Whether you’re a lifelong Denver resident or new to the area, many people are looking for ways to make a positive difference in the community – and support causes that are personally meaningful to them.
Investing Where it Matters to You
For Fred Glick, a background in theater design and production fueled his desire and interest in supporting the arts ecosystem in Greater Denver. A serendipitous introduction from a friend – Louise Martorano, the executive director of RedLine Contemporary Art Center – led to what would become a long-lasting partnership for Fred and RedLine.
RedLine is a Denver nonprofit that supports emerging artists and provides equitable access to the arts for under-resourced populations and grassroots organizations. Its mission of fostering education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change was a cause Fred believed in deeply.
RedLine also participated in Rose Community Foundation’s first nonprofit endowment cohort and houses an endowment fund at the Foundation to help support the future growth of the organization. Rose Community Foundation’s Endowment Building Pathways provided training and incentives to help RedLine launch and grow its fund to further its work.
Combining Your Passions with Your Giving
While RedLine was excelling in its community initiatives and programs, the organization also faced a big and often overlooked challenge: its building and gallery spaces needed lighting upgrades. RedLine lacked dollars or expertise to address the issue, and funding for infrastructure has historically been a tough ask for donors who prefer to invest in programming.
This is where Fred’s expertise and passion was crucial. With deep experience in property development, real estate and theater design, Fred made for an ideal partner. Structured as a zero-interest loan, Fred and his wife Donna made a grant from their donor-advised fund (DAF) at Rose Community Foundation to cover the cost of the lighting improvements. The lighting loan from Fred and Donna enabled RedLine to complete the building upgrades without depleting their additional fundraising. And with the money saved in utility costs, RedLine was able to pay off the loan over several years.
Maintaining Flexibility with Donor-Advised Funds
The loan was just a small part of the overall support Fred has provided to RedLine over the years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fred also used his donor-advised fund to help RedLine stay open to support artists through the pandemic and bring art to the community.
One of the best things about having a DAF, according to Fred, is the flexibility it provides. If his income rises or falls from year to year, Fred appreciates the ability to make a large contribution to his fund one year that allows him to give consistent gifts, even during years when his income may be lower.
Finding a Nonprofit Partnership that Works for You
For donors looking to get more involved with local nonprofits that are meaningful to them, here are a few tips:
- Think about the long-term. Investing in the future of a nonprofit organization often requires a long-term partnership. With this collaboration comes an opportunity for fresh ideas and long-lasting growth.
- Trust and innovation is key. If you want to support something interesting and local, that means innovating. Think beyond existing models and don’t let fear stifle your creativity.
- Embrace trial and error. If you don’t see a model that works for you, create a new one!
There are many ways to give and a multitude of nonprofits and causes in the Denver area that need support. Getting involved with an organization aligned with your interests and values might be the spark that ignites another partnership that’s not only beneficial to you – but also the broader Denver community.