“Colorado Giving Voice” Blog

“You make a difference”: Remembering Sheila Bugdanowitz

  • December 9, 2016
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Sometimes you wish you could bottle up an experience and spread it everywhere. Rewind it and watch it again. Really absorb all the goodness and pass it on to others.6170683380_753fce98e2_o

This is how I felt driving away from an extraordinary funeral at Temple Emanuel on Tuesday afternoon. And this is how I feel now — sifting through old emails, jogging memories of my many brief encounters and long conversations with Sheila Rae Bugdanowitz. As her former communications guru Phil Nash said in a Facebook post this week: “It seemed like everyone who knew Sheila felt that their friendship was special . . . Her rich and complex life was guided by a simple one-word principle: Relationships.”

I had seen Sheila at events but really first met her in person when she greeted me for my interview for the Executive Director opening at Colorado Association of Funders. She was chairing the search committee and immediately hugged me and put me at ease in the lobby of the Gill Foundation before she took me back to meet with a dozen other CEOs who would be peppering me with questions, instead of the other way around.

Sheila was a go-to source years earlier when I was covering business and philanthropy at the Rocky Mountain News. I once called her to dish some personal details about her long-time friend Barry Hirschfeld for a profile I was writing about him. I remember her telling me about his collection of hundreds of “Swatch” watches and noting that he was always late to meetings anyway — even to everyone’s funerals. (For the record, he wasn’t late to your funeral Sheila. He arrived well ahead of schedule and sat in the front row.)

When I learned about Sheila’s sudden passing on Sunday from her good friend Linda Childears, my instant reaction was to weep. All I could think to write in reply in the moment was, “Sheila lived an amazing life. We’ll work to do our part to honor it. For now we cry.”

Entering the sanctuary for the Jewish service was more than cathartic for many of us. Retired Rabbi Steven Foster, who delivered the final remarks, talked about how Sheila made a difference in so many ways. The way to honor her — the way to move beyond grief — was to do the same. “You make a difference,” he urged all of us.

Sheila’s door was literally always open. And the answer to a request was almost always, “yes.” Except when it came to snow days. Rose Community Foundation hosted CAF’s offices for many years and we were privy to “all office” email blasts, weekly staff lunches and even Sheila’s famously personal holiday gifts. Whenever it snowed, however, you could almost always count on a 5:30 a.m. voicemail letting you know the office was open but to drive safely and take your time coming in. She worked hard.

Sheila put a high premium on family and friendship. When she learned of my husband’s Jewish heritage, we were invited to Passover at her home. My then eight-year-old scrawled a drawing for her on a huge piece of flip chart paper and it remained on her office door for weeks. Kids loved spending time at Rose. They were always welcome and they were always guaranteed unlimited access to the bowls of chocolates that Sheila wanted on all the conference and board room tables. Expecting moms could always count on exquisitely planned office showers. There were birthdays and wedding celebrations, going away parties and summer picnics.

There were obviously community issues to champion and tackle along the way in her work at Rose. Education, Early Childhood, Health, Aging and Jewish Life, among many others. And she was devoted to our work at CAF, whether it was as Board Chair, supporting and cheering on our advocacy work every step of the way, or taking on the challenge of chairing our Disaster Philanthropy Task Force and overseeing the long-term flood recovery fund. She assured me that, “If you (CAF) didn’t exist, we’d have to create you.”

Working down the hall from Sheila was a privilege and a blessing. Miraculously, it seemed you barely ever needed an appointment — if you could just catch her in her office. A quick hello often turned into an hour-long talk about life. It’s as Larry Mizel said when he related the story of Sheila informing him that women have 20,000 words they need to use every day. I used many of mine with Sheila over the years.

During one of those talks after both our moms had recently died, she gave me her copy of “Being Mortal.” Yes, we’re all mortal, but we also know that Sheila’s legacy lives on in so many ways. We’ll carry on in our work, but also in nurturing our personal relationships and making everyone feel special, while also wishing we could just have one more hug.

We’re heading back to DC in March for Foundations on the Hill

238865-7cada64a-2591-4483-a408-c776b54c8b20This year we’re headed back to Washington, DC for the annual Foundations on the Hill program. #FOTH17 will be held from March 20-22, and promises to be a memorable experience. We are putting together our Colorado delegation and are looking forward to having some CAF members join us. To join CAF in Washington, DC and discuss your work face-to-face with federal lawmakers please visit the #FOTH17 site and email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Announcing our 2017 officers and new directors

  • December 7, 2016
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Our board slate was unanimously approved by members at our annual meeting on Nov. 9, 2016. Thanks to all who attended.

We are delighted to announce our board officers for 2017:

  • Chair: Mark D. Anderson, Executive Director, Yampa Valley Community Foundation
  • Vice Chair: Amy Latham, Vice President of Philanthropy, The Colorado Health Foundation
  • Secretary: Gary Steuer, President and CEO, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
  • Treasurer: Ned Calonge, President and CEO, The Colorado Trust
  • Immediate Past Chair: Marla J. Williams, President and CEO, Community First Foundation

The following directors have been elected to a first term starting Jan. 1, 2017 and ending Dec. 31, 2019:

  • Alece Montez-Griego, Director of Programs, Orton Family Foundation
  • Virginia Romano, Managing Director – Programs, Dresner Foundation

The following director has been appointed to fill a vacancy through Dec. 31 2017:

  • Jandel Allen-Davis, Vice President, Government, External Relations and Research, Kaiser Permanente

Continuing on the board by virtue of a previous election:

  • Heather Carroll, President, Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation
  • Anne Garcia, Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Rose Community Foundation
  • Ruth Rohs, Executive Director, IMA Foundation
  • Abel Wurmnest, Program Officer, Anschutz Family Foundation

And many thanks to directors completing their board service at the end of 2016:

  • Gary Butterworth, CEO, Pikes Peak Community Foundation
  • Ellen Sandberg, Executive Director, CH2M Foundation
  • Lynne Valencia, Vice President Community Relations, 9News/TEGNA Foundation

Thank you to all of these individuals for their service on behalf of the sector.

Sad news from Rose Community Foundation

Dear Friends of Rose Community Foundation,

On behalf of Rose Community Foundation’s staff and Board of Trustees, I am deeply saddened to share news of the unexpected death on Sunday, of our President and CEO Sheila Bugdanowitz.

Sheila has stewarded the organization since 1998. She embodied the Foundation’s values of philanthropy, justice and non-discrimination and its mission to make the Greater Denver community a better place. Her leadership shaped what Rose Community Foundation is today.

Sheila was legendary for her deep connections and relationships. She brought people together to make the community a better place for all and she dedicated her life to improving the world around her. We grieve the loss of her leadership and her warm and generous spirit, which echoes through the philanthropic community and the community as a whole.

I have appointed Chief Financial and Operating Officer Anne Garcia to serve as Interim President and CEO in order that the Foundation can continue its important work in the Greater Denver community, without interruption. Anne, the staff and the Trustees will ensure the Foundation continues to operate in the ways you have come to expect.

A funeral service in honor of Sheila’s life will be held Tuesday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape Street.  More information regarding the service can be found here.

In accordance with her family’s wishes, gifts in Sheila’s honor may be made to Rose Community Foundation online or sent to 600 South Cherry Street, Denver, CO, 80246. You may also send notes or remembrances to Sheila’s family in care of the Foundation at the address above, to the attention of Todd Fahnestock.

Please join me and all the staff and trustees in keeping Sheila’s family in your thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks to come.

Sincerely,

Jerry Glick

Chair, Board of Trustees

Rose Community Foundation

Forever after, November 9, 2016 as Joe Ignat Day

  • November 15, 2016
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It was with much sadness that we learned our board member Joseph Ignat of Nord Family Foundation passed away on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. We dedicate this annual meeting to Joe and his devotion to philanthropy and the Colorado Association of Funders.joe-ignat-day-proclamation

Joe co-chaired our public policy committee for multiple years and leaves big shoes to fill. His guidance and leadership – and keen sense of humor – proved pivotal in helping us make strides in the advocacy arena and he was adamant we begin taking public positions that made sense for the field even if he didn’t personally agree with them.

Joe served as Board President and Treasurer of his family’s foundation before passing the torch to other members of the extended Nord family. Nord has invested heavily in many Colorado nonprofit organizations over the years and Joe and his wife Pam have also been personally involved in supporting many local causes.

Joe is one of only a few family foundation trustees to have served on CAF’s board. He was nominated by John Mullaney, Executive Director of Nord, which is based in Ohio but invests in the communities where members of the extended Nord family live. Joe had to be out of town when he was first elected as a director at our annual meeting several years back. We sent him the following email: “Good news! You’re a CAF board member starting in January. The election yesterday was quite civilized and unanimous with no attack ads or alternative candidates.” He responded: “Just goes to show you that you can’t trust elections to select good people.”

Joe was a champion for the sector and for the importance of CAF’s ability to take stands on important issues rather than remaining silently neutral. CAF’s policy committee and board has engaged in many healthy debates about policy issues and has since taken many thoughtful public positions. Joe actively took part in many of our sojourns to Washington for our trip to Foundations on the Hill. (He is pictured on the cover of this program holding the chair’s gavel in the House Rules Committee hearing room on our 2014 trip.)

Many thanks to all who joined us at our annual meeting to honor Joe’s memory, to look to the future, and to connect with colleagues in Colorado philanthropy.

RSVP for CAF’s Member Open House on Dec. 1

  • October 25, 2016
  • Member Programming
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Join colleagues of CAF member organizations at our CAF Member Open House on Thursday, December, 1st. We will celebrate our new location over wine and hors d’oeuvres. All staff at CAF member organizations are welcome to attend. Remember to RSVP so we know you’re attending! Please visit the Member Center to log into our website, choose Register for Programs, scroll down to the Dec. 1 Open House listing and click the View button, then click Attend this Event and RSVP! We look forward to seeing you.

As always, if you run into any trouble RSVP’ing for our CAF Member Open House, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required or at 720.842.7209.

Southeastern U.S. responds to Hurricane Matthew

  • October 11, 2016
  • National News,News
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In response to Hurricane Matthew, many neighbors and leaders across the country are asking how they can help citizens and communities recover. Our colleagues at Florida Philanthropic Network have curated a list of ways to give and serve in order to respond effectively. For current facts, stats, and to learn about the funder and NGO responses to the disaster please review the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Hurricane Matthew Disaster Profile. As always, please review the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook for a compilation of philanthropic strategies in the wake of a disaster.

Tickets to CAF Annual Meeting still available!

  • October 5, 2016
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Tickets are still available for CAF’s 2016 Annual Meeting & Presidential Election Debrief. Join colleagues for a lively conversation about the previous day’s election results! We will start with our annual meeting by reviewing the past year, and voting on a slate of new directors and board officers. Our Presidential Election Debrief program will follow with panelists: Vincent Carroll, Steve Welchert, and Dick Wadhams.

More information is available here, and members should login through the Member Center to register!

 

Two fall CAF webinars to continue the learning with David Grant!

fullsizerenderMany of you attending our program this week expressed interest in a deeper dive into David Grant’s presentation on shifting your approach to assessment of your own work and the work of your grantees. The presentation focused in part on the case for creating systems for “formative” assessments and feed back; the case for measuring with words AND numbers through the use of rubrics and qualitative assessment; and the critical importance of regularly setting aside “mission time” to focus on what’s most important.

We’ve set up two webinars over the next couple months that will allow David to dig into more details about how to practice the “formative assessment” mindset he covers in The Social Profit Handbook.

The first webinar is scheduled for Mon., Oct. 24, 2016, from 11 a.m. to noon MT. You can RSVP and get the call-in details by email hidden; JavaScript is required.

img_3132Over the next month, please consider reading at least some of his book that you received if you attended Wednesday’s program. During the webinar, David will move beyond the foundational ideas he described at the session (summarized above and outlined in his book) so he can lead you through how to apply it to your own work and your work with grantees. David poses the following questions:

What would it look like for funders and nonprofit organizations in any given place to plan backwards together from a specific vision of social profit for that place? How would they do it? He also wants to look at how resistance to change “will be a factor to manage if not fully overcome.”

SocialProfitHandbookWe’ve scheduled a second webinar for Mon., Nov. 28, 2016, from 11 a.m. to noon MT, to continue the conversation and perhaps discuss any challenges you have encountered in getting started on this work. Please mark your calendar and stay tuned for the registration link for Nov. 28.

Whether or not you attended the program this week, we hope you’ll take part in this learning community about how to engage in qualitative metrics “in order to improve future work merely than to judge past performance.”

Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or requests!

email hidden; JavaScript is required, 720.212.0433 (direct)

email hidden; JavaScript is required, 720.842.7209 (direct)

Women’s Foundation of Colorado releases 2016 Minimum Wage Research

  • September 15, 2016
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CAF member The Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) recently released a study created in partnership with the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver. The Impact of a $12.00 Minimum Wage on Women in Colorado sought to understand the implications for women, beyond earnings, of a proposed increase of the Colorado minimum wage (from $8.31 today to $12 per hour by 2020).

About The Impact of a $12.oo Minimum Wage on Women in Colorado:cover-final-report-impact-of-a-12-minimum-wage-on-women-in-coloardo-september-2016

The report explores who would be impacted by an increase in the minimum wage, how that increase would affect job growth and the Colorado economy, and how a higher minimum wage would impact child care access and affordability. Among key findings are that as a result of a minimum-wage increase, the Colorado gross domestic product will grow by $400 million and incomes will increase for 20 percent of households in Colorado.

The study also considers the impact of a minimum-wage increase on eligibility for child care, health care, nutrition and other public assistance programs. The report concludes that a very small number of Coloradans may lose benefits if the minimum wage is increased and in most of those cases the increase in income will exceed the value of benefits they may lose.

Findings from the report include:

  • An increase in the minimum wage would have a significant positive impact on Colorado women and families, lifting many working women and their children out of poverty.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour by 2020 will boost earnings and consumer spending in Colorado.
  • Increasing the minimum wage will contribute to economic growth without significant job losses or increases in consumer prices.
  • Childcare costs are not expected to increase substantially, especially in parts of the state with higher cost of living, such as Denver and Boulder.
  • A minimum wage increase would be a net positive for minimum wage earners and the state of Colorado. It would increase earnings, strengthen the economy, and reduce economic inequity in our state.

minimumwage3

Please click here to download The Impact of a $12.oo Minimum Wage on Women in Colorado or here to download the report’s Executive Summary, and contact email hidden; JavaScript is required to learn more.