to design ways to reduce mental health stigma in their schools and among other youth populations. The students, selected from Rotary’s Interact clubs, The Children’s Hospital Youth Action Board, and the City of Denver Mayor’s Youth Commission, presented creative concepts and plans to a panel of mental health and youth service professionals for feedback. Four student groups received approximately $10,000 each to implement their ideas during the 2018-19 school year.
HAPPY CITY DENVER: ART WITH A MESSAGE
After attending The Inaugural Innovators Society event, internationally acclaimed British artist Stuart Semple and the Denver Theater District contacted the Foundation to collaborate on an expansive city-wide event called Happy City Denver: Art for the People. This six-week art experience was designed to spark happiness in urban areas by connecting strangers in creative ways.
Stuart Semple, known for his major public art projects, believes art has a unique ability to break down personal, emotional and social barriers. “I’m hoping that by exploring art and human connections together we find it’s easier to experience the world as a happier place,” he said. The event’s art installations included reimagined alleyways, drifting happy cloud bubbles, and an immersive dance party. A series of mental health discussion panels added an in-depth educational component to the experience.
Community First Foundation has a special relationship with Jefferson County, stemming from our history as the fundraising arm for Lutheran Medical Center and our location in Arvada. We leverage our leadership and connections here to work collectively towards a grand vision that all people who live, work and play in Jefferson County are healthy and thriving.
ART AND CULTURE EXPERIENCE REINVIGORATES NEIGHBORHOOD
40 West Arts District, a community-driven nonprofit, is adding culture and beauty to Lakewood’s lowest income and most diverse neighborhood. After years of community input and research, 40 West Arts, along with the City of Lakewood and West Colfax Business Improvement District, undertook a project to enhance the area through the 40 West Artline. The Artline is a four-mile walking and biking arts experience connecting three parks and featuring sculptures, murals, fence art, interactive elements, and more. A grant from Community First Foundation is helping to fund these improvements for residents who are historically underserved by arts programming, infrastructure, and safe, walkable/bikeable places.Learn how to experience the Artline
IMPROVING CONDITIONS OF COMMUNITY HEALTH
$1.75 MILLION TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH IN JEFFERSON COUNTY
We know that our health is shaped by more than the absence of disease. Factors such as the physical, social and economic environment in which we live have a long-lasting impact. Lack of access to healthcare and good education also has a profound effect. Conditions like these are known as the social determinants of health. When these conditions are optimized for all individuals living in a community, we can say we have a healthy community. Unfortunately, the conditions in Jefferson County are not optimized for everyone. That is why we’ve infused more than $1.75 million in Improving Conditions of Community Health grants to 124 organizations serving Jeffco.
GRANTEE EARLY SUCCESS
2018 Financial Overview
Cash and Investments
Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses
Total Liabilities and Net Assets
GRANTS AND EXPENSES
Other Program Expenses
Total Grants and Expenses
CHANGE IN NET ASSETS FROM OPERATIONS
Net Return on Investments
CHANGE IN NET ASSETS
Net Assets, Beginning of Year
2018 Board of Directors
Marla J. Williams
President and CEO
Community First Foundation
Executive Vice President
Colorado State Bank and Trust
David L. Bomberger
Chief Investment Officer
Elycia R. Cook
President and CEO
Janet Heck Doyle, Esq.
Retired CEO and President
Kramer Junction Company
Joy S. Johnson
Russell W. Kemp, Esq.
Shelley A. Marquez
Senior Vice President
Community Relations Senior Manager
Christopher Davis-Massey, Esq.
Chief Operating Officer
ChoLon Restaurant Concepts
Ronald C. Meyer, M.D.
Retired Community Pediatrician
Donovan J. (Jerry) Paul, CFA
Senior Vice President
Fixed Income and Portfolio Manager
Lifespan Local Change Partnerships
Emily S. Robinson
Chief Operating Officer
Cynthia Stevenson, Ph.D.
Instructor, School of Education and Human Development
University of Colorado—Denver
Penfield W. Tate III
Kutak Rock LLP
Retired Chief Information Officer
Vail Resorts, Inc.
Lynne D. Valencia
Board Vice Chair
Director of Strategic Partnerships
2018 Community Committee Members
Felix W. Cook, Sr.
Retired Director of Technical Service Center,
Bureau of Reclamation
Finance and Investment Committee
Founder, Voyant Technologies, Inc.
Peggy Jennings, CPA
Audit and Compliance Committee
Audit Partner, Eide Bailly LLP
Richard J. Klau
Community Impact Committee
Chairman, Hajoca Corporation
Audit and Compliance Committee
Regional President, Metro Denver First Bank
Community Impact Committee
Deputy Director for Operations,
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Philanthropic Services Committee
Shareholder, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
Malcolm Tarkanian, M.D.
Arvada Eye Associates
John U. Trefny, Ph.D.
Philanthropic Services Committee
Colorado School of Mines