building on the past; looking ahead to the future
Grounded in our history and enduring values, but with our eyes, hearts, and minds enthusiastically focused on the future, 2018 was a year of building on our strengths and developing new muscles to propel us forward. While the stories in this report represent only a fraction of the work we supported in 2018, they highlight Rose Community Foundation’s time-honored intentions around incubating ideas with long-term commitments, fostering philanthropy in creative ways, being responsive to community needs, shaping the dialogue for social change, and stewarding donor intent as a philanthropic partner.
Our grantmaking in the longstanding focus areas of Aging, Child and Family Development, Education, Health, and Jewish Life continued to support organizations and communities across the seven-county Greater Denver area. Additionally, we expanded our Community Action work with over $1 million to support organizations that serve immigrants, refugees, and communities vulnerable to hate and discrimination – while also hosting a community convening on the importance and challenges of the 2020 Census. In 2018, 60 donors joined us in our Community Action work, demonstrating our shared commitment to ensuring that Greater Denver feels safe and welcoming for all.
We were also joined by many of our donors and community partners in making significant investments to save JCC Denver, whose insurmountable debt was threatening its survival. We were honored to lead a coalition of funders to pay off the debt, laying the groundwork for what we hope will be a new era of financial stability and community investment in this essential resource for so many.
It was also our final year of incubating the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado (LCFC). Created by Rose Community Foundation and partners in 2007, LCFC began the transition (completed in early 2019) to becoming an independent nonprofit as a result of successful organizational growth and statewide expansion. As a longtime investor in nonprofit capacity-building and emerging community issues, it was a natural fit for Rose Community Foundation to incubate LCFC and support its work over the past 12 years, and it is with immense pride that we watch LCFC soar to new heights.
We continued to cultivate, manage, and steward unrestricted donations, designated funds, donor-advised funds, legacy gifts, and giving circles to help connect donors to the causes that matter to them. Additionally, the Foundation has provided continued support to local nonprofit organizations in their planned-giving, endowment-building, and long-term sustainability efforts with 39 nonprofits participating in the Foundation’s capacity-building trainings, individual coaching and financial incentives.
For our donors, making a lasting impact on the community through charitable giving starts with exploring their values. Our philanthropic services team continued to guide donors and multi-generational families through processes to explore and articulate the values that matter to them and inspire their strategies for giving back to their community.
In 2018, a wildly fluctuating stock market left our investment returns much lower than we would have hoped, but our three-year averages remain strong, and 2019 has seen a positive recovery so far.
Next year will mark Rose Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary. The nearly two-and-half decades since the Foundation was created have seen dramatic changes in Greater Denver’s growth, demographics, needs and funding landscape – not to mention dramatic changes in the world around us. As stewards of both the Foundation’s legacy and its financial resources, we owe it to the seven-county region we serve to ensure that we are addressing the community needs of both today and tomorrow – and operating in ways that best support that goal. With that in mind, we have embarked on a strategic planning process that will chart our path forward for the future. We are engaging a wide range of voices and viewpoints in this work and deeply appreciate everyone who is part of our journey – past, present and future.
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent Katherine Gold
President and CEO Chair, Board of Trustees