Public Health Master's Degree Student, University of Arizona
Dago is a first-generation college graduate who is following his two older brothers on the path to medical school, with the hope of one day becoming a surgeon. Born in Guatemala, he received a renewable college scholarship from ACF’s Myers Family Charitable Fund to help fund four years of his undergraduate education, earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology. Dago is now receiving funds from ACF’s Guinn B. Burton Medical Scholarship to help fund his master’s in public health at the University of Arizona. He has begun the last year of his master’s program, ready to continue his research, tackle the MCAT, and apply for medical school.
The Arizona Endowment Building Institute (AEBI) at the Arizona Community Foundation works with nonprofits that are ready to build an organizational endowment. Through its structured curriculum, AEBI encourages organizations to develop planned giving programs that promote long-term growth, financial stability, and enduring service to the community. Since 2005, AEBI has guided 45 nonprofits through the process of building endowment programs.
Among AEBI’s successful participants is Gompers, a nonprofit based in metropolitan Phoenix. For over 70 years, Gompers has assisted adults and kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities in accomplishing their dreams. Through the organization’s diverse programming, which includes a private school, day programs, employment services, and in-home services, Gompers develops innovative opportunities for people with disabilities.
In 2013, the Gompers board and leadership team realized that its existing endowment portfolio lacked a strong foundation of procedures and policies. AEBI emerged as a solution, equipping Gompers with the tools, knowledge, and mentorship necessary to craft an effective process for cultivating donors.
“As an organization, Gompers matured greatly thanks to our experience with AEBI,” said Mark Jacoby, President and CEO of Gompers. “Our donor cultivation has been formalized with touchpoints from our board of directors and we now have a complete set of policies to deal with gift acceptance and bequests. As a board and a leadership team, we became much more sophisticated in how we operate.”
Five years after graduating from AEBI, Gompers continues to utilize what they learned in the institute to guide decision-making as they strive for a sustainable financial future. With a robust endowment program in place, the Gompers team is confident that they will continue to empower their program members for many years to come.
The First Baptist Church of Phoenix Foundation
First Baptist Church has had a presence in Phoenix since the early 1880s, first downtown and then relocating to their church campus in north central Phoenix in 1968. The First Baptist Church of Phoenix Foundation was originally formed in 1993 by the leadership of First Baptist Phoenix. The Foundation’s activities were limited until 2006 when the members of First Baptist Phoenix voted to formally dissolve, sell the property to another like-minded congregation, and turn the proceeds over to the First Baptist Church of Phoenix Foundation.
In 2013, The First Baptist Church of Phoenix Foundation Board voted to become a supporting organization of the Arizona Community Foundation, where it continues to support churches, pastors, and evangelical causes through their annual grant cycle. The Foundation provides funding for the planting and support of new Christian churches, education and training of planting pastors, and other mission and outreach projects.
The Phoenix Bible Church is a recent grant recipient that, with support from the First Baptist Church of Phoenix Foundation, has begun developing their ministry and found a new church building for their growing congregation. Lead Pastor Tim Birdwell and his family started Phoenix Bible Church in 2014 after the church he had moved here to lead was forced to close by their sponsoring organization.
“My family and I had only been in Phoenix for three months so we didn’t have the close relationships you would normally need to plant a church,” said Tim. “We literally had zero money and no one had ever heard me preach before! Despite all the obstacles, we couldn’t get over the sense that God hadn’t moved us across the country to tap us out after three months, so after much prayer and counsel we decided to start Phoenix Bible Church. It was incredibly difficult, but by God’s grace we were able to get the new church off the ground.”
Since 2016, Phoenix Bible Church has received $34,000 in grant funding from the Foundation, which was catalytic in developing their ministry’s leadership within the first years of their church plant. The funding enabled the church to find a permanent location, allowing them to move from their temporary meeting space. Now they have an opportunity to serve their new neighborhood, community, and faith.
Every day, the staff at one•n•ten open the doors of their youth center to
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth across
the state. The nonprofit organization provides an array of programs including housing, counseling, networking opportunities, and workforce development. Above
all else, one•n•ten aims to empower Arizona LGBTQ youth by creating a safe space that allows
for self-expression and self-acceptance.
Over the past three years, the Arizona Community Foundation’s Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy has had many opportunities to collaborate with one•n•ten. In 2016, one•n•ten was a recipient of an LGBTQ Youth Grant, receiving funding from the Center for the development of signature programs. Examples include Camp OUTdoors!, an LGBTQ summer camp, and Youth Education
& Success (Y.E.S.), an LGBTQ-focused workforce development and mentorship program.
On July 12, 2017, a fire forced the closure of the one•n•ten Phoenix Youth Center. ACF’s Center
for LGBTQ Philanthropy was one of many community groups that provided emergency assistance funding, allowing one•n•ten to continue providing programs for the youth who rely on their services. Today, one•n•ten operates a state-of-the-art youth center in downtown Phoenix, with satellite programs in Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, and Flagstaff.
“Thanks to the work of our devoted team, our previous executive director Linda Elliott, and opportunities to collaborate with organizations like ACF’s Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy,
we have seen unprecedented growth in our programs and services for the youth we support across the state,” said Nate Rhoton, Executive Director of one•n•ten.
one•n•ten is also a past participant in ACF’s Arizona Endowment Building Institute, which offers
a comprehensive curriculum to nonprofits that are ready to develop and implement endowment building programs. As a result of their team’s enthusiasm, skill, and determination, one•n•ten
has successfully secured over $1 million in gifts to their endowment since completing the course.