As a community foundation, it has been the job of The Denver Foundation since 1925 to take the pulse of the community and to make sure we are most effectively using the charitable resources contributed by generous donors over multiple generations.
To determine the community's concerns, the foundation regularly conducts outreach through listening campaigns. This week, we released the results of our most recent Listening Campaign, which asked nearly 800 residents of Metro Denver what they envision for the community's future. I'm pleased to share highlights of the results with you.
First, in sharp contrast to the tenor of the contentious national dialogue, the Listening Campaign discovered that a widely diverse range of Metro Denver residents share a generally unified vision for the future, and an understanding of the challenges that the community faces.
The Future We Envision
Our focus groups, interviews and surveys reached Metro Denver residents from a wide range of geographic areas, across the spectrums of income, racial and ethnic groups, ages, abilities and political backgrounds.
Among the elements of their shared vision for the community's future:
Challenges the Community Faces
As they shared similar visions of the community, respondents' comments about community challenges focused on three areas of need:
Other key areas of concern
Community members also identified several other related areas of concern. In fact, respondents often noted that these elements and those above are deeply intertwined; one cannot be solved without looking at the others.
How Philanthropy Can Make a Difference
The survey asked members of the community to consider how the philanthropic sector -- foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and individual donors -- could best take action to help meet community needs. Among the suggestions:
We hear the community clearly asking for action in the areas of education, economic opportunity, and meeting basic human needs. Of course, many leaders in all sectors are working on these issues. Our Board is now looking at where The Denver Foundation and our resources can be of most assistance, and we are continuing our conversations with the community on how best to do this.
I invite you to view the full report and your share reflections at http://denverfoundation.org/listening. We've been listening to the community since 1925, and your voice, along with the voices of other community members, is important to thefuture of Metro Denver.