Q&A with Douglas County Community Foundation’s new leader

Agency’s director is the former mayor of Parker

Elliott Wenzler
ewenzler@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/19/21

A local foundation that provides tens of thousands of dollars per year to Douglas County nonprofits has a new leader after its 27-person board selected Mike Waid as its executive director in July. …

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Q&A with Douglas County Community Foundation’s new leader

Agency’s director is the former mayor of Parker

Posted

A local foundation that provides tens of thousands of dollars per year to Douglas County nonprofits has a new leader after its 27-person board selected Mike Waid as its executive director in July.

The Douglas County Community Foundation, which has been a part of the community since 2000, takes donations of cash, securities and real properties from local individuals, families, businesses and foundations and distributes that money to various nonprofits in the county.

The DCCF board includes Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon, state Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, the mayors of each municipality in the county and others.

In order to help the community get to know Waid and his approach to running the foundation, Colorado Community Media asked him several questions about himself and the foundation.

His responses are below and have been edited for clarity. 

What is the Douglas County Community Foundation? How does it work?

The Douglas County Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which inspires philanthropic giving in Douglas County and supports the amazing work of local nonprofits through grant making and operational support. We are also the managing organization for the annual Douglas County Gives Day, which is part of Colorado Gives Day.

How do you all decide which nonprofits to support?

We have a dynamic group of people on our Community Impact Committee who process our grant applications to make sure our donors’ funds are utilized in the best capacity with amazing local nonprofits. They vet the organizations and their requests and use a scoring system so their decisions are transparent and effective.

Tell us a little about what you did before you became the executive director of DCCF.

Prior to joining DCCF, I was blessed to serve the community as mayor of Parker from 2012 to 2020 and was a local small business owner from 2003 to 2018, when I owned a publishing company and marketing agency.

What is included in your role with DCCF?

As the executive director of DCCF, I have many roles including the day-to-day operations of the foundation, advisory to local nonprofits, representative of 27 of the best board members a person could ask for, raising awareness and funds for DCCF and promoting the importance of “Give Where You Live.”

What’s your first priority for the
foundation?

My first priority for DCCF is to simply GET LOUD! The DCCF has been serving Douglas County for almost two decades, and up to now has been the best kept secret in Douglas County. The more residents who know about us and the importance of local philanthropic giving, and the more local nonprofits who know about us and the support we can provide them, the more we can connect those in need with the necessary resources to make Douglas County a better place for all who live here. Our focus going into 2022 is mental health and mental wellness.

Generally, what do you hope to
accomplish as the executive director?

As executive director I will work with the board to increase the awareness of DCCF and proactively support local Douglas County nonprofits to help them meet and exceed their goals. I will also increase the size of our grant pools so that more nonprofits in Douglas County can have access to much-needed financial support and resources. No matter the size, every dollar we raise helps our community.

What’s something the community might not know about DCCF?

Because of relationships with various donor partners, DCCF has a truly unique ability to magnify philanthropic giving through matching grant programs. This is very important because your direct donation to a local nonprofit, if made through us, has the potential to multiply the value of your donation while still helping the designated organization. DCCF also can be nimble and work faster to help support our community in the case of an emergency.

What’s a fun fact from your
background? A hobby, passion, past career people might not know about?

I’ve been blessed to do so many incredible things in my life, but one of the most memorable is performing on stage in various theatrical productions over the past eight years. I’ve been in “West Side Story,” “Sister Act,” “Footloose,” “Newsies,” “The Full Monty,” “SpamALOT” and have danced in the annual “Nutcracker” of Parker. Performing has changed my life.

Anything else you want to add?

Douglas County consistently has some of the highest numbers of 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the nation, which means whatever cause or passion you have, there is probably an organization locally to help you support our community. DCCF is the organization that will help you navigate the process and make sure your heartfelt donations are effectively connected with those local nonprofits doing amazing work. Join us on Dec. 7 for Douglas County Gives Day to make a huge positive impact in our community.

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