The Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships was created in 2004 by then-Mayor John Hickenlooper and founding director, Mike Roque. Part of a burgeoning national movement, DOSP’s purpose was to serve as an intentional bridge between the City of Denver and the nonprofit sector. While the Office has offered a number of different programs since its founding, the core belief that by working collectively, the public and nonprofit sectors can be more efficient and effective in strengthening Denver’s communities has remained.
The Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships focuses on building individual skills and tools in nonprofit and City agency staff to encourage creation of cross-sector partnerships, continuing and expanding the active facilitation of City-nonprofit collaborative efforts, and helping to connect the two sectors to leverage government grant and real estate resources in new ways.
The Denver Shared Space Project is a nationally recognized public-private partnership that promotes best practice creation and operation of multi-tenant nonprofit centers in Denver.
Started in 2009 by the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, Urban Land Conservancy, and Piton Foundation, the Denver Shared Space Project serves as a local resource for information and expertise around shared office space for organizations within the social sector.
Currently supported by nearly 30 volunteers and with 24 shared spaces representing over 200 tenant organizations participating, the Shared Space Project has grown to be a vibrant resource for support throughout the community.
From listing or finding space and resources on our Shared Space Website to receiving one-on-one or small group technical assistance for your center through our Annual RFP Process or Shared Space Series to engaging in peer learning experiences by participating in our quarterly Learning Community, the Denver Shared Space Project has something for everyone looking to create and grow shared space centers throughout the Denver metro community.
The Project is also engaging with multiple City agencies, foundations, and the for-profit real estate community to ensure that shared space is leveraging resources and contributing to community and economic development efforts.
Each year, the City and County of Denver initiates over $40 million to local nonprofits and other organizations to provide critical services essential to building a vibrant community. This number represents nearly 300 contracts made with over 150 nonprofits by 7 different City agencies. As a City, we elect to work with the nonprofit community to complement and support services already provided by City agencies or to meet needs that the City does not have the capacity, resources or expertise to address. As a result, the City is able to more effectively and efficiently execute its vision of delivering a world-class city where everyone matters.
With a greater focus on targeted outcomes for each City agency through Peak Performance and other priorities of the administration, it is also important to give thought to how this outcome focus is reflected in our partnerships with private nonprofit organizations. These services supplement the work of our City agencies and, in many cases, help to further the strategic plans that agencies are driving toward. Procurement and contracting processes can play an important role in ensuring that the services contracted for reflect the City’s core values, affirm a focus on outcomes, and match the drive to more effective social impact. As a liaison between City government and the nonprofit sector, DOSP is motivated to catalyze the effort to examine and improve Denver’s procurement processes.
The contracting and grantmaking processes used to distribute funds vary widely across City agencies. The Funding and Contracting Efficiency (FACE) Initiative is an effort by DOSP to work with City partners to enhance our procurement processes and policies within and across City agencies. As the Initiative moves forward, an interdepartmental workgroup will drive the effort toward better outcomes across the Denver community.
Denver is not alone in this effort. Across the country, at all levels of government, people are working to assess and improve the way that government contracts with private entities, especially around social services. The effort in Denver will build on these successes and help develop a platform of local best practice in which Denver can ultimately serve as a model for other municipalities across the nation.
Read the overview of the FACE Initiative.
Learn more about the areas of priority developed by the City's Interdepartmental Task Force.
DOSP invests in two programs designed to support energy efficient nonprofit facilities, the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program and ResourceSmart for Nonprofits.
To learn more, visit the Energy Efficiency page.
DOSP is committed to ensuring that nonprofits have easy access to information about funding opportunities that may be available to them.
To see a list of upcoming funding opportunities, please visit the Nonprofit Funding Opportunities page.
DOSP works to build skills, knowledge, and individual capacity in staff and organizations to form nonprofit-government partnerships. The Office accomplishes this primarily through its training and workshop programs, and by providing connection and referrals to the strong sources of organizational capacity building throughout the Denver community.
Training and workshops are designed to support the nonprofit community and city agencies in enhancing partnerships skills, understanding government funding, learning best practices and skills around shared space, and other topics.
Miriam Peña is the Director of the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. Her role as city liaison to the non-profit sector involves development and delivery of training and technical assistance to better connect government and community; managing DOSP’s community collaborative work; leading DOSP’s nonprofit capital support projects; and overseeing the office’s energy efficiency priorities. Miriam’s role at DOSP allows her to work cross-sector bringing together private, public and nonprofit sector to engage on collaborative projects to make Denver a better place to live, in addition to providing general support to the 3,000 nonprofits connected to DOSP.
Miriam began her nonprofit career as an intern 11 years ago at the Colorado Progressive Coalition, a public policy advocacy nonprofit. By the time she left the organization last spring, she had held every position in the organization including grassroots fundraising coordinator and development director before her promotion to Executive Director in 2010. Miriam became the first in her family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, having studied Public Policy and Communications at the University of Denver. She is currently pursuing an MBA from the Olin Business School of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her work at CPC, she has served in various leadership positions on numerous nonprofit boards locally including Metro Denver Partners, New Era Colorado, Rights for all People, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, El Centro Humanitario (Humanitarian Center for Day Laborers), and nationally with the Alliance for a Just Society. She co-hosts a weekly radio talk show, “Weekend Wisdom” in Denver and was appointed to the Denver Women’s Commission as chair of the Public Policy committee where she served for a year. In August of 2013, she became the foster mother to her three nieces.
Emily earned her B.B.A. in Accounting in 2010 from Loyola University of Chicago. After working in Public Accounting, she traveled to Mobile, Alabama for a year-long volunteer program. Her experience in the program as a caseworker in social services catalyzed her decision to pursue a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, focusing on community & organizational leadership. After interning at HRCP during school, Emily joined the team upon the completion of her degree. She brings experience in grant writing, legislative tracking, policy research & analysis, and advocacy. She is interested in combining research & engagement of all stakeholders to promote informed anti-oppressive policy solutions that benefit individuals, families, and communities.
Dr. Ken Seeley serves as a collaboration and evaluation specialist for the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships of the City of Denver. Prior to his work with the City he served for 20 years as the President and CEO of the Colorado Foundation for Families and Children, the non-profit partner to five state agencies. He is an experienced educator, researcher and cross system leader having extensive background with at risk children and youth in early childhood, juvenile justice, mental health, and public schools. When he served as principal of the Laboratory School at the University of Northern Colorado, he was also a professor of education at UNC. Ken was a tenured faculty member at the University of Denver, College Of Education in the areas of Education Leadership and research design. He has broad cross system policy experience as a policy analyst and consultant for the Center for Study of Social Policy in Washington, and many foundations including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Colorado Trust and the Piton Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of the Colorado Association for School Based Health Centers, Qualistar Early Learning, and the Advisory Board for Sesame Street Workshop (NYC).
Miriam Peña, Director
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Denver, CO 80202
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