Stories of Impact: Philanthropy Rooted in Tradition

Paul Gillis is a donor, co-funder and a longtime supporter of Rose Community Foundation. His aligned funding work with Rose Community Foundation includes support for the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative and MazelTot.org.

Paul was an inaugural member of the Roots & Branches Foundation, 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.

By Paul Gillis

As a newcomer to Denver seeking opportunities to get involved, I heard of a new Rose Community Foundation leadership development and collaborative grantmaking initiative for young Jewish adults called Roots & Branches Foundation. I applied and became a participant in the inaugural group. Not only did I learn about local nonprofit organizations and the populations they serve, I became friends and partners with an inspiring group of dedicated volunteers. I also experienced personal growth while exploring righteousness, respect and repair as values deeply embedded in philanthropy. Ever since that time, I have found Rose Community Foundation to be a tremendous resource and partner to my philanthropy.

I believe that I have a responsibility to those around me and to give back to our community in order to make the world a better place. My curiosity about science and nature led to an advanced degree in medical research and my current work as an investor in biotechnology companies. My hobbies include gardening, cooking, tennis and exploring Denver, but most of all I love spending time with my family. All of these passions and interests strategically guide my philanthropy. Each year, I support a range of local, national and global causes that deliver an assortment of educational and youth programs, health and social services, the arts, food, environmental and Jewish causes. Many of my own philanthropic interests align well with the mission and spectrum of Rose Community Foundation funding priorities.

In addition, I enjoy meeting regularly with the Foundation’s staff members to gain insight, share perspectives and to collaborate as a co-funder for local initiatives. I am grateful for the Foundation’s leadership in serving our community as a vital resource, a convener and a catalyst for change. Being aware that no single agency or individual can accomplish every philanthropic objective, I am proud to be able to work alongside Rose Community Foundation to address some of the challenges confronting our community together.

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