2019 was a pivotal year for Rose Community Foundation. We underwent a comprehensive strategic planning process to guide our work going forward while continuing to lean into pressing issues facing our community through our grantmaking, philanthropic services and advocacy. We are pleased to present this annual report as a celebration of a momentous year and the important work of our grantees and donors.
Throughout 2019, our board of trustees and staff participated in an intentional and thorough process to reflect on the strengths, needs and opportunities both within our region and within our organization. Through interviews, focus groups and surveys, we engaged hundreds of diverse voices to provide vital feedback and insights that informed our work. As our board affirmed at the outset of our strategic planning process, we remain steadfast in three core commitments: we are committed to strengthening the seven-county Greater Denver region; we are committed to supporting the local Jewish community, and we are committed to supporting the philanthropy of our donors, whose generosity is a powerful force for regional good.
Rose Community Foundation has a rich history of living its values through grantmaking, advocacy and philanthropic services in pursuit of making our community a better place for all. At the same time, through nearly every conceivable lens, the seven-county Greater Denver region – and the world around us – has changed dramatically in the quarter-century since Rose Community Foundation was created. The dynamics of our ever-shifting region obligate us to ensure that the Foundation’s work – and the ways in which the Foundation conducts that work – continue evolving to meet the community needs and philanthropic best practices of today and tomorrow.
The strength of a strategic plan is tested by how it informs and performs in times of rapid change and unanticipated needs. Just two months after we unveiled Rose Community Foundation’s new path forward, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the world, our region and our daily lives in unprecedented ways, creating ripple effects that will impact our community for years to come. In response, our team has fully embraced the mission, vision, values, goals and priorities of the strategic plan – accelerating its implementation in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent economic disruption. At the same time, recent tragedies have focused long-overdue attention on historic structural and institutional racism within our country and our community in very public and personal ways. The subsequent national and local dialogue is creating actionable opportunities to advance racial equity and develop reforms to combat systemic racism. Our new strategic plan has prepared us to respond and engage on all of these fronts with humility, agility, competency and compassion.
April 27, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary of Rose Community Foundation’s creation from the proceeds of the sale of Rose Medical Center. While our founders never could have imagined this pandemic, in many ways, this is a moment for which we were built. Twenty-five years after our founding, our roots and values continue to inform our focus on the health, well-being and economic stability of our community, and those commitments are evident in our ongoing philanthropic response to the COVID-19 crisis.
2019 was a year of meaningful activity in support of our community, and we are proud to showcase some of our grantee and donor stories within this report. The Foundation granted $9.5 million to nonprofits in the five program areas in which we have been focused for most of the last quarter-century. Our donor-advised fundholders granted an additional $5.6 million from the assets we manage on their behalf. Additionally, the nonprofit endowment funds we steward received payouts of $9.2 million to support their ongoing operating needs. Collectively, that adds up to $24.3 million in meaningful investments in the nonprofits and communities of our region.
Reflecting on 2019 with the hindsight we have in the middle of 2020, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to align our work and values in order to maximize the impact of the Foundation’s efforts in our region. The time and energy expended on planning in 2019 has positioned us well to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities to promote racial justice with a values-aligned, equity-driven and community-responsive approach, and it will enable us to meet the evolving needs of our community for years to come.