The Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships(DOSP) 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.
Check out the FACE Initiative fact sheet here.
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 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.
Wil Alston is the director of the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships (DOSP), an office in Denver’s Human Rights and Community Partnerships (HRCP) Agency.
Prior to DOSP, Wil served as a senior communication advisor for the Hancock Administration, as the executive director for the Five Points Business District, and was a key staffer for former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter. He is also the founder and principal of the Wil Alston Group, a versatile Denver-based boutique firm specializing in marketing & public relations, civic engagement, government relations, and supplier diversity.
Wil also has a rich and long history of working with area nonprofits that have included: the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, the Five Points Business District, The Spirituals Project, The Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, Regis University, the East Denver YMCA, the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Stadium Baseball District.
He is a veteran communication strategists and executive and has close to thirty years of professional experience in entrepreneurship, networking, fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning; and he gained those experiences in a variety organizational structures including: all three branches of government including federal, state, and local; nonprofits, and in private business.
Wil shares two and a half decades of marriage to Rosalind “Roz” Alston and they are longtime Park Hill residents.
Lorelei Johnson is the Contract Compliance Coordinator with the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. After spending more than a decade working with special trades service companies in contract development, Lorelei found a home with the City and County of Denver. Lorelei started her career with the City, at Denver International Airport (DEN) working with the Operations & Maintenance Contract Services group. She devoted 4 years to process improvement and contract management. She is a proud mother to her 15-year-old daughter. Together they spend time volunteering in a variety of community service projects, including work in homeless shelters.
Dr. Ken Seeley serves as a collaboration and evaluation specialist for the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships of the City of Denver and the Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection. 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, a nonprofit partnership with five Colorado state agencies. He is a researcher and cross system leader with an extensive background with at-risk and vulnerable populations.
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 social 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. Additionally, he has served as senior evaluation consultant to Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mayors Challenge and as a senior evaluation consultant to the One Community Pueblo Colorado.