Our Community Engagement Philosophy
At the Foundation, community engagement is a cornerstone of the work we do. It’s both an outcome we strive for, and a process we orient our staff and work around.
From the Western Slope of Colorado to the Eastern Plains and everywhere in between, each community has its own set of unique resources and composition. As a Foundation, we are constantly listening and learning from communities about what they know best: how to be the healthiest place for those people who call it home.
At a minimum, our Foundation is committed to working at all levels of a community, from connecting with community members, grassroots and local leadership, community organizations and government to having a deeper appreciation of local community nuances. Along with building relationships, we look for opportunities where our resources can help the community move toward better health. Engaging in communities helps us identify partnerships and opportunities to collaborate or fund work that is having the most impact on Coloradans’ health.
How We Work in Community
Program officers are regularly on the ground and actively engaging in counties and communities throughout Colorado. They spend time with residents to better understand community perspectives, dynamics and trends. These connections are important for helping us know when to fund work or contribute other resources.
The program officer role is structured around a set of guiding principles for working effectively at the local level. These principles are outlined in our Community Engagement IMPACT Practice Model, which was created to establish a “core set of ‘key functions’ that are critical to cultivating positive community change.” Our program officers work to embody these key functions as they travel and build long-lasting connections with stakeholders at all levels. The Community Engagement IMPACT Practice Model was developed as a practice profile grounded in the framework of implementation science.
Successful engagement, however, means constantly learning and adapting as we go. Therefore, the model exists as a dynamic resource that will continue to evolve as we clarify and fine tune best practices.
For more information or comments about our community engagement philosophy or the Community Engagement IMPACT Practice Model, please contact Amy Latham, vice president of philanthropy, or Jehan Benton-Clark, portfolio director.