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Dace West The Denver Foundation

Dace West

Chief Impact Officer

The Denver Foundation

Location: Denver

Founded: 1925

Industry: Nonprofit | Philanthropy

Dace West has long been a leader in the Denver community, ascending the ranks in various roles and leading multiple organizations to the next level, including in her current role at The Denver Foundation. She joined The Denver Foundation in 2017 as the president of community impact and led the work on a new strategic framework for the organization.

From this strategic framework came a new organizational structure that resulted in West assuming the role of chief impact officer to oversee the collaborative work of the Impact Team that serves as a bridge, a connector and a hub of leadership and action on issues that have an impact on the community.

The Denver Foundation is the largest and most experienced community foundation in the Rocky Mountain West. For nearly 100 years, people in Metro Denver and across Colorado have trusted The Denver Foundation to steward charitable funds to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. The organization stewards more than 1,000 funds established by generous donors who make gifts to organizations across Colorado and beyond.

Throughout her career, West has built up organizations, helping them to grow and thrive. “She knows what is needed to help build the infrastructure needed to make organizations become sustainable and thrive,” said her colleagues. “She has led the organization through unprecedented growth.”

In 2021 alone, West was instrumental in helping the foundation raise $300 million in assets and ultimately, $1 billion in assets under management currently. “Since the beginning of her career, Dace West has proven her commitment to the Denver community, and her exceptional skill to bring people together to grow organizations and deliver results,” said her staff.

Her efforts have landed West a list of accomplishments and recognition, including being selected to the Center for Leadership Class, receiving the Secretaries Award from the Council on Foundations, and being recognized as the outstanding Professional Grantmaker at National Philanthropy Day in Colorado.

As a leader, West said that successful leaders are passionate about their work and compassionate about creating change in their communities. “Successful leaders stand up and use their voice on behalf of those who have none,” she said. “They see a vision for what the world has the opportunity to be and drive relentlessly and selflessly to ensure that idea is achieved.”

If West could give her younger self advice, she would encourage her to act boldly in alignment with her core values. “I believe it is critically important to serve as a moral anchor for organizations to live out the most meaningful ways that change can happen in the community,” said West.

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