A key tenet of the Community Foundation’s approach to catalyzing community is the recognition that we accomplish more together than we do alone.
One example of accomplishing more together is the foundation’s role as a convener and facilitator of much-needed teamwork among grantees serving the homeless community – the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow and Bridge House – and the resulting transformation in how these nonprofits now more effectively serve this vulnerable population.
“Following the deaths of several homeless people in Boulder, the Community Foundation brought our organizations together to explore ways to better serve the city’s homeless,” says Isabel McDevitt, Executive Director, Bridge House. “From the beginning, the foundation’s role was to champion collaboration – not just in theory, but in practice.
“Josie Heath and Elvira Ramos were at every meeting, rolling up their sleeves to help identify how we could work together to meet the needs of homeless people. The foundation went above and beyond, committing both time and financial resources to support and motivate our agencies in establishing realistic, concrete goals.”
Related: Solving homelessness within our reach
Coming from a different perspective Stuart Kingsbery – a former member of the foundation’s Board of Trustees – chose the Community Foundation to establish the Kingsbery Friends & Family Fund.
“The foundation epitomizes the idea of coming together and making philanthropy fun,” says Stuart, founder of Kingsbery CPAs. “My brother, Walter, and I had talked about how difficult it was to come up with Christmas presents for our family and friends every year. We’re not big shoppers.
“We wanted to create a way to make giving an easier and more rewarding experience. So we established a Donor-Advised Fund [DAF] with the Community Foundation and let all our longtime group of friends know about it.
“Our goal was to create a culture of giving among our circle of friends and family where we get together and talk about community needs, and how we can make a difference. We decided to focus on at-risk and disadvantaged youths, and we have a committee of four to determine where our grants go.
“It’s important to give back, and establishing the fund became a good opportunity to organize a social gathering that’s fun, too.”
Stuart went on to say that the foundation’s DAF model turned out to be “the perfect fit” for benefitting more than a single organization. “We wanted to build an endowed fund, and the foundation made that possible – and efficient. We can pick and choose where to direct our grants as needs arise and change in the area of at-risk youth, and we can conduct site visits. And every year, the foundation provides a recap of how our grantees are doing.
“We also draw on the foundation’s knowledge and expertise to make informed, intelligent decisions about our grantmaking. It’s a model that has served us well, without any hassle, yet still doing our due diligence.”