On a May morning, the Rose Community Foundation offices are abuzz with 30 women meeting in the Foundation’s boardroom. The women’s backgrounds are varied and their ages range from 30s to 80s, yet philanthropy unites them.
The women belong to Rose Women’s Organization (RWO), one of several collaborative giving groups supported by Rose Community Foundation. RWO raises money and awards grants to improve the health, education and welfare of women, children and families in Greater Denver. RWO is the successor organization to the Rose Medical Center women’s auxiliary, a charitable organization that was directly affiliated with the hospital. Following the sale of the hospital in 1995 – which led to the creation of Rose Community Foundation – the auxiliary transformed into Rose Women’s Organization and its mission expanded. (The hospital and Rose Community Foundation share a common history and heritage though we are no longer affiliated.)
“Rose Community Foundation supports several additional giving groups, including Roots & Branches Foundation and Rose Youth Foundation, each with its own specific purpose and members” says Sarah Indyk, philanthropic initiatives manager. “We provide these groups with guidance, philanthropic advising and a collaborative setting where donors with shared interests work together to make a greater difference.”
In their May 2013 meeting, the women of RWO awarded $58,500 to 11 nonprofits serving seniors and their caregivers. As Tracy Reinhard, RWO president describes, “Together, we chose a grantmaking focus that every member could personally relate to. We have all cared for, or known someone who has cared for, aging family members and loved ones. By working together and with Rose Community Foundation, we were able to identify and support nonprofits making significant strides in that area.”
But the collaborative giving experience extends beyond the dollars given. “We also help people have meaningful philanthropic experiences and ensure that their grantmaking will make a difference,” explains Indyk.
“Our board learns and grows through a process of culling, researching and ultimately making informed grants to nonprofit organizations working to address the issue we’ve identified,” explains Reinhard.
“Philanthropy has always been at its best when engaged in collaboration,” says Reinhard. “Partnerships with our members, Rose Community Foundation and the community at large provide us with expertise and resources to achieve our shared objective of building stronger and more effective nonprofits and supporting complex issues.”
RWO’s grantmaking funds come from fundraising events, earnings from an endowment fund at Rose Community Foundation, member dues, donations and proceeds from Rose Medical Center’s gift shop, a nonprofit social enterprise, at which the RWO members actively volunteer.
Since 1996, RWO has invested more than $1.6 million in grants to benefit the community. Learn more about RWO’s long history. Learn more about how to establish or get involved in a collaborative giving group by contacting the Philanthropic Services team at 303.398.7459.