Author Archive

Looking forward after a banner year for our network

  • April 11, 2019
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We’ve put the finishing touches on our year-in-review and hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on all we’ve accomplished together. It was a record-breaking year in 2018 and we couldn’t have done any of it without the generosity and support of our members.

We’re deeply grateful to our board, staff, volunteers and partners for their vision and leadership as we continue to

strengthen our ability to serve Colorado’s dynamic and diverse philanthropic sector with the aim of improving communities throughout the state.

We’d love to hear your feedback as we move forward with all of our exciting plans for enhancing the network this year.

 

Nonprofit Finance Fund in Colorado to lead workshop

  • March 28, 2019
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Our members gathered recently to learn more about how to get a clear grasp of financial information provided by nonprofits. “Unpacking a Nonprofit’s Financial Story,” led by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, was focused on equipping funders with the language, tools, and resources for assessing a nonprofit’s financial health in a holistic manner.

Throughout the day, participants were encouraged to reflect on the ways in which equity, access, and capacity can impact a nonprofit’s financial performance on paper. Furthermore, funders were challenged to think of creative questions to ask nonprofits as they build a comprehensive picture of a grantee’s financial story. Keller Anne Ruble, Associate Investment Director at Gary Community Investments, reflected, “We came away with a common language and tools to continue pushing the conversation within our foundations and with our grantees. I particularly appreciated the time to exercise the analytic skills both individually and with a group.”

Nonprofit Finance Fund consultants, Jihye Gyde and Chance Craig, imparted new wisdom after walking through some of the basics of financial literacy. One of the major takeaways was to assess the full-picture of a nonprofit’s financial health which includes often overlooked considerations: unfunded expenses, like sweat equity, are often not captured on an income statements, but, if funded, could help a nonprofit operate effectively. CAF members learned more about nonprofit surpluses and how breaking even may not be enough.

Adolph Coors Foundation announces new leadership

  • March 25, 2019
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The Adolph Coors Foundation has announced that Carrie Tynan will be replacing John Jackson as executive director effective April 1st, 2019. John has worked for the foundation for 28 years, including ten years serving as executive director.

Carrie has worked at Adolph Coors Foundation since 2007.  Since 1976, the Adolph Coors Foundation has awarded 6,700 grants totaling $266 million to promote the western values of self reliance, personal freedom and responsibility, and limited government. Read the press release on this leadership transition here.

The Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act and Foundations on the Hill 2019 Highlights

  • March 21, 2019
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During the second week of March, CAF and several representatives from our member organizations attended United Philanthropy Forum’s 2019 Foundations on the Hill. Our delegation met with many Colorado members of congress including Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and House Representatives Jason Crow, Joe Neguse, and Ed Perlmutter.

Topics of discussion included the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act (H.R. 651) that was introduced in the House in January. This bill would make charitable deductions universal and above-the-line, meaning that taxpayers can deduct charitable donations from their taxes whether or not they choose to itemize. As charitable giving is expected to decline by billions of dollars due to the new increase to the standard deduction, this bill would ensure that taxpayers who want to make tax-deductible donations to charities have the greatest flexibility possible to do so—either while itemizing their deductions, or taking the standard deduction.

Our group also learned about How Philanthropy Can Activate and Influence Policymakers during an informative session led by the Senior Vice President for State Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Thank you to our delegates from The Colorado Health Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Grand Foundation, and The Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation for attending FOTH 2019 with us!

Aspen Community Foundation Executive Director reflects on economic dynamism of the Colorado nonprofit sector

  • March 18, 2019
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Tamara Tormohlen, who serves as the Executive Director of the Aspen Community Foundation, has written a piece in The Aspen Times sharing her thoughts on the recently published “Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Report“.

At Aspen Community Foundation, Tamara is often asked about how nonprofits contribute to the overall economy. The Economic Impact study is a crucial resource to her because it confirms that nonprofits are an important economic driver, and that charitable contributions from individuals and institutions provide both vital services to vulnerable populations, as well as economic stimulus across the state. In the Roaring Fork Valley region alone, nonprofits provide over 5,000 jobs and nearly $640 million in economic activity.

 

The Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Trust, and Kaiser Family Foundation partner to bring Health Journalism to Colorado

  • March 10, 2019
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CAF members  The Colorado Health Foundation and The Colorado Trust have partnered with KFF (the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) to bring Kaiser Health News to Colorado. KFF—the trusted source of health policy information—produces health policy analysis, polling, and journalism. With support from TCHF and The Trust, Kaiser Family Foundation will hire a reporter based in Colorado to produce quality health journalism that is relevant to Colorado residents. Access to reliable health news coverage is an important step forward in reaching health equity in the state.

Read more about this partnership and health journalism in Colorado here.

Highlights from 2019 Day at the Capitol

  • February 27, 2019
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Colorado Association of Funders partnered with Colorado Nonprofit Association to put on 2019 Day at the Capitol. The day provided a crucial opportunity for nonprofit and foundation professionals to come together to network, connect with state legislators, and learn about key policy issues coming up in the 2019 legislative session.

The morning included a Q&A panel with the Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Attorney General Phil Weiser, as well as the presentation of the Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Study. Additionally, Day at the Capitol participants had to opportunity to watch live floor proceedings, where CAF and CNA were recognized by members of the House of Representatives.

CAF partners to publish Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Study

  • February 19, 2019
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The Colorado Association of Funders partnered with the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Spark the Change Colorado, Community Resource Center, the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs, and the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships to publish the Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Study.

The study details the fiscal contributions of nonprofits that strengthen Colorado’s communities and economies. In both job creation & state GDP, nonprofits are a force for good in our communities, well beyond their core mission areas. As major contributors to Colorado’s economy, nonprofits and their leaders are critical to community decision-making.

In general, the findings of this study are intended to help business leaders, public officials, and economic developers understand how to better leverage nonprofits through knowledge of the industry’s impacts and contributions to the overall economy. The study demonstrates that the nonprofit sector is an essential job-generating component of Colorado’s economy.

You can read the report and use the interactive county-by-county nonprofit spending data tool here.

Thank you to our generous sponsors who helped make this report possible:

Bank of the West
BKD CPAs & Advisors LLP
Boettcher Foundation
The Denver Foundation
El Pomar Foundation
Employers Council

Community First Foundation announces new president and CEO

  • February 4, 2019
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On Thursday, January 31, Community First Foundation announced it will appoint Kelly S. Dunkin as its new president and chief executive officer. CFF is dedicated to serving as a connector, partner, and collaborator to fuel the power of community and giving across the state.

Dunkin replaces Marla J. Williams, who is retiring in February 2019 after an eight-year career at the Foundation. Building on Williams’ strong leadership, Dunkin brings a unique blend of nonprofit, business and social impact expertise that will move the Foundation forward.

Most recently, Dunkin has served as national director of 10.10.10, a project of Colorado Nonprofit Development Center that inspires entrepreneurs to solve 10 “wicked problems.” Previously, Dunkin served for 11 years at The Colorado Health Foundation in Denver, culminating in the role of vice president of philanthropy.

She has served on numerous boards, including the Downtown Denver Partnership Denver Civic Ventures, Colorado Association of Funders and Girls on the Run.

Colorado Association of Funders welcomes Dunkin and is excited to learn about her unique ideas on how turn the tide of some of our community’s most pressing issues. Read Community First Foundation’s announcement here.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy features CEO Joanne Kelley on Exploring Openness

  • January 24, 2019
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Bringing together funders and the nonprofits they support can go a long way toward encouraging ongoing dialogue, increasing understanding and building bridges for the benefit of communities. Thanks to the support of the Fund for Shared Insight and the United Philanthropy Forum, CAF asked a diverse group of foundation and nonprofit leaders throughout Colorado to be part of a cohort to help us think through what we might be able to accomplish. The Center for Effective Philanthropy recently posted CAF’s takeaways from the cohort process in a blog post, which outlines three general themes around funder-nonprofit openness: (1) It’s all about relationships, (2) nonprofits want funders to be open and institute practices that mitigate the funder-grantee dynamic, and (3) organizations that build an internal culture of learning are more likely to be ready to share what they learn with others.

Read more about this blog post and The Center for Effective Philanthropy here.

“Strong partnerships built on trust allow foundations and nonprofits to listen to each other and accomplish their missions and objectives in a more purposeful way.”