Donor Spotlight: Sandy and Sally Bracken

For Lafayette-based Alexander (Sandy) Bracken and his wife, Sally, making a difference as part of the Community Foundation family goes back to our beginnings

“I remember those early discussions, talking with various community members about the value and benefit of creating a community foundation in our area,” says Sandy, who recently served on the foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Then Josie Heath came on board as the first permanent head of the foundation.
“Seeing her leadership, and seeing the foundation ignite action throughout our community, inspired us to learn more. The impact of the foundation led us to look at how we might also do more to contribute toward strengthening and improving the quality of life for everyone in Boulder County.
“Since then, the overall mission of the foundation hasn’t changed – even while we’ve seen the work of the foundation evolve and adapt to shifting community needs. Under Jeff’s new leadership, we see a continuation of the important role of the foundation as a collaborator and convener among other nonprofits, bringing a greater sense of urgency and efficiency to addressing countywide issues.” 
Sandy stresses that the Community Foundation also mobilizes financial assets to help solve large community concerns that have emerged with the population explosion in East County, and changing demographics countywide. For example, Sandy and Sally are especially passionate about addressing the achievement gap. 
“The foundation’s School Readiness Initiative catalyzed our community around an unrecognized problem, namely a growing number of students at risk of falling behind their peers, academically and otherwise,” says Sandy. “The Community Foundation brings a clear focus to the issue, and has marshaled support among our local school districts and other nonprofits – and solicited the input and the voices of families most affected, to hear their needs directly.”
Beyond raising awareness about the achievement gap, and bringing resources to bear on advancing solutions thereto (i.e., the innovative ELPASO program), Sandy further notes the impact of the foundation’s grantmaking through the Community Trust, which is currently accepting proposals for funding. 
“Through a very careful and considered screening process, the foundation’s grantmaking plays a huge role in helping other nonprofits succeed in their work,” he says. Sandy is also quick to point out the foundation’s critical role in swiftly and efficiently responding to community emergencies, including the 2013 floods and the Fourmile Canyon Fire in 2010. 
As longtime donors to the Community Foundation, Sandy and Sally value the foundation’s additional role as a trusted philanthropic advisor, helping current and would-be donors explore and navigate their giving options – from Donor-Advised Funds to Planned Giving, and more. 
“It’s such a privilege to live in Boulder County as we have for more than 35 years,” Sally says. “In that time, we’ve come to appreciate more and more the diversity of who we are as a community. And we want to continue to make life better and more inclusive for everyone who lives here. 
“It’s really important to give back, and the Community Foundation is one of the best ways to make a difference.”
“The foundation is in a good position to tackle our toughest issues,” adds Sandy. “That’s why we’re committed to ensuring its work continues. We want to see the quality of life here be the best it can be, for all – and it’s great to be a part of that.”