Our Story

It kind of started in 1987 or so, when our founder, Janine Vanderburg, decided to stay home with her newborn daughter. She wrote a grant proposal that probably sounded like a legal brief—she was a lawyer—and it ended up securing a $750,000 grant for a community-based organization in Denver’s westside. That was the beginning of the convergence of two big ideas at JVA:

  • That there ought to be opportunities for people to use their strengths, talents and experience for community and social change.
  • That communities often have the answers about what they need within them, and some help or technical assistance from a trusted partner can be all they need to achieve their vision.

We’ve accomplished a LOT in the last 30 years, and we’re just getting started.

Today, JVA includes team members who are full-time or part-time staff, fellows and interns, and regular subcontractors. We believe in giving people an opportunity to demonstrate their talents. Our team includes moms with kids at home, boomers in encore careers, corporate career changers, the most talented graduate students and people with longstanding community ties.

What we all have in common is passion for social change, being involved in the community and an insane dedication to this proposition: Change in your community and in society overall begins one person, one step at a time. And here at JVA, we can help you do it.


At JVA, we’re a big believer in the concept of the eight-word mission statement. And here’s ours…

JVA Mission Statement
Ok, so it’s 10, but who’s counting?