Happy New Year, friends and changemakers!
The end of one year, and the beginning of another—the perfect time for reflection and visioning. We love this time of year because it allows our team to reflect on our accomplishments, lessons learned and partnerships that created impact in 2018 AND look ahead to 2019—setting a vision and strategy for continued growth! Just as we encourage all of our clients to set goals for their organization each year, our team will be gathering together in a few weeks to set our goals for the year.
This was an exciting year for JVA: new staff, great wins for our clients and the privilege to partner on more than 100 social change projects across Colorado and in 15 additional states. Some of the noteworthy 2018 happenings:
- We settled into our new offices at Goosetail Spaces (1525 Raleigh St., 5th Floor)
- Jill and Sarah stepped into the co-managing director roles in January 2018
- We welcomed a new business development manager, Kat Jarvis, to our team in March 2018
- We welcomed two new JVA babies—Mae Iman and Emma Romero (Solis)
- We reaffirmed our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) by creating and adopting a formal DEI statement
- We presented at multiple conferences, including the American Evaluation Association, Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW) and JOFFEE (Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming and Environmental Education) National Gathering, and the Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming and Environmental Education (JOFEE) Network
- We expanded our team of partners and contractors who are subject matter experts in a variety of areas, including homelessness, DEI, videography, policy, marketing and others
- We launched several new JVA products, including our website update, marketing integration products, a new customized evaluation training and the opportunity to spend a “Day with a JVA-er.”
One of the best parts of our reflections on 2018 is remembering some of the impactful projects we’ve engaged in with YOU, our clients. We’ve partnered with changemakers across the country to grow their capacity to successfully evaluate their programs, raise money and manage their teams. Some key highlights include:
- Writing a winning $1 million grant to Bloomberg Philanthropies for the City of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Environmental Quality Division—allowing it to pilot and expand an innovative, hyper-local air quality monitoring system in partnership with Denver Public Schools
- Researching opportunities to improve the efficiency and equity of Denver’s food rescue ecosystem in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council
- Writing a winning five-year, $3.1 million grant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Metropolitan State University of Denver—allowing it to launch a Health Careers Opportunity Program to improve culturally responsive access to care by diversifying Colorado’s health workforce. JVA is excited to be conducting the evaluation for this program beginning in 2019.
- Entering the final year of a three-year multi-site, mixed-methods evaluation of the Second Acts for Strong Communities Initiative in partnership with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
- Helping Kavod Senior Life understand the rapidly shifting needs of Jewish older adults as part of its strategic planning process
- Gathering feedback to inform the development and creation of collateral to highlight the impact of the Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County
- Working with a cohort of nonprofits in rural Nebraska to develop social enterprise plans in collaboration with Panhandle Partnership
- Developing and facilitating a six-session (36-hour) training program for the Early Stage Community Leaders Learning Network—a project of Rose Community Foundation and Wend Ventures
As we head full steam into 2019, we are so grateful to be able to partner with such incredible changemakers like yourself and look forward to what the future will bring.
Jill & Sarah