Monday, February 24, 2020 -
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Rose Community Foundation reorients strategy

Lindy Eichenbaum Lent (Ellen Jaskol)

Rose Community Foundation released a new strategic plan and vision that will guide the Foundation moving forward. The full plan is available on the Rose Community Foundation website.

“The dynamics of our ever-changing region obligate us to ensure that the foundation’s work continues evolving to meet the community needs and philanthropic best practices of today and tomorrow,” said President and CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent.

The new strategic plan is designed to meet the changing needs of the region’s growing and increasingly diverse population, while remaining grounded in the foundation’s Jewish history and animating Jewish values.

Though much of the organization’s core DNA remains the same, the refreshed approach offers greater organizational flexibility, responsiveness and cohesion in addressing the multi-faceted challenges and opportunities facing greater Denver.

“The foundation’s board of trustees engaged in comprehensive learning, reflection and planning over the course of 2019, collectively asking and answering questions about the region’s pressing needs and opportunities and, in complement, elucidating the foundation’s vision for how it will serve the region in the future,” said incoming Board Chair Steven A. Cohen.

“We are deeply grateful to the numerous partners in the Jewish community whose thoughtful feedback helped inform this strategy,” said Jewish life program officer Vanessa Bernier.

“Rose Community Foundation has been and will continue to be a pluralistic funder, recognizing that in different Jewish settings, practices and perspectives on diversity and inclusion may look different.

“We embrace this understanding and believe providing support across the myriad manifestations of Jewish life in our region is important to our Jewish ecosystem.”

RCF was chartered as a community foundation in 1995 and endowed with initial assets of more than $170 million from the sale of Rose Medical Center, the hospital created by the Denver Jewish community in 1949. RCF has always been an independent nonprofit entity separate from the hospital, but it proudly carries on the legacy of the hospital founders’ tradition of philanthropy, nondiscrimination and commitment to serving residents and enhancing the quality of life across the Greater Denver region.

RCF remains committed to dedicated grantmaking in support of the region’s Jewish communities. Parallel to the RCF’s strategic planning process throughout 2019, RCF developed a strategy specific to its Jewish life program area in order to encourage innovation, enhance organizational effectiveness and increase Jewish engagement in greater Denver.

The new Jewish life grantmaking strategy aims to encourage a dynamic and inclusive Jewish ecosystem that embraces a myriad of ways to be Jewish and builds enduring community infrastructure to sustain it. In addition to priorities around increasing the strength and capacity of Jewish organizations and supporting programs that are reflective of diverse Jewish communities and offer meaningful and relevant opportunities to engage in Jewish life, RCF will also support Jewish efforts seeking to advance social justice by engaging Jewish people and using Jewish values and traditions to respond to key social and economic issues of our time.

The foundation’s legacy guides and informs the strategic plan’s key elements: an updated mission, vision and set of values, as well as new goals and strategies to guide the foundation’s work moving forward.

Mission: To advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy.

Vision: A thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity.

Values: Universal in aspiration and anchored in Rose Community Foundation’s Jewish roots and legacy, the following values guide the work that the Foundation does and how it does it, both within the Jewish community and in the Greater Denver region.

JUSTICE

We take action to address pressing issues in our community in pursuit of fairness, humanity and justice.

Do not stand idly by in the face of suffering or injustice | Lo Ta’amod Al Dam Rei’echa

EQUITY

We advance a more equitable region that provides opportunity and access for all, recognizing that historic and systemic barriers exist based on race, resources and gender.

The ethical responsibility to right the scales of justice through philanthropy | Tzedakah

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

We believe all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orien tation, ability or country of origin — are equal and worthy of dignity, honor and full inclusion in community life.

All of humanity is created in a divine image | B’tzelem El-him

EMPATHY

We strive to understand the perspectives of individuals, communities and organizations in our region, and to ground our actions in this understanding.

Our experiences — historic and modern-day — create inherent empathy with those in need of support or alliance | Avadim Hayinu B’Mitzrayim

GENEROSITY

We encourage and practice generosity, and our giving is informed by the interests, needs and dignity of the recipients.

Honor and uphold the dignity of others | Kavod Habriot

TRANSFORMATION THROUGH COLLABORATION

We join with others to work toward a common vision.

Humanity is in partnership to create a more whole and perfect world | Tikkun Olam

COMMUNITY

We believe our region needs strong, interconnected communities and honor Rose Community Foundation’s Jewish roots with an enduring commitment to supporting the Greater Denver Jewish community as well as the Greater Denver region as a whole.

Responsibility to communal needs | Kehillah

RCF’s overall strategic plan also recognizes and responds to the importance of cross-cutting opportunities and responsiveness. The challenges faced by the Greater Denver community do not fit neatly into buckets, nor do the solutions.

As such, along with continued independent grantmaking in the region’s Jewish community, RCF will organize its efforts in support of the following three goals:

• Advancing equity and justice;

• Fostering an inclusive and engaged Greater Denver; and

• Increasing resources dedicated to strengthening the region.

Grant opportunities aligning with these new goals will still exist in the five historic areas in which RCF has funded, and opportunities will become available in some important new areas as well.

“With the publication of this report, Rose Community Foundation ends its strategic planning journey and begins an exciting new phase for the organization,” said Lent.

“We are eager to shift our focus now to setting the necessary pieces in place as we implement the ideas spelled out in this plan. We greatly appreciate the longstanding and continued partnership with the greater Denver community as we enter an important new chapter.”




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