Newsletters & Updates

(LACF News) – The Los Alamos Community Foundation announces its Spring 2022 grantmaking cycle, and invites 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations located in Los Alamos County to submit a grant application under any of the following funding categories:

Discretionary Grants:

Nonprofits can request up to $5,000 to fund projects that increase the overall financial health of the organization. LACF defines “financial health” as any effort which results in a measurable improvement across one or more dimensions of an organization’s financial sustainability, to include, but not limited to, areas such as: diversifying funding sources and income streams, building technological capacity that allows for increased efficiencies, investing in board development to ensure proper governance and fiduciary oversight, pursuing a formal financial audit or review, or increasing marketing efforts to broaden community outreach thereby bringing in new donors/customers/clients.

Youth Sports:

Nonprofits can request up to $1,700 to fund competitive youth sports activities. Organizations are invited to apply for funding for projects that build leadership skills in youth through achievement in competitive team sports. Youth served by the program must be located in Los Alamos County and/or attend Los Alamos public schools, and be between the ages of 5-18 years old.

Music Organizations:

Nonprofits can request up to $500 in unrestricted operating support. This funding cycle is open to nonprofits whose work expands knowledge and appreciation of genres such as classical, orchestral and band music, light opera, marching band, and choral performances, for adult populations.

The grant application cycle opens Friday, April 1 at 9:00am and closes Friday, April 29 at 5:00pm. Applicants will be notified of their funding status during the second half of May. Funds will be distributed late May.

Nonprofits interested in applying are welcome to attend either of the following optional virtual information sessions: Thursday, March 24 at 3:30pm, and Tuesday, March 29 at 9:00am. To attend either session, register here: losalamoscf.org/ticket. A zoom link will be provided.

Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status and would like to apply for funding may do so through the use of a fiscal sponsor.

More information on this year’s grant cycle can be found here.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to build enduring philanthropy to empower our community’s nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 14 local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $975,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Reminiscing about the importance of competitive sports in the growth and maturity of their children and their friends sparked in Paul and Jill Cook a special project in 2019. In collaboration with the Los Alamos Community Foundation, they decided to create an endowment that would provide perpetual financial support to further youth sports in Los Alamos County.

Initially funded with their seed contribution of $25,000, the Los Alamos Community Youth Sports Endowment has now grown to over $66,000 from additional contributions and investment earnings. Los Alamos Community Foundation is responsible for investing the fund corpus under the supervision of an investment committee while making available each year 4% of the endowment to a competitively-chosen local youth sports organization. After reserving an administrative fee to further the foundation itself, any financial growth above and beyond those distributions is reinvested back into the endowment for the future. As the endowment grows, so does its annual distribution, which means that more grant dollars become available over time to further the fund’s mission.

The Los Alamos Community Youth Sports Endowment made its first distribution in 2021 through a competitive selection process to which five nonprofits in Los Alamos County applied. Local roller derby team, The Cherry Bombs, was chosen to receive a $1,200 grant to fund their participation in away bouts and support hosting home bouts.

When Los Alamos Community Foundation’s Spring 2022 grant cycle opens on April 1, nonprofits in Los Alamos will again have the opportunity to apply for a grant. Thanks to the generosity of donors and prudent investment of this fund, $1,700 is available this year from the endowment. Visit LACF’s website for more details on this soon-to-be-announced grant cycle.

Los Alamos Community Foundation is proud to help civic-minded community members like the Cooks create endowments that align with their passions. If you would like to have a conversation about supporting your philanthropic passions in Los Alamos, contact the foundation’s Executive Director, Rachel Kizielewicz, at 505-661-4420 or rachel@losalamoscf.org.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to build enduring philanthropy to empower our community’s nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 14 local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $975,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Technology is increasingly woven into our lives and the day-to-day of business. How can organizations effectively manage teleworking employees? How can you modernize your HR-related recordkeeping, and keep documents with sensitive personnel information digitally secure? Los Alamos Community Foundation is offering an interactive virtual workshop on March 15, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, to help nonprofit organizations explore the intersection of technology and HR. This class is geared towards those who manage operations and use of technology within their organization, as well any leaders of organizations with remote or hybrid employees.

The session will be facilitated by Kari Sutton, who started Living Room HR to support nonprofits and small businesses with their human resource needs. “There are so many ways that technology can help improve workplaces, but there are also so many ways that it can just get in the way,” says Sutton. “I think it helps to form a clear idea of where your organization wants to go, and then make sure that technology is supporting you in getting there.”

Title:  HR Policies, Hybrid Work, and Technology – Oh My!
Date:  Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Structure:  Virtual
Cost: $50 per organization
Register here: COMPLETED
Presenter:  Kari Sutton
Attendees: Nonprofits are welcome to have multiple people from their organization participate in the session, with only one ticket needed per organization.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to build enduring philanthropy to empower our community’s nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 14 local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $975,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – After four years leading the organization through a period of record growth and development, the Board of Directors of the Los Alamos Community Foundation announced today that Rachel Kizielewicz has resigned as Executive Director. Kizielewicz’s resignation is effective May 31, 2022 to provide an ample search and transition period.

“This past summer, my family and I relocated back to the East Coast to be closer to our relatives, as the pandemic made it too hard to live 2,000 miles away from our extended family,” said Kizielewicz. “For the past six months, I’ve been returning to Los Alamos as often as possible, and while I love this organization enough to travel these miles in service of our mission, I’m afraid there is no escaping the realization that the distance will end up doing too much of a disservice to our work over time,” she added.

Under Kizielewicz’s tenure, the Foundation has:

  • grown from $175,000 in assets to approximately $1,000,000
  • provided a total of over $100,000, for nonprofit grant funding and awarded grants to eight local NPOs in its first competitive grant cycle in 2021
  • expanded the annual nonprofit training program which provides quality, low cost, local workshops focused on capacity-building
  • launched the free community philanthropy series focused on how communities can become better supporters of local nonprofits
  • grown the number of endowments from 1 to 14
  • expanded the Board to eight dedicated community members 

“We were very fortunate to find in Rachel someone who had the professional skills and personal warmth to bring us to where we are today,” said LACF board president David Izraelevitz.  “When she joined four years ago, we were taking baby steps in bringing a community foundation to Los Alamos, and our progress has been tremendous, and Rachel was a key contributor to this progress. We will miss her very much,” he added.

LACF board member and UNMLA Chancellor Dr. Cindy Rooney also expressed her gratitude for Kizielewicz’s leadership. 

“Rachel has consistently exemplified professionalism and grace as she engaged and challenged our community to grow philanthropically, “said Rooney. “Her commitment to the Los Alamos Community Foundation and its mission, and the work to support local non-profits, have benefited the entire community in Los Alamos.”

Rooney added that the Board has started the search process for a new executive director, and the position description can be found at https://www.losalamoscf.org/employment-opportunities.

“My heart is heavy; however, I believe it is now time to pass the baton to the next person to lead the Los Alamos Community Foundation through its new phase of growth and development,” said Kizielewicz.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 14 local endowed funds and has total assets of approximately $1,000,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Los Alamos Community Foundation invites you to join a robust discussion on why philanthropy matters for a healthy community. Topics include trends and concepts in community philanthropy and the application of these trends within our local context. We will examine collective generosity and illuminate the “why” of philanthropy for Los Alamos as well as look at how other communities promote a culture of philanthropy. Leading the discussion will be national expert Dr. Laurie Paarlberg, Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Chair on Community Foundations, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.

This session, which is part of the Los Alamos Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Series, is FREE thanks to the generous sponsorship of Century Bank. Advance registration is required at: losalamoscf.org/ticket

Why Philanthropy Matters for a Healthy Community

Friday, February 4, 2022 (Virtual)
9:00-10:30am
Cost: Free (advance registration required)
Register here: losalamoscf.org/ticket

Have an idea for a session that you think our community needs? Let us know at info@losalamoscf.org.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating, and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 13 local endowed funds and has total assets of just over $950,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Diversity, equity, and inclusion are inherently interrelated, but are also distinct concepts. DEI matters in the workplace, especially in New Mexico where we have many diverse populations, and our work often involves community engagement that will impact diverse communities. The Los Alamos Community Foundation is offering a free interactive virtual workshop on January 20, 9:00 – 10:30 am, that is designed to support you creating deeper self-awareness and to help you chart a path for where you and your organization would like to go. Everyone has a unique experience when it comes to DEI. There are no perfect answers or responses. This will be the first of multiple sessions intended to open the door for future exploration, conversations, and learning.

This workshop will be facilitated by Ian Esquibel, an Albuquerque-based consultant who brings rich professional experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, specializing in community-based, cross-sector, and cross-functional facilitation and planning. Prior to consulting, he served at the helm of the New Mexico Learning Alliance, an organization created to support dialogue on education issues at both the local and state levels by working in partnership with local community organizations and networks of education reformers.

Title: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices for Nonprofit Organizations: A Community Conversation
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2022
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 am MT
Structure: Virtual
Cost: Free (advance registration required)
Register here: losalamoscf.org/ticket

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating, and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards 13 local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $950,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Georgia Strickfaden has always had a love affair with Los Alamos history. It might have begun as a young teen exploring on horseback the northern mesas and canyons of Los Alamos County. In the Stable Area on North Mesa, she was intrigued by two unique homestead houses among the other more recently constructed barns.

“By studying, reading history, exploring and volunteering at the History Museum, I became aware of the remnants of the overlooked and forgotten Hispanic influence, especially our homestead era 1880-1942…hand-made wagon roads, homestead houses of logs and deteriorating barbed-wire fencing dating to US Forest Service grazing allotments,” said Strickfaden.

Now Strickfaden has turned that love for history and preservation into action by creating the Pajarito Plateau Heritage Preservation Endowment at the Los Alamos Community Foundation with an initial gift of $10,000.

“I am pleased to be able to utilize savings that was accrued by Buffalo Tours/Atomic City Tours for preserving Los Alamos History, in particular pre-WW II homestead cabins and New Mexico agricultural heritage,” said Strickfaden. “I just call it the Cabins Fund for short.”

The purpose of the fund is to provide for the preservation of the historic heritage of primarily the Pajarito Plateau region. Preference will be given for the preservation of the Homestead Era environment, to potentially include things such as buildings, features, and the study of agricultural practices.

“Recognizing and assisting in the preservation of homestead cabins, roads and the agricultural pre-WW II heritage of the Pajarito Plateau is the reason I am establishing the Cabins Fund through the Los Alamos Community Foundation,” Strickfaden said. “Recognizing, valuing, and teaching about an era that abruptly ended with the Manhattan Project take-over of the Pajarito Plateau will enhance the depth of our current existence in this wonderful place.”

Currently, the Los Alamos Historical Society is not able to take on the restoration of homestead cabins on North Mesa. Strickfaden hopes that by establishing this endowment, funds will grow to assist in preservation and restoration projects and even heritage education surrounding the Pajarito Plateau.

Elizabeth Martineau, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society echoed the need for preservation dollars. “Preservation is a worthwhile, but expensive endeavor. We look forward to the additional support that the Pajarito Plateau Heritage Preservation Endowment will provide to preserve homesteading properties and our local history,” said Martineau.

“We hike and ride on the roads and trails that were built by hand, we cultivate gardens where there once were large fields, we revel in the same landscape where livestock once grazed, and we endure the droughts and storms as they did as they worked for their livelihoods,” said Strickfaden. “By preserving history, we learn more about ourselves.”

Public contributions to the fund are welcome, and can be made at https://alamos.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards eleven local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $800,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – Over 50 community members gathered in person and virtually at Fuller Lodge on November 17 to celebrate “Change, Progress and Growth” as noted by the evening’s emcee and LACF Executive Director, Rachel Kizielewicz.

“Our mission is to build enduring philanthropy to empower our community’s nonprofit organizations, and the way we do that is by helping community members create endowments to benefit a particular organization or a particular cause,” said Kizielewicz. “We invest the principal of the endowment, ensure prudent funds management, and the earnings generated by the endowment each year get directed out to the community in the form of grants to nonprofits.”

In 2021, LACF awarded seven grants, totaling $27,000 in its first cycle of discretionary grants aimed at building the capacity of local nonprofits.

Self Help Board member, Evelyn Mullen, expressed gratitude for a capacity-building grant to develop a robust database especially helpful to capture the organization’s many donors and supporters.

Liz Martineau, Executive Director of the Los Alamos Historical Society, and Jordan Redmond, Executive Director of Los Alamos Family Council both talked about their participation in “Jumpstart” a year-long fundraising mentorship program made possible by funding from N3B.

Redmond noted that LAFC adopted an “endowment strategy” and created their agency endowment fund at LACF. Redmond has a goal of growing the endowment to a point where it will eventually cover the organization’s operating costs in perpetuity.

“Los Alamos Community Foundation has truly done a wonderful job of bringing the notion of sustainability and longevity to the nonprofits here in town,” said Redmond.

In addition to N3B, Kizielewicz spoke of funding partnerships with Century Bank and Delle Foundation as well as continuing partnerships with Enterprise Bank, LANL Foundation, LANL Community Partnerships Office and United Way of Northern New Mexico.

During the event, LACF announced two new endowments. Georgia Strickfaden recently created the “Pajarito Plateau Heritage Preservation Endowment” to fund historic preservation of the homestead era on the Pajarito plateau. Ken Milder, a founding board member of Los Alamos Community Foundation, recently created an endowment to benefit the Los Alamos Little Theatre.

Cindy Rooney, Chancellor of UNM-Los Alamos and LACF board member announced that as part of a U.S. Department of Education Title V grant received by UNM-LA, there is a unique opportunity for donations to the UNM-LA endowment account held at the Community Foundation to be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000 over five years.

Rick Reiss, LACF volunteer bookkeeper and investment committee member, closed the evening by honoring founding member Don Cobb, noting the instrumental work he has done for the Foundation and for so many other organizations in our community. Cobb retires from the Board after serving the organization for seven years.

“Rachel mentioned two new endowments had recently been created, but I’m excited to announce that there are actually three, because the Foundation’s board has created an endowment in Don Cobb’s honor in acknowledgment of the extraordinary support Don has extended to many nonprofit organizations,” said Reiss.

Cobb added, “It’s been my honor to serve with a great group of people. I’m proud to have been part of building LACF into a contributing part of the Los Alamos community.”

For more information or to donate to any of the endowments held by LACF, please visit LosAlamosCF.org/donate.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards eleven local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $900,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – The Los Alamos Community Foundation recently awarded $27,000 to seven local nonprofit organizations in its first discretionary competitive grant cycle. The overall purpose of funding is to support projects that improve long-term financial health of the organization. 

The recipients are:

  • Self Help 
  • Los Alamos Visiting Nurses 
  • PEEC 
  • Los Alamos Makers 
  • Los Alamos JJAB 
  • First Born of Los Alamos 
  • LARSO 

Sixteen applications were received from Los Alamos nonprofit organizations and were reviewed and scored by a panel of community and board members.

Los Alamos resident Lynn Finnegan was one of several community members who reviewed grants for LACF.  “I was impressed with the creative ideas and obvious dedication to their organizations presented by all the grant applicants,” said Finnegan. Projects identified by the grantees included improving databases and overall technology, strategic and marketing planning, skills development and training, and program improvements.

“Increasing the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations is germane to our mission,” said Patrick Soran, LACF Board Member. “This is the first of hopefully many funding opportunities to our local nonprofits that strengthens their long-term viability and sustainability.”

LACF’s competitive grant programs are supported by gifts from donors who have entrusted the Foundation to make grants that address ever-changing community needs and to support local non-profits to address those needs. 

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards eleven local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $800,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.

(LACF News) – The orchestras from the Los Alamos High School and Middle School were treated recently to a virtual masterclass as well as a virtual performance by the San Francisco string quartet Del Sol.  LAHS alumnus Charlton Lee (class of ‘83) founded the quartet, and their recent album, Kooch-e Khaman, currently sits fifth on the Billboard Classical Charts.

“Our orchestras were inspired by live performances and masterclasses with Del Sol. This was made possible due to funding from the Paul A. and Susan E. Bombardt K-12 Music Education Endowment for Los Alamos Public Schools,” said Michelle Rosette, LAHS Orchestra Instructor. “This energy infusion was so needed and welcomed,” she added.  

According to Rosette, the quartet spent two class periods at LAMS and two at LAHS in a masterclass-type setting. Members of Del Sol talked about their current projects, activism, and how the group was started. 

“Our students then performed for them individually, mostly seniors at LAHS, and the Del Sol members gave gentle but excellent critique,” said Rosette. “Both classes were treated to a performance presented virtually from San Francisco where Del Sol is based.”

“Susan and I are just delighted that our Music Education Endowment Fund supported this project, and what a wonderful bonus that a member of Del Sol is a former resident,” said Paul Bombardt. “We are looking forward to funding more positive experiences for our students.” 

The Paul A. and Susan E. Bombardt K-12 Music Education Endowment for Los Alamos Public Schools was established at the Los Alamos Community Foundation in 2020. The fund’s purpose is to support students in music education in Los Alamos by providing funding for performing artists to give demonstrations, classes, or workshops that will expose, engage and excite students (K–12). The fund also supports teachers in their efforts to attract and retain music students throughout their education and provide student access to musical instrument (rental) where needed. Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation administers the funds from the endowment to benefit the school district.

Public contributions to the fund are welcome, and can be made at https://alamos.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards eleven local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $800,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.