ICYMI: Introducing Our New Strategic Framework

From Bonfils Stanton: In her artist statement for her work “Minding the Cycles” (commissioned for the Foundation’s offices) Jandel Allen-Davis says “Where are we now and how do we know? We are experiencing some of the greatest turmoil we have had in centuries, perhaps millennia. The sense of insecurity that this evokes can leave us unsettled and unmoored…Our task is to discern where we are and what is required of us in this time.” We as a foundation have thought deeply about what is required of US in this time, and our new Strategic Framework charts that course.  

Foundations – and for that matter, virtually all enterprises (nonprofit and for-profit) – engage in strategic planning to ensure their work still makes sense in the context of a changing world and that they are creating the desired impact. These plans generally have a lifespan – three years, five years – and by these standards, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation was due for a new strategic plan. The changes in the world, from COVID to the urgent need to combat racism, inequity, and injustice, to evolving perspectives on how best to practice equitable philanthropy, have reshaped our current thinking around the foundation’s potential in a unique and transformational way. 

The board and staff are very aware of the privilege of being the current stewards of resources entrusted to the benefit of the public by Ed Stanton. And we aspire to use those resources to provide the most impact. We know we can’t do it all, but we also know we can do better. 

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation invests in inclusive, diverse, and equitable arts and culture organizations and nonprofit leaders to create a thriving and just Denver. We have been on a journey of transformation for ten years, first through implementing a targeted philanthropic focus on arts and culture, a commitment to continue our focus on nonprofit leadership, and, overarching both, a steady evolution of our operations to prioritize equity in every aspect of what we do. For both the Board and staff, this has been a highly rewarding and inspiring learning experience.  

Our strategic framework is extensive, bold, and will be exciting (and, yes, challenging) to execute. This is not a “check-the-box” plan, not a dense tome that will end up on a shelf or in a drawer. We use the term Strategic Framework to reflect that we must be fluid and nimble to be effective; this plan must be concise, clear, and adaptable as we continue to learn – a framework for our work, not a rigid blueprint. It is informed by the community, deeply rooted in equity, self-reflection and humility, as well as a sense of urgency around the importance of our work, and the role that arts and culture and leadership play in creating a community in which all people can thrive, can soar, can belong. 

Click here to view the strategic framework. We look forward to keeping you informed on more ways you can engage with us at Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.