Roots & Branches Foundation

Roots & Branches Foundation 2016 members

Get Involved. Get Connected. Give Together.

Roots & Branches Foundation is a collaborative philanthropy program at Rose Community Foundation for Jewish people ages 25 to 40 who are interested in giving together to help shape their Jewish and broader communities.

Membership

Each year, Roots & Branches Foundation brings together a diverse, talented and motivated group of Jewish people who work together to make a difference in the Greater Denver community.

We value diversity. Participants’ Jewish backgrounds range from secular to Orthodox. Some are native Coloradans and others are newcomers to the area. Their occupations vary from meteorologist to teacher, stay-at-home-parent to lawyer, and yoga instructor to psychiatrist. They are foodies, activists and musicians. This year we are pleased to begin accepting applications from people who are employed by Jewish organizations.

Roots & Branches members…

  • Leverage time, talent and personal philanthropy to make a greater difference.
  • Connect Jewish values to the good they seek to do in the community.
  • Learn about and connect with Greater Denver and Boulder’s Jewish communities.
  • Research and discuss community needs.
  • Engage in strategic philanthropy – identify a community need or opportunity, learn about nonprofits working in that area and award grants totaling up to $50,000.
  • Become a part of the next generation of funders at Rose Community Foundation.

View our 2016 members.

Applying

Applying to participate in Roots & Branches Foundation is a two-part process:

  • A written application, accessible here. You need to create a login and password to access the application. To preview the questions on the application, click here.
  • An informal, informational interview with an alum of Roots & Branches.

The application deadline is Monday, May 22, 2017, at noon, but in order to guarantee you will receive an alumni interview, please apply or let us know that you plan to apply as early as possible. You can request an interview by emailing Emily Kornhauser.

The Commitment

All applicants should reside within the Greater Denver community of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties, and should identify as Jewish.

Members are required to:

  • Attend and participate in all meetings (one pre-approved absence is permitted).
  • Spend some time outside of meetings reading, researching issues and meeting with nonprofits for site visits.
  • Make a personally meaningful donation to the Roots & Branches grantmaking pool. We recognize that members have diverse circumstances and we believe philanthropy is defined by intention and commitment, not by gift size, so there is no recommended donation amount and amounts contributed are kept confidential.

Members of Roots & Branches Foundation work together in consensus; all voices and perspectives are considered before a final decision is reached. This kind of collaboration requires participants to be curious, open, patient and committed to process, not just outcomes. Working as a team in this way is rewarding, but we realize it is not for everyone. We ask applicants to consider their comfort with group collaboration before applying.

The Meetings

Members of Roots & Branches Foundation will meet for six sessions over six months, from July through December 2017. Rose Community Foundation staff supports the group and facilitates its meetings.

2017 Meeting Dates and Times
Meetings will be held at various locations throughout Greater Denver and Boulder community.

  • Sunday, July 23, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 9, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 10, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19, 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 13, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Additionally, there will be a group service project in September (date, time and location to be determined) and a Shabbat celebration for members and their partners on Friday January 12, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

Alumni

Night of Giving
Join the Roots & Branches Foundation alumni community for a Night of Giving! This event is open to alumni and those interested in applying.

When: Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Galvanize, 1062 Delaware Street, Denver
A vegetarian dinner will be served.

What to expect?
Together we will learn about a handful of local organizations that are supporting vulnerable populations in light of the current political climate and challenges facing the community.  By the end of the night, attendees will wrestle with why it is important and what it means to act as Jewish people in today’s political climate and work in small groups to allocate funds. 100% of dollars donated will go directly to the nonprofits selected and up to $1,000 of matching funds are available.

RSVP by May 3
Your donation is your RSVP. Give through Rose Community Foundation’s secure online donation page. Select Roots & Branches Night of Giving 2017 from the “Please direct my gift to” drop-down menu. Please indicate in the notes if you are RSVPing for more than one person or if you will not be attending.

The minimum requested contribution is $30 per person. 100% of funds donated will go directly to the nonprofits you collaboratively select on May 11. There is up to $1,000 of matching funds available through Rose Community Foundation. Please give as generously as you can. Consider donating the amount you’d spend on a night out.

Roots & Branches Foundation 10th Anniversary Alumni Opportunity
2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Roots & Branches Foundation. We celebrated by trying new ways for alumni to connect and reconnect to one another, to Jewish philanthropy and to Rose Community Foundation. The programs included alumni mini-grants to support peer lead Jewish and/or philanthropic experiences, training for alumni interested in starting their own giving circle, and connecting alumni interested in serving on the board of a Jewish organization. Stay tuned as these opportunities grow in 2017.

Grantmaking

Since 2007, Roots & Branches Foundation has granted more than $729,000 to strengthen the Greater Denver and Boulder Jewish and broader communities.

The application period is now closed. The Roots & Branches Request Invitations for Funding (PDF) is provided for reference only.

View our recent grants.

Background

Roots & Branches Foundation was created in 2007 as a result of Rose Community Foundation’s Next Generation Initiative, which sought to explore and deepen the connection of Jews in their 20s and 30s to Jewish life. Roots & Branches was modeled after Rose Youth Foundation, and was shaped with input from Jews in their 20s and 30s from throughout Greater Denver and Boulder.

The Foundation’s goals in creating Roots & Branches Foundation were to:

  • Empower young Jewish adults to explore their community and address its needs and challenges through the practice of strategic, Jewish philanthropy.
  • Develop current and future community leaders by helping them connect their Jewish values and identities to the difference they seek to make in the world around them.
  • Engage a diverse group of Jewish people in their 20s and 30s in a meaningful, shared Jewish experience.
  • Engage young Jewish adults in the work of Rose Community Foundation and broaden the Foundation’s grantmaking perspective and reach.

Donations

If you are interested in making a donation to help increase the funds Roots & Branches Foundation will grant this year, visit Rose Community Foundation's online donation page (In the "Please direct my gift to" field, choose Roots & Branches Foundation.) or contact Sarah Indyk, director of special projects, at sindyk@rcfdenver.org or 303.398.7416. All donations to Roots & Branches Foundation exclusively fund the group’s grantmaking.

Publications

Shaping Our Jewish Future, Roots & Branches Foundation's Report to the Community