Celebrating 25 years of success for the Community Foundation Boulder County |
The focus of the Community Foundation Boulder County mirrors the people and times of Boulder County.
One example is a fund created years ago to address the needs of the Boulder County GLBQT community – the Open Door Fund.
“When we created the Open Door Fund, it was controversial … it was quite a long time ago. But it was something we felt was really needed by our community and we responded to that need,” recalls Gretchen Minekime, vice president of communications for the Community Foundation Boulder County.
In addition to the many programs and initiatives the foundation supports, help goes to those severely impacted by natural disasters – natural events that ravage the people and land in their path as did the 2013 flood and significant fires over the years.
Cultivating a Culture of Giving
Currently, the Community Foundation has around 300 donor-advised funds – funds set up by an individual, family or business owner who then donates money into it.
“Technically, the money then belongs to the Community Foundation, but the donors recommend where the grants from the fund go. Some of our donors know exactly what they want to do. But for those who don’t, we share knowledge of community needs that we gather from looking at the data and listening to community members,” says Minekime.
“We’ve also worked very hard to build up the Community Trust, which is an unrestricted general endowment.”
Monies from the Community Trust are awarded each year to nonprofits after an extensive review process, which includes an onsite visit from volunteer community members who are geographically and ethnically diverse. The volunteers spend several months determining which programs to recommend as grant recipients to the Board of Trustees.
“This is another way in which we accomplish more together than we do alone. These volunteers give of their perspective, time and leadership to learn about their community and make these difficult decisions about the best ways to invest money,” says Minekime.
All of these efforts add up to a meaningful distinction: charitable giving through the Community Foundation is more than simply opening your wallet.
“That’s what’s special about giving through the Community Foundation Boulder County. You work with us, you give through us, you’re part of us and go to events with us and get donor education sessions with us – and you feel like you’re part of a community,” says Minekime.
“It’s something you can have trust and confidence in because of how we do our work and steward our finances. If people are going to invest, they need to trust that it’s done right.”
The Boulder Source is pleased to honor the Community Foundation Boulder County as our October Featured Friend. As part of the 25th anniversary, the foundation has refined its focus around three key principles that guide its efforts to make a difference countywide: informed decision-making; accomplishing more together than alone; and being responsive to community needs. Stay tuned as we celebrate the positive impact this organization has made.
Read Part 1: Celebrating 25 Years as a Community Catalyst
Part 2: Catalyzing Community through Informed Decisions
Part 3: Accomplishing More Together
To find out how to make a difference as a donor, grant applicant or volunteer, visit:
Photos courtesy Community Foundation Boulder County