Denver, CO

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Denver Foundation
The Organization

The Organization:

With more than $800 million in total assets, including an endowment of $125 million and a 94-year history, The Denver Foundation (the Foundation) is one of the largest and most experienced community foundations in the Rocky Mountain region. The Denver Foundation is rooted in Metro Denver and is guided by a mission to inspire people and mobilize resources to strengthen the community.

The Denver Foundation serves seven counties in Metro Denver: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson. It serves three roles: working with community leaders to address the core challenges facing the region; stewarding its endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver; and managing charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses.

The Denver Foundation envisions a community where all residents have the opportunity for a high quality of life. The Foundation works with donors, nonprofits and the community through grantmaking, nonprofit capacity building, and leadership development programming for communities of color.

A cornerstone of the Foundation’s work stems from its partnership with local donors and its stewardship of a variety of donor-influenced funds. The Denver Foundation has over 1,000 component funds, including donor-advised, scholarship, field of interest, designated, and nonprofit endowment funds. More than 640 of these component funds are donor-advised; they are established by donors who are families, individuals, and corporations, groups large and small that select the Foundation to steward charitable assets for a variety of philanthropic reasons.

In 2018, the Foundation’s total grantmaking exceeded $79 million, of which $54 million came from donor-advised funds alone. Another $4.1 million of that total came from scholarship funds. The Foundation’s donors are generous and engaged in supporting a wide variety of organizations and issues, with the common goal of improving the community and the world. This scale of grantmaking is significant compared to peer foundations in the field.

In 2011, after an extensive listening campaign, the Foundation prioritized community grantmaking from its permanent endowment into four community impact areas: Basic Human Needs, Economic Opportunity, Education, and Leadership & Equity.

The Foundation also operates a number of field of interest funds, ranging from increasing access to behavioral health, introducing young people of lower-incomes to the performing arts, and supporting legal representation for immigrants at risk of deportation.

The Denver Foundation also makes grants directly to community residents through its nationally recognized Strengthening Neighborhoods program. Moreover, it supports the impact of the nonprofit sector by launching and supporting large scale initiatives and building the strength of nonprofits through technical assistance and leadership development supports.


§  Denver, Colorado

Position Overview

The Position:

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Denver Foundation reports to the Board of Trustees and is accountable for leading the organization in pursuit of its mission, including executive leadership of the Foundation, its grantmaking, investments and initiatives, stewardship of its current and future donors, and ensuring its financial health and sustainability. The CEO works closely with the Board and The Denver Foundation’s diverse and talented team of 52 staff members to achieve the goals and objectives of the Foundation.

Priorities of the position include but are not limited to:

§  Updating and implementing the core vision to inspire staff, board, donors, and the community, including development of a new strategic plan.

§  Convening and collaborating with all community constituents to achieve impactful solutions to problems facing the most vulnerable in the Metro Denver region.

§  Continuing a strong focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and racial equity within the Foundation, and in the community while bringing new voices to the table.

§  Diversifying and growing the donor base, working closely with current donors and growing unrestricted assets.

§  Identifying business and financial models geared toward sustainability in the context of a competitive and evolving community foundation landscape.

§  Ensuring infrastructure, technology, processes and systems are scalable and can keep pace with rapid growth in a changing environment.

As The Denver Foundation approaches its 100th Anniversary, with plans to move into its own building, this is an outstanding opportunity for a strategic and visionary leader to serve a community experiencing explosive growth and fast changing demographics. The incoming CEO will be a fully invested and an active participant in the Metro Denver community, helping to highlight and address its most pressing problems while working in collaboration with various community stakeholders to be catalysts for the common good.


Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership & Board Relations

§  Forge a powerful vision for the Foundation that inspires and unites staff, Board, donors and the community, positioning it to continue as an invaluable community resource.

§  Lead the organization in a new strategic planning process, leverage current successes and identify new and innovative ways of creating change and investing in creative solutions that have positive impact in the community.

§  Ensure sustainability and continued relevance of the Foundation; identify forward-thinking business and financial models that respond to the changing and competitive community foundation landscape and the needs of a growing and changing demographic in the Metro Denver area.

§  Support and facilitate the Board’s work in exercising their governance responsibilities through collaboration, communication and education regarding local issues and innovative trends in philanthropy.

Fundraising & Donor Relations

§  Grow the culture of giving in the Metro Denver area by diversifying and expanding the donor base and engaging and educating a new generation of donors; work with the existing Foundation donor base in new ways identifying unique resources, ideas and aspirations.

§  Build assets, while leveraging the community endowment, to support projects in the community and make the Foundation an even more effective engine for community change.

§  Support the Philanthropic Services Group and the Finance & Administration team in providing high quality donor services including accurate and timely fund statements, grantmaking services including financial management, grantmaking services, issue briefings and other programs and events, and opportunities for collaboration between donors.

§  Participate in fundraising strategy development for all types of gifts and donors.

Community Leadership & Engagement

§  Promote the Foundation’s visibility and serve as a leading voice for philanthropy in the Metro Denver region and beyond.

§  Cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with other locally based foundations to create a vibrant community for all Metro Denver residents.

§  Build effective coalitions with donors, advisors, nonprofits, grassroots organizers, policy makers, the business community and government to achieve common goals and share investment and best practices.

§  Actively participate in the community; understands the changing demographics and racial dynamics of the Metro Denver community.

§  Champion the various aspects of the Foundation including investments, donors, and nonprofit grantees which work to improve our communities.

§  Engage in clear and effective communications and support consistent branding of the Foundation to raise its profile and reach new audiences.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Equity

§  Lead work in the area of racial equity and inclusion; create a pathway forward rooted in the Foundation’s historic leadership of community-centered work.

§  Engender a culture of continuous learning, listening, and input about effective methodologies to support inclusiveness and belonging, modeling these values inside and outside the Foundation.

§  Support inclusion and racial equity in both philanthropic strategies and in commitment to community programs that lift up and empower all Metro Denver citizens.

§  Commitment to constituent and community leadership as a core value for nonprofits and the Foundation.

§  Serve as a constructive voice at the center of key conversations about racial equity and social justice in Metro Denver.


Organizational & Internal Leadership

§  Champion an inclusive and racially equitable workplace that values employee development and contribution, facilitates cross-functional cooperation and teamwork, supports constructive resolution of conflicts, and is steadfastly dedicated to serving donors and the community broadly.

§  Promote a results-oriented and “coaching” culture that values strong links between individual and team performance and overall organizational performance measures.

§  Ensure the organizational structure, systems and business processes support the strategic imperatives and growth of the Foundation and enable staff to do their best work.

§  Align and empower the Foundation to handle change and drive new models and ways of working together.

The Leader:

Professional Experience:

  • Minimum 10 years of senior executive management.
  • Executive and strategic leadership experience in a community foundation, other grantmaking foundation, or large/complex nonprofits; private sector candidates should be service-oriented and have experience sitting on boards and volunteering in their communities.
  • Track record of providing strategic and visionary leadership at a large complex organization that inspires new ways of doing business that bring about positive change.
  • Experienced fundraiser with a track record of building innovative and lasting partnerships and growing diverse donor bases from a variety of sources.
  • Familiarity with the latest thinking on community foundation structure, purpose, financial model, and trends.
  • Experience in, or deep understanding of, investment management and complex financial administration.
  • Experience working in a community setting and responsive to community needs.
  • Commitment to and experience working with organizations prioritizing racial equity work.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passion for and commitment to innovative community philanthropy.
  • Champions a racial equity lens at all levels of the organization and in the community.
  • Experienced community leader comfortable operating in diverse settings.
  • Ability to unite and align stakeholders and promote positive change.
  • Exceptional bridge builder; understands the power of collective impact.
  • Shared leadership style; motivate, develop and build all teams across the Foundation.
  • Effective spokesperson for the Foundation; a public presence and approachable.
  • Demonstrated ability to listen, learn, and collaborate with all constituents.
  • Change agent; comfortable with change and complexity.
  • Demonstrated business acumen.
  • Strong value system and work ethic; authentic and leads by example.
  • Knowledge of the Metro Denver region is highly desirable.



§  A graduate degree in administration or business administration, graduate degree, or other post-graduate work is preferred.

§  Relevant work experience may be substituted for undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Physical Demands of the Job:

§  Daily communication via phone.

§  Frequent extended hours in front of a computer screen with or without accommodations.

§  Regular group and public speaking.

§  Occasional activities occurring outdoors.

The Denver Foundation’s Anti-Discrimination Policy:

The Denver Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

The Denver Foundation practices and champions inclusiveness in our community. We honor the diverse strengths, needs, voices, and backgrounds of all members of our community. Candidates from traditionally marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply.


The Denver Foundation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience coupled with an attractive, comprehensive benefits package.

How To Apply

If you or someone in your network is interested in exploring this opportunity, please submit a cover letter and resume to:

Janet Albert – Partner, Bridge Partners

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