Celebrating 25 years of service

In November 1995, Rose Community Foundation’s founding President & CEO Donald Kortz wrote the following in the Foundation’s first newsletter:

“I have learned that foundations can do much more than make grants. They can convene public and private groups around issues of importance to our community. They can partner with other local and national foundations. They can be concerned about policy that affects our quality of life. They can leverage support and accomplish much more together than anyone could alone.”

As Rose Community Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary and embarks on a new strategic plan, we are reminded that our role as a community foundation is expansive and evolving. As the Greater Denver community continues to change and new needs and opportunities emerge, we remain connected to the same values that informed our earliest work – a commitment to equity-driven leadership and partnership to support a thriving and diverse region.

  • Former Foundation presidents and CEOs Sheila Bugdanowitz (of blessed memory) and Donald Kortz with students at Grant Beacon Middle School

Rose Community Foundation was chartered as a community foundation in 1995 and endowed with initial assets of more than $170 million from the sale of Rose Medical Center, a beloved hospital created by the Denver Jewish community in 1949. When Rose Medical Center opened its doors, it was the first hospital in Denver to allow physicians to practice regardless of their race or religion. The Foundation proudly carries on the legacy of the hospital founders’ tradition of philanthropy, inclusion, and commitment to serving all residents.

“Diversity is very important to the Jewish religion. We wanted to continue that by creating something that the whole community could enjoy. Today, embracing diversity is more important than ever, and the Foundation is accomplishing that.” – Richard L. Robinson, founding trustee

Across its history, the Foundation’s grantmaking has been both responsive – making grants to support nonprofit programs, services and capacity – and proactive, creating initiatives to meet emerging or longstanding community needs. We provide an array of philanthropic services work, stewarding donors’ philanthropic assets and supporting their grantmaking, while helping nonprofits sustain their missions through the creation and growth of endowments. While serving the community-at-large, we have continued to be informed by Jewish history and traditions, enumerated in our values and strategic priorities.