“Colorado Giving Voice” Blog

Jan. 30 webinar on tax reform’s impact for philanthropic sector

  • January 25, 2018
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Join members of Colorado Association of Funders and foundation peers from across the country for a United Philanthropy Forum update on the national policy scene and changes related to recent Tax Reform on Tues., Jan. 30 from noon – 1 p.m. 
Register for webinar here. Or take part by phone by dialing: 866.740.1260 access code: 8887430
We will cover these questions:
–Where do things stand following the passage of the federal tax bill?
–How might it affect philanthropy and the charitable sector?
–What key messages should we deliver to our representatives?

El Pomar Foundation Launches New Equine-Focused Fund

  • January 22, 2018
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El Pomar Foundation has launched The Sally Beck Fund, a new grant making fund dedicated specifically to supporting nonprofit organizations providing direct care to equines, therapeutic riding programs, equine education programs, and equine-related disaster response programs within the state of Colorado.

Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax status that support equine care, equine education, equine-related disaster response, or therapeutic riding in the state of Colorado are eligible to apply for funding.  No dollars received from the Fund may be used for capital improvements or overhead staffing costs. The Beck Fund has a separate proposal process and timeline from El Pomar’s competitive grant process. Grant applications are typically reviewed twice annually, in the spring and at the end of the year.

All applicants, funded or declined, must wait one year (12 months) before submitting a new application.  If funded, applicants must submit their final report prior to submitting a new application.

Click here to read about The Sally Beck Fund and other El Pomar Foundation grant opportunities.

Philanthropy for today or investing for tomorrow? Join author Joel Fleishman to discuss

  • January 11, 2018
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Joel Fleishman is a professor of law and public policy at Duke University and a national expert on philanthropy and foundations. His newest book, Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy for Today or Investing for Tomorrow? explores the pros and cons of perpetual foundations versus spend down foundations. (Check out a review of his book by clicking here).

CAF Members are invited to attend a discussion with Joel Fleishman on February 22, 2018 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at the University of Denver Law School. Click here to learn more and register.



Register for a National Webinar on The New Federal Tax Law and Charitable Nonprofits

  • January 9, 2018
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The National Council of Nonprofits is hosting a free nationwide webinar Thursday, January 11 at 1:00 pm titled Now What: How the New Federal Tax Law Impacts Charitable Nonprofits. The webinar will cover what actions 501(c)(3) organizations may need to take to comply with the new federal tax law, effective dates for key provisions, and the response at the state and local level.

Click here to register and learn more.

Apply for the State of the Sector Poster Session

  • December 5, 2017
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Colorado Association of Funders and Community Resource Center are teaming up for State of the Sector 2018. On January 25, 2018, we invite foundation and nonprofit professionals to join us at The Studios at Overland Crossing from 2:00pm – 5:00pm for networking, a celebration of our sector’s work, and the presentation of the Community Trailblazer Award.

We are also excited to announce the 2018 State of the Sector Inaugural Poster Session, which will highlight outstanding and diverse nonprofits and funders in the areas of impact, innovation, and partnership. Selected participants will display a 36” x 48” informational poster at the State of the Sector event and engage with attendees during the networking reception. Participating in the poster session provides an opportunity for your organization to:

-Show case its work at a celebratory event

-Promote the experience and knowledge of your team

-Contribute to the knowledge base of the sector

All State of the Sector attendees are invited to apply. To learn more and apply to feature your organization’s work, click here. Applications are due by December 7, 2017. Questions about the poster session can be directed to Mari Tanabe, email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Click here to register for State of the Sector.



Urgent Call to Action: Charitable Sector Threatened in Tax Reform Scenario

  • November 14, 2017
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Colorado Association of Funders, along with our partners and our national network United Philanthropy Forum, have all been expressing our deep concerns about pending tax reform legislation that would cause harm to the charitable sector and charitable giving. But both are under serious threat right now — especially the impact of the charitable deduction. Members of Congress need to hear from constituents — including influential philanthropy leaders right now.

We’re urging our members to do the following immediately:

1. Contact Sens. Bennet and Gardner and urge them to support an amendment to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offered by Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Stabenow (D-MI) that would provide for a universal charitable deduction, allowing taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions to take an above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions, subject to limitations. (This is critical because both the Senate and House tax reform proposals would almost double the standard deduction and leave very few taxpayers in a position of being able to take advantage of the century-old charitable deduction.)

2. Contact your Representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the House Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). CAF and our national Forum network, as well as Colorado Nonprofit Association and its national network opposes this legislation because it would cause serious harm to the charitable sector, both through the loss of charitable giving and the interjection of politics into the sector.

The timing of all this is urgent.

Thank you for your efforts. Please let us know how we can help or whether you’ve attempted to reach out to Congress on these important matters. Your voice does matter and we need to know that sufficient numbers of people are speaking up for our sector.

Caring for Colorado, Aspen Community Foundations sponsor our annual meeting featuring Center for Effective Philanthropy CEO

  • October 19, 2017
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We’re thrilled to be bringing the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s President Phil Buchanan to Colorado to keynote our annual meeting and luncheon on Nov. 30 at History Colorado Center in Denver.

The leader of one of the sector’s most influential organizations, Buchanan will lay out an argument for what

funder effectiveness looks like, drawing on new and historical examples and data to make his case.

We’ll also be reporting on our accomplishments and future plans, as well as electing 2018 board officers and new directors. Take advantage of the early-bird rate by registering now.

A big thanks to our sponsors:


CAF Board Member named Executive Director at Dresner Foundation

  • October 13, 2017
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The Dresner Foundation announced that Virginia Romano has been appointed Executive Director. Ms. Romano joined the Foundation in 2014 and previously served as Managing Director of Programs. Virginia currently serves on the CAF Board of Directors.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors stated, “after thoughtful consideration, the decision to promote Virginia to executive director was due to her unique combination of extensive experience and knowledge of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.”

The Foundation also announced that board member Kevin Furlong will serve as the Board of Directors’ Chair, as well as, the Foundation’s Chief Financial Officer.

New leader for Rose Community Foundation

  • October 5, 2017
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Rose Community Foundation named Lindy Eichenbaum Lent as the next president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation. Please read on for the update from Rose Community Foundation. 

Today, we are announcing that, following an extensive national search, Lindy Eichenbaum Lent will be the next president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation.

Lent comes to the Foundation from the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy, where she has served as executive director since 2009.

Rose Community Foundation began its search for a new president and CEO following the unexpected death of its 18-year leader Sheila Bugdanowitz in December 2016. Lent will assume the role on November 27, 2017.

“We are very excited to bring Lindy’s energy, vision and passion for the community to Rose Community Foundation,” said Jerry Glick, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the search committee. “We strongly believe that she is the right person to lead the Foundation in its next chapter.”

As executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy, Lent led the organization’s nationally recognized public-private-nonprofit partnerships to revitalize downtown Denver’s historic Civic Center Park through advocacy, capital improvements, community engagement, fundraising and programming – including the creation of Denver traditions like Civic Center EATS and the annual Independence Eve concert and fireworks. Prior to leading the Civic Center Conservancy, Lent served as communications director and senior advisor for then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

“There is no greater honor than to follow in Sheila Bugdanowitz’s legendary footsteps and build on the legacy of community impact that she created with Rose Community Foundation’s incredible staff and board members – past and present,” said Lent. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead an organization so rich in history, values and mission while giving back to the Greater Denver community I love. I am eager to work with the Foundation’s staff, board and philanthropic partners to bring creative and sustainable solutions to important issues facing our community.”

Named a 2017 Denver Business Journal “Thought Leader” and one of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Women” of 2016, Lent is a member of the Colorado Women’s Forum and currently serves on the Lowry Redevelopment Authority board of directors. She previously served on the boards of the American Jewish Committee/Colorado Chapter, the Denver Preschool Program Advisory Board, the Golden Triangle Creative District  and the University of Colorado Cancer Center Fund. She received her Bachelors in Political Science from Stanford University and a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Anne Garcia, the Foundation’s chief financial and operations officer, took on the added role of interim president and CEO since last December. She will continue to serve the Foundation as CFO/COO.

Community First Foundation’s Noah Atencio Receives Award for Creative Grantmaking

  • September 27, 2017
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We are pleased to share the exciting news that Noah Atencio, Vice President of Community Impact at Community First Foundation, was awarded the 2017 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. Check out the announcement below for more information.


Arlington, VA

The Council on Foundations announced today that Noah Atencio, Vice President of Community Impact for the Community First Foundation in Arvada, Colorado, will receive the 2017 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.

Established in honor of the late Robert Winston Scrivner, the award honors an innovative grantmaker who, with a combination of vision, principle, and personal commitment, makes a critical difference in a creative way. Atencio, who was selected by a review committee from a highly competitive field of entries, will be presented with his award in New York City on Tuesday October 10, at a special luncheon in his honor, hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. As part of the award, he will receive a $10,000 prize.

“It’s so important that philanthropists are continually innovating, so that we are not just responsive, but we’re anticipating the rapidly evolving circumstances around us,” stated Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “That’s why the Scrivner Award is so important. It helps us not just recognize and celebrate excellence in creative problem solving, it serves as a model that inspires more of the same.”

Atencio leads Community First Foundation’s grantmaking, which includes addressing the complex and fragmented mental health field in the Denver region. Recognizing that prevention and early intervention strategies were underfunded and outcome measurement difficult, Atencio saw there were opportunities to curate innovative and impactful work among existing nonprofits in the region. His nomination was based on his leadership in the creation and promotion of The Innovators Society, which funds promising, but not yet proven, approaches to mental wellness. Atencio’s efforts have led to measurable growth of five mental wellness innovations in the Denver area, and the creation of a 512-member network committed to accelerating new solutions for mental wellness.

“As a grantmaker and as a leader, Noah exemplifies the values and spirit of Robert Scrivner,” said Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of the Community First Foundation. “His launch and development of The Innovators Society demonstrates a courageous departure from traditional grantmaking. His creative approach will continue to have a deep impact on mental health and wellness in the Denver area.”

The October luncheon will include a discussion on creative grantmaking featuring past Scrivner winners Geri Mannion (2009 recipient, Carnegie Corporation of New York), Taryn Higashi (2009 recipient, Unbound Philanthropy); Theophilus Gregory (2012 recipient, El Pomar Foundation) and Shelley Trott (2014 recipient, Kenneth Rainin Foundation).


About the Council on Foundations
An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.

About Community First Foundation
Since 1975, Community First Foundation has been helping generous donors and innovative nonprofits come together to improve the quality of life and create positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond. It serves as a connector, partner, collaborator and resource to fuel the power of community for the greater good. The Foundation is proud to use its energy, leadership and trusted stewardship of financial resources to energize giving across Colorado, strengthen nonprofits, support donors and find new ways to address community needs. For more information, visit CommunityFirstFoundation.org.