Public Policy & Advocacy Work


The Denver Foundation has always led on issues of importance to our community. We believe we have a responsibility to take bold steps to advance racial equity and drive meaningful systemic change. Our community believes we have this responsibility, too. 

To that end, the Foundation has added resources to develop a Public Policy Framework and Principles to inform our activity in policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels in alignment with our mission, vision, and core values.

Want to receive regular updates about The Denver Foundation’s activity in public policy issues aligning with our mission, vision, and core values? Sign up for our new newsletter.

 

Policy Principles


Economic Opportunity. We will consider policy proposals that strengthen community wealth building and workforce development opportunities across Metro Denver.

Education (K-12). We will consider policy proposals that prioritize racial equity in the K-12 public school system and increase school funding equitably.

Environment and Climate. We will consider policy proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create resilient communities across the Metro Denver region.

Housing. We will consider policy proposals that increase the affordable housing supply and establish systemic support to address barriers to housing security.

Transportation We will consider policy proposals that make equitable investments into public transit to address the current challenges impacting ridership.

Philanthropic Giving and Nonprofit Sector. We will consider policy proposals at the federal level to further charitable giving, deepen collaboration between philanthropists, nonprofit organizations, and government entities, and address evidence-based concerns of the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.

Read more about our policy principles.

 

Policy Positions


(updated May 11, 2022)

Read more about our policy positions on our blog.

Policy Positions by The Denver Foundation

 

Meet Our Policy Team


Naomi Amaha Gollnick Headshot

Naomi Amaha, Director of Policy & Government Affairs

Naomi Amaha is a public affairs leader with a reputation of excellence in local and state, and federal government relations. She has more than a decade of experience in advocacy, nonprofit leadership, and civic engagement.

Contact Naomi
Janet Lopez Flor

Dr. Janet Lopez, Senior Director of Policy, Partnerships, & Learning

As the Senior Director of Policy, Partnerships, & Learning, Dr. Janet Lopez seeks to deepen relationships with nonprofit leaders, donors, and policymakers throughout metro Denver to increase The Denver Foundation’s impact on critical needs and solutions to those needs. Her career has focused on increasing access and opportunity for BIPOC communities.

Contact Janet

Public Policy FAQs


The Denver Foundation has always led on issues of importance to our community. We believe we have a responsibility to take bold steps to drive meaningful systemic change. Our community believes we have this responsibility, too. Community feedback during our Strategic Framework process guided The Denver Foundation’s decision to deepen its work in policy efforts. We recognize grantmaking is not enough and work in public policy and advocacy is necessary to further deepen our commitment to a strong, healthy, and equitable Metro Denver. Our public policy principles will drive the Foundation’s engagement on policy proposals, including legislation, ordinances, regulations, and ballot measures at the local, state, and federal level.

The Foundation has previously provided funding to create systems-level change in education, health, housing insecurity, and economic opportunity at local and state levels. The Foundation has also served as a member of the Council on Foundations and participated in federal advocacy efforts regarding charitable tax deduction and IRA distribution.

The public policy framework and principles guide the Foundation’s commitment to advancing systemic change through policy and advocacy efforts. The framework outlines how we will engage with policy proposals. The policy principles, to be updated annually, outline the issues areas on which The Denver Foundation will take positions.

The Denver Foundation will engage on policy issues at the state and local level that align with the issue areas defined in our community grants program and strategic framework: economic opportunity, education, environment and climate, housing, and transportation. At the federal level, the Foundation will also engage on policies impacting philanthropic giving and the nonprofit sector.

Our Board of Trustees along with our Policy Committee, which includes community members, helps guide our decision-making about policy positions and our level of engagement.

Our Policy Framework allows for the opportunity to engage in “critical and timely” policy proposals that may be outside the issues outlined in our policy principles. Examples of this include policy proposals to address the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning. Our framework evaluation criteria for policy engagement will inform our decision-making on such policy proposals.

Yes! Donors can give directly to or direct grants from their donor-advised funds to The Denver Foundation’s Civic Fabric Fund. The Civic Fabric Fund is a new grantmaking opportunity that provides nonprofit organizations with funding to support their policy and advocacy work.

Guided by their respective federal tax designations, missions, and constituents, our peers in Colorado do engage in various efforts to advance public policy through advocacy and lobbying at all levels of government.

We are deeply rooted in the principles of Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity and it guides and connects all of our work. We will assess all policy proposals to determine if and how each policy proposal addresses racial equity and targeted universalism.

We will take positions on ballot measures on issues outlined in our policy principles: economic opportunity, education, environment and climate, housing, and transportation. We will not endorse any political candidate.

 

Support These Efforts


Civic Fabric is a new grantmaking opportunity that provides nonprofit organizations with funding to support their policy and advocacy work. Funding opportunities will be directed as resources are available. Fundholders can make gifts to this fund directly from an existing donor-advised fund. If you are not a fundholder and want to give to the Civic Fabric Fund, you can make a gift here.

Stay Up to Date on Our Policy Efforts


Subscribe to our new quarterly policy newsletter to stay up to date on The Denver Foundation’s policy activities.

Policy Newsletter Sign Up

Policy Newsletter Sign Up

Contact Us About Policy Work


If you have feedback on The Denver Foundation’s Policy Framework and Principles please contact Naomi Amaha, namaha@denverfoundation.org.