15 02 2010

Welcome to The Denver Foundation’s Next Decade Blog.  As we enter a new decade, the Board and staff of The Denver Foundation are thinking about where we want to take the Foundation in the next 10 years.  As part of this process, we very much want your input and suggestions.

We’re going to spend all of this year (2010) gathering advice about the future of The Denver Foundation and our community.  Our strategic planning process that begins in 2011 will be informed by what we learn this year.  Of course, we won’t wait to implement great ideas we hear along the way.

As part of this process, I am spending some of my time talking to creative and interesting people from various walks of life who might have unique perspectives on community needs and philanthropy. 

For example, one of the first people I have arranged to talk to is Peter Goldmark.  Peter’s fascinating career includes being head of the New York Port Authority, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Publisher of the International Herald Tribune.  Peter is currently a leader at the Environmental Defense Fund.  In 1998, Peter Goldmark was the keynote speaker at the Conference of Community Foundations.  At a time when we were concerned about crime and education, Peter said the biggest issue facing community foundations was international terrorism.  This was three years before 9/11!  I have no doubt that Peter will be full of other thought-provoking wisdom regarding the future.

I am accumulating a list of people like Peter Goldmark to try to meet with this year.  The list includes clergy, artists, nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professors.  Among those on the list are Warren Buffett, Al Gore, Melinda Gates, George Soros, and Bono.

Here are my questions for you: 

  1. Tell us where you think The Denver Foundation should go in the next 10 years.  What are the biggest issues our community will face – and how can we help?
  2. As I meet with interesting people around the country, what questions should I ask these people about the future?
  3. Who are some other interesting people around the country that we should consider consulting?  (And, if you have any connections with any of the five people mentioned above, please let us know.)

 Thank you for participating in this project.  We hope you’ll keep checking back throughout the year.




3 responses

19 02 2010

David is just one foundation CEO who is using a blog to generate conversation and ideas. Here is a great article on Beth’s Blog about CEOs using Social Media: http://bit.ly/cRcVy7

23 02 2010
Sharon Barber

Wide or deep is an interesting concept. Since Las Animas Helping Hands began six years ago we have tried to do both, help as many people as we can in southeastern Colorado with as much as we can. We do what we can, when we can. We provide a broad range of emergency assistance services for basic life needs for people in Bent County, but we also provide free transportation to medical appointments, free income tax assistance, assistance with helping communicate with other organizations, and filling out forms needed for other agencies. We are a 100% volunteer organization. Therefore, we do have more funds available to help people in need. Help is needed now for so many people and it seems we need to help with what we can. The Denver Foundation provided a Critical Needs Grant to Las Animas Helping Hands in June 2009 that was state wide which was very valuable in increasing our food pantry’s capacity to help more people with food. We remain very grateful! I know that The Denver Foundation typically helps nonprofits in the ten surrounding counties of Denver, but reaching out to the rural areas again would be a wonderful resource for rural communities.
Sharon Barber
Las Animas Helping Hands, Executive Director

23 02 2010
David Miller

Dear Sharon,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. There are two main parts of The Denver Foundation. The first is what we call our Community Endowment. Under our 1925 Declaration of Trust, grants from the Community Endowment are legally restricted to the 7-county metro Denver area. The second part of The Denver Foundation consists of charitable funds that we manage for families, individuals, businesses, and social groups. Grants from these funds can be awarded anywhere in Colorado and beyond. The Critical Needs Fund, which supported food banks and food pantries throughout our state, is part of the second group. I hope that’s helpful.


David Miller, The Denver Foundation

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