Kirsten Swanson joined The Denver Foundation in October as the advisor relations officer. Kirsten brings with her 10 years of industry experience supporting individuals, corporations, and advisors in philanthropy and community support.
The advisor relations officer is a new role for the foundation that reinforces our commitment to positive partnerships with the professional advisor community as they help their clients meet their financial, charitable, and business goals. The foundation is evolving to become the go-to partner in philanthropic planning for financial advisors in the area.
“I am thrilled to join The Denver Foundation,” says Kirsten. “Philanthropy has always been part of my life. I hope to bring that to the Metro Denver community; in helping our organizations and individuals see their full potential, reach their goals, and have equitable and fulfilling futures.”
Growing up in Alaska, Kirsten’s parents were always big on community. They instilled in her and her sister the immense importance of giving back. They volunteered their time and donated what they could. In 2019 they were able to give more to their community and established the Swanson Family Foundation. The Swanson Family Foundation works to serve the children of Alaska by funding organizations that support Alaska’s youth and their families’ foundational needs such as safety, security, shelter, mental and physical health, and education. Kirsten serves as a vice president for her family foundation.
Having played a significant role in the establishment of her own family foundation, Kirsten brings a unique perspective to help guide advisors through the intricacies of the philanthropic world.
Kirsten graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a degree in marketing and management. She began her professional career in marketing, but quickly discovered how much she missed giving back to her community through her work.
Kirsten started her nonprofit career in San Francisco at the American Cancer Society where she served as a development manager for breast cancer initiatives. In this role, she worked to grow networks, pave pathways to new markets, and maintain and cultivate existing relationships.
While she loved being on the sunny west coast, she longed for her home and family in Alaska. When a position in Anchorage became available, she jumped at the opportunity to continue similar work close to home. While working full time for the Anchorage Museum, she also enrolled in school and graduated with a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.
Kirsten brings her talent and passion for philanthropy and relationship-building into everything she does. She now holds the title and crown of Miss Alaska for America. While Kirsten had never considered herself a pageant girl, let alone a queen, when she was invited to participate, she couldn’t have predicted the incredible journey it turned out to be. She notes that it has been an amazing opportunity to represent the state of Alaska and serve her community in a new way. Kirsten will pass on the crown in May. She wants to continue to use her platform to educate others about the work of nonprofits and the power of philanthropy.
Moving to Denver, Kirsten knew she wanted to find an organization that was brave enough to have difficult conversations. She loved The Denver Foundation for its history in the community and its audacity and adaptability. The Denver Foundation has nearly 100 years of deeply personal connections to the community. And as the advisor relations officer, Kirsten wants to help professional advisors plug into that community and use philanthropy in a way to better support their clients.
Kirsten lives with her airman fiancé and their daughter. In their spare time, the family of three love spending quality time on outdoor adventures together. You might even be able to catch them over a game of trivia at one of our local breweries.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Kirsten to learn more about how The Denver Foundation partners with professional advisors, including advisor-managed funds. firstname.lastname@example.org.