October Community Update
Community First Foundation is creating a new roadmap for our future. Below is a letter from our CEO & President, Kelly Dunkin, introducing our new strategic plan.
I have so much to share.
First, I continue to be inspired by the great things Community First Foundation has accomplished over the years. What a privilege to build on a history of success as we develop a new framework for the future. I am also deeply appreciative of those who have shared their voices during the listening and learning process. Every single one of you shared an important perspective that influenced our thinking. Listening will continue to be central to everything we do moving forward, so please reach out if you haven’t had a chance to connect with me.
In addition to community listening, we gathered data to help us understand the philanthropic landscape in Colorado, and it revealed a significant investment gap in Jefferson County. We have a long history of working in Jeffco and only in the past five years expanded our work to include the Denver Metro area. Reflecting on the unmet need and tremendous opportunity in Jefferson County, a new path emerged. I am excited to share that we are renewing our commitment to Jeffco and will begin investing more resources and energy here, where we began. This focus builds on our strengths and we hope that together, with you, it will lead to meaningful and measurable positive impact in the county we call home.
With this new geographic focus, I am also happy to share our new purpose, vision and mission.
Together, making good possible.
Our vision is that all communities in Jeffco have the opportunity to thrive.
We achieve the extraordinary by activating ideas, people and resources.
I want to highlight a few things about our new purpose, vision and mission that will help define who we are and how we plan to work.
First and foremost, community is so important to us that we lead with the principle of togetherness. Nothing we do is done alone or in isolation. This becomes our mantra to make sure all of our actions are informed by what we are hearing from our community and inspired by what we can do together, with you, to make good possible!
We don’t presume to call ourselves experts on what good is. We are committing to defining it together through radical and relentless listening. We want to know what you cherish. What inspires you to invest your time and resources? What dreams and hopes do you have for the communities in which you belong? What needs healing, where are the gaps, and what do you see that no one else is paying attention to? Bring us your hopes and dreams for Jeffco and let’s work together to make it happen.
I also want to underscore our belief that ideas and people – when connected, focused and properly resourced – can accomplish extraordinary things. This includes engaging those for whom opportunity might currently feel out of reach. We can only fully understand the problems and possibilities when every voice is heard.
We realize our efforts will have implications for some of our current grantees who do not offer programing or services in Jefferson County. We will work with them to ensure a smooth transition.
We will continue to work with existing and new donors who support causes outside Jeffco. We’ll engage in broader conversations across the region, partnering with other philanthropic partners on both regional and statewide projects. We’ll share information and invitations for donors to join us on important projects, here in Jeffco, regionally and statewide.
We will continue to steward current and future nonprofit endowments from throughout the metro area and state.
ColoradoGives.org and Colorado Gives Day will continue to serve the state of Colorado as a program of Community First Foundation.
Announcing impact areas: We have been engaged in rigorous community listening and have begun to define impact areas for our work in Jeffco. This is the next element of the strategic plan that we will share.
Formalized Listening: We are developing a best-practice community listening process that will continue to guide us.
Business development and technology enhancements: We are incorporating business development into our fundraising efforts and enhancements to the ColoradoGives.org platform. We are also expanding ways to engage community members in support of Jeffco.
Infusing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) into everything we do. We are currently engaged in intensive DEI and anti-racist training to make sure that we, as individuals and as an organization, can better understand systemic racism. We recognize there is a lot of work to be done and this is only the first step. We are committed to turning what we learn into action on our path toward supporting equitable and thriving communities.
You have a voice and your voice matters.
Email us. Please reach out to me or anyone you work with at Community First Foundation with questions, concerns or hopes. If we don’t have the answers, we’ll connect you with someone who does.
Webinars: We’re developing several webinars in October to review the strategic plan and answer questions. Please RSVP for the webinar that pertains to you.Oct. 22 - I AM A DONOR Oct. 19 - I AM A GRANTEE OR NONPROFIT PARTNER Oct.22 - I AM PAST BOARD OR COMMITTEE MEMBER
We look forward to working together to make good happen!