“One of the things that makes Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley so special is that the community has a strong sense of taking care of itself through taking care of each other. We are all in this together. The response to the pandemic is a great example of Steamboat pulling together. We believe we have a responsibility to not just live here and benefit from the community, but to become a part of it and contribute to taking care of it. This is very personal to us.” – Brian and Nancy Jackson
Brian and Nancy spent their business careers in the Denver Metro area, eventually relocating to Arizona in retirement. But they never lost their love for Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. They discovered Steamboat about five years ago and, like many others, were bitten by the “Yampa Valley Curse,” falling in love with the area and buying a home. They now divide their time between Arizona and Steamboat. As the years pass, they truly enjoy the Yampa Valley, and as they become more connected to this community, they find themselves spending more and more of each year here. They truly feel at home in Steamboat. Not only do they like living the “Steamboat life,” hiking, biking, camping and kayaking, but they have made a concerted effort to learn about the challenges and needs of the Steamboat community and how they might be able to make a difference. Brian says, “We are honored and proud to give back to a community that we have grown to love. This is home and we have to take care of our home.”
Philanthropy is an integral part of Brian and Nancy Jackson’s lives. Volunteering and service have always been important to Nancy, for as long as she can remember. The idea that helping one person can create a ripple effect which impacts the lives of many is something that, in her words, “fills her bucket.” During Brian’s business career, philanthropy was also a core value for his firm and that spirit of giving cascaded through the organization. Being mindful and giving back to support those in need was one of the core pillars of the firm and Brian embraced that whole-heartedly. Brian and Nancy share that “philanthropy is central to who we are – if we can make a difference, we want to do it.”
Building on a foundational belief in the importance of giving back, Brian and Nancy began serving on Boards and volunteering for organizations that aligned with their personal passions and interests. Brian has served on numerous non-profit boards, including Mile High United Way and both the Denver and National boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Nancy devotes time and energy to causes enhancing youth success and families facing food insecurity.
The Jackson’s are very thoughtful about their philanthropy and are guided by a Strategic Philanthropy Plan that they review and update annually. They primarily focus on youth success, women’s health and the arts and environment. They seek out innovative and collaborative opportunities to support organizations whose missions’ line up with these priorities. They want to make sure that their donations make an impact, ideally setting a nonprofit on a path toward growth and sustainability. They have also embraced trust-based philanthropy and work to minimize the requirements their grants make on the non-profit relative to reporting.
When Brian and Nancy began working with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, one of the things that struck them the most was, in Brian’s words, “that this organization really walks the talk. You live and breathe your mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter. It is a joy to work with an organization that truly lives its stated values and a team that is passionate about those values.”
Through building a relationship with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, the Jackson’s are grateful to have learned about opportunities for giving that they would have otherwise not known about, and which they are proud to support. A few of these include the Brighter World Child Advocacy Center, the All Kids Bike Program, Steamboat Reading and the JumpStart nonprofit capacity-building program hosted through YVCF. They are also members of the WZ Giving Circle and value the knowledge they gain from the non-profits who present to the Giving Circle each year. They appreciate that the YVCF staff has taken the time to get to know them and make sure they are informed about efforts that align with their interests.
Brian and Nancy shared that “The Yampa Valley Community Foundation has been incredibly helpful to us as we work to support organizations in the Yampa Valley. YVCF makes a difference in both the community and to us. We are grateful to have them as our primary resource in fulfilling our charitable giving goals.”