Introduction

A Letter from the Executive Director

202020192018

Dear Posner Center Community, Stakeholders, and Friends:

This past year the Posner Center and its Community have faced existential uncertainty and a fight for survival. So many of our organizations and their people around the world were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and its health, economic and social crises. At the same time, we had a crucial reckoning on our role in perpetuating and ignoring inequities and racism in our development work at home and abroad.

We have emerged from all this a better organization with a bigger, more vibrant Community.

Last year I promised you the difference between pre-2020 Posner Center and post-2020 Posner Center would be stark and vast…and that it would be a good thing. We took bold, concrete steps in the right direction while navigating huge pandemic-related financial losses.

We made a genuine commitment to prioritizing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do. As a result, we put the entire organization through a systematic and systemic review. We looked at our mission, our policies, programming, and ways of doing business. We did not like what we saw and made some significant changes as a result. You will also see these changes reflected in our mission statement, strategic plan, staff and board recruitment, and our way of doing business, including grantmaking and programming pricing structures.

This past year we did our best to keep the Community together and collaborating and expanded our global and local development network. We gave financial relief to many of our tenant organizations, extended memberships, were flexible with our grantmaking, and provided other financial assistance where we could. In addition, we reached out to support our local community, conducting a neighborhood Covid-19 vaccine clinic with partners and the State of Colorado, and providing free office, meeting, and event space to local organizations.

 Perhaps the biggest change this past year is that the Posner Center is utterly focused on decolonizing development. We want to support our Community and others to collaborate and learn ways to disrupt deeply-rooted imperialist power structures and assumptions that are still embedded in our development work. This focus will run through all our work, including our annual Symposium, grantmaking, programming, and the annual Catalyst Report. 

Our call to action to all of you is to focus on anti-racism in development work, diversify the global development field, and have a more equitable impact that begins to repair past and current injustices and reimagine more just approaches for global impact. We are not experts and hope to learn and improve our work every day.

We have survived, thrived, and found a new path forward reimagining what Posner Center and its Community can and should be.  As always, we invite you to join and support us in these efforts.

Onward and upward!

Burke Fishburn

Dear Posner Center Community, Stakeholders, and Friends:

As I write this, the Covid-19 pandemic is creating devastating health, economic and social crises. It is severely straining global development and humanitarian systems, and also having dire impacts on the Posner Center Community. And in the midst of the pandemic, the United States is struggling to address deep-rooted systemic racism and its horrific consequences.

A huge factor of this devastation and national strife is uncertainty. It seems every week we must reassess and make our best guesses on what is ahead. There are signs of hope. Many development organizations are driving towards a global solidarity that will strengthen systems, responses, and streamline local and the national organizations. And, many are seeking to address inequities, racism and persistent colonial attitudes that still freely course through our well-intentioned, but fatally infected, global poverty reduction efforts. At the heart of this is a recognition of the critical need for meaningful, impactful collaboration.

Over two years ago, we began to sharpen our focus on our audacious goal to transform global development. These efforts continued through 2019, with investments in a new annual Symposium on collaboration in global development, leadership training and coaching, and strengthening evaluation skills. We stepped up our commitments to contributions to best practices in global development, scaled up projects and programs that advocate for and promote the Community,  and expanded our global development network.

In the past several months we have had to make many tough budget choices in the face of immediate and potential Covid-19 financial impacts. The difference between pre-2020 Posner Center and post-2020 Posner Center will be stark and vast. And this will be a good thing. We are taking a bigger, bolder step in the right direction, reimagining what Posner Center and its Community can and should be. In 2020 we are still committed to our vision and mission, but with a new urgency and vigor to meet these new global health and societal challenges.

As always, we invite you to join the Posner Center Community and support these efforts.

Onward and upward!

Burke Fishburn

Dear Posner Center Community, Stakeholders and Friends:

I am happy to report that the power and promise of collaboration still drives us.

This past year we sharpened our focus on our audacious goal to transform global development. As a result, some of our priorities and benchmarks for success have changed. We are investing more in professional and organizational capacity building for our community. This move goes deeper, requiring a higher level of commitment, with an emphasis on leadership training, evaluation skills, and contributions to best practices in global development.

Another major change is our plan to scale the projects and programs that advocate for and promote the Community, create larger networks for sharing their collaboration successes (or failures), and facilitate robust exchange of knowledge and expertise.

I invite you to read more about these efforts in this report and invest in our impact.

Yours in collaboration,

Burke Fishburn

What we do

Transforming Global Development

MISSION

Catalyze the global development community, at home and abroad, to collaborate for greater impact.

VISION

A more equitable and prosperous world.

Approach

 


Convene

We convene the global development community, working at home and abroad, creating a collaborative culture that is inclusive, diverse, and innovative.


Connect

We connect our community to share expertise and knowledge, increase our organizational capacity, and promote our efforts and successes.


Catalyze

We catalyze the community through our thought leadership, programming, and advancing best practices in collaboration.

Impacting all corners of the world.

Above: The number of Posner organizations working in each region.

Who we are

A dynamic and thriving community

200 Organizations | 100 Countries | 15 Sectors

We are a thriving community of international non-profit and for-profit organizations, universities, foundations, and consultants that joins together to share our knowledge, experiences, expertise and resources, pushing the concept of collaboration toward concrete, measurable results in the field of global development.

The nearly 200 organizations convening in our historic Horse Barn collaborative workspace in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood work in over 100 countries, across virtually every sector of global development, from sustainability and economic development to human rights and education. Our Community is contributing to many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

Impacting every sector of global development

Above: The number of Posner organizations working in each sector.

Our programs

Working together for a more equitable and prosperous world

Annual Symposium

Gathering leaders to improve global development

The Symposium convenes international thought leaders, experts, and local and global stakeholders to share experiences with the goal of understanding and improving best practices in collaborative global development. It’s not your typical symposium; we combine thought-provoking, relevant content with meeting protocols that are provocative, engaging, memorable, and innovative.
We aim to grow the Symposium to an international conference that will make Denver the center for collaborative global development ideas.

Explore Symposium 2019: Lessons in Collaboration.

Explore Symposium 2020: Bid & Bad Ideas in Collaboration.

Collaborative Global Development Report

Advancing best practices in global development

Catalyst, our report on collaborative global development, consolidates the key findings of the Symposium as well as other invited contributions to advance the evidence base for global development best practices with a unique focus on collaboration. The report provides a key forum for the Posner Center Community to communicate its work and influence the field of global development.

Read our first edition of Catalyst.

praxis

Strengthening evidence-based global development practices

A collaboration between the Posner Center and Regis University’s Development Practice, the praxis program delivers a series of courses so social impact professionals can strengthen their evidence-based development impact.  Field-expert-taught course offerings such as Monitoring & Evaluation, Qualitative Data Assessment, Data Visualization, and Program Design are designed for global engagement of students around the world via real-time videoconference participation.

Courses can be completed individually or combined into the 5-course praxis Certificate of Evidence-Based Development.

Learn more about praxis.

Communities of Practice

Capacity building through peer networks

In addition to offering formal mentoring and coaching programs to strengthen the global development leadership skills and competencies of its community members, the Posner Center facilitates outcome-oriented professional development Communities of Practice. These communities are established and led by Posner Tenants and Members based on their current needs and interests.

Current Communities of Practice include Organizational Leadership, Monitoring & Evaluation, Communications, Gender Advocacy, and Development & Fundraising.

International Collaboration Fund

Innovation through collaborative grant-making

The International Collaboration Fund (ICF) supports collaborations between organizations in the Posner Center community.

ICF grants enable organizations focused on global development to build capacity, explore new directions, fuel action, and enhance their impact.

Since its inception in 2015, the Posner Center has awarded over $365,000 to 69 Tenant, Member and partner organizations collaborating on 34 projects in 19 countries.

ICF Project Case Study: Moving up the Coffee Value Chain

With an ICF award for innovation in technology supported by Arrow Electronics, iDE and Bext360 are helping small Honduran coffee farmers “Move Up the Coffee Value Chain via Blockchain” by directly linking farmers in Honduras to coffee roasters in the United States.

Through this project, iDE and Bext360 are working to improve supply chain transparency through blockchain technology to address market failures. Their partnership serves as a model for connecting coffee producers and buyers with financial and agricultural technology solutions and the project is a continued evolution of market-based approaches to poverty reduction.

Check out our full list of ICF projects.

Decolonizing Development

A Community Journey

The Posner Center has recommitted to centering equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice in our own work and in our programming over the past year. As a community of global development practitioners, we specifically have focused on decolonizing global development workacknowledging and disrupting colonial legacies and reimagining a transformed, more equitable sector without the influence of colonialism. We have explored the lens of decolonizing through various workshops and actions throughout the year. 

Here’s how these programs have impacted two staff of Global Seed Savers Philippines as participants and how they are beginning to transform their organization:

Case Study: Beginning the Decolonizing Process

Harry Paulino, Cebu Seed Production Coordinator

A baseline of Global Seed Savers mission is the preservation and passing on the seeds of hope. And embedded to these seed varieties are the rich heritage and diverse culture of the Philippines.

In the Philippines infix to the norm for decades is naming or calling someone with “Ma’am/Sir” as a way for most to address someone. As a response, during the Annual Thanksgiving last December 2020 with the Cebu Seed Savers, our farmers came up and decided to call one another what they called “Ka-CSSAP” which means “Co-Cebu Seed Savers and Partners.” A step to make a shift in how to acknowledge everyone and each other regardless of social status yet with due respect and acknowledgment on changing the latter tradition.

Karen Lee Hizola, Executive Director 

The Philippines is a very diverse country with over 120 different languages with at least 26 surviving writing systems. These different cultures and customs come from ethnolinguistic groups and tribes that live on the over 7,000 islands that are part of the archipelago. 400 years of colonization by the Spaniards, Japanese, and Americans have, in most cases, violently erased what once was.

Decolonizing development was always an integral part of the work of Global Seed Savers Philippines, but it was never a fully conscious and intentional movement. The workshops have helped ensure that every team member is aware of the extent to which our cultures, lives, and everyday choices are affected by colonization. Because western standards have become our standards here in the Philippines in terms of work, profit, life priorities, some traditional values like family-first, mutual aid have been forgotten. Leadership hierarchies and social stratification (though unspoken) are the current norms. Global Seed Savers Philippines is currently working on a leadership model that is circular and not vertical.

Part of what we have always tried to share is that farmers are the backbone of our nation. We want to bring farmers and their work to the forefront and help people remember the importance of having a regenerative relationship with our land and seas. The Philippines is blessed with mega-biodiversity—we have over a thousand possible food crops that have been overlooked because they are not what we see as sexy or popular in the west. We are trying to incorporate decolonizing the mindset in our food and seed sovereignty work.

These changes we are implementing, we hope, will create a safe space for everyone who is evolving. This is something we’ve always been proud of, welcoming diversity, truly seeing each multi-faceted identity, and embracing the richness and the beauty of our culture.

Global Development

Posner Center Hosts Denver Goalmakers 2020

The Posner Center was proud to be Denver’s host organization for Goalmakers 2020, a nationwide initiative to bring together practitioners from NGOs, companies, foundations, and universities to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given the severe setbacks around the world from Covid-19. Throughout 4Q2020, roundtable discussions and public events centered on individual SDGs were held in seven cities across the U.S. Here in Denver, we focused on SDGs #7, #13, and #15, hosting two roundtables discussions on:

Thought leadership from these roundtables contributed to a national conversation around the SDGs and culminated in a Goalmakers2020 National Forum highlighting cross-cutting themes and needed action, and the 2020 Goalmakers Report summarizing the 13 Goalmaker City roundtable discussions across the U.S.

Partners &  Supporters

A special thanks to the people behind the work.

Partners, Donors and Sponsors

202020192018
Collegiate Peaks Bank
Elizabeth Ellis
Engineers without Borders
Harvey Family Foundation
GAN
Global Seed Savers ~ Sherry Manning
Global Washington
GRF CPAs & Advisors
Harvey Family Foundation
iDE
Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship
JHJ Posner Family Fund
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
PB and K Family Foundation
Allison Phillips
Regis University
Patrick Riley
Rose Foundation
Arrow Electronics
CoBank
Collegiate Peaks Bank
Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship
Elizabeth Ellis
Engineers without Borders
Harvey Family Foundation
JHJ Posner Family Foundation
Gina Moran
PB and K Family Foundation
Regis University
Patrick Riley ~ GAN
Rose Foundation
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
US Bank Foundation
Willett Foundation
Chris Woldum
Zeppelin Development
Arrow Electronics
Beyond Our Borders
CoBank
Collegiate Peaks Bank
Elizabeth Ellis
Engineers without Borders
Green Fund
Dan Harris
Harvey Family Foundation
JHJ Posner Family Foundation
Mottern Realty
PB and K Family Foundation
Regis University
Patrick Riley ~ GAN
Rose Foundation
Rick & Nina Shuyler
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Vaughan Ventures
Willett Foundation
Chris Woldum
Zeppelin Development

Posner Tenants and Members

Click here to explore our Tenant and Member Community.

Staff and Board

202020192018
Staff

Executive Director
Burke Fishburn

Program Director
Lauren Andraski

Development Director
Julia Kennedy

Community Manager
Ezzie Dominguez

Board

Chair
Elizabeth Ellis

Vice-Chair
Sherry Manning

Treasurer
Allison “Alli” Phillips

Secretary
Pat Riley
Veronica Cavallaro

Directors
Neena Jain
Madhavan Parthasarathy
Aaron Smith
Barbara Smith
Rebecca Yount

Staff

Executive Director
Burke Fishburn

Program Director
Lauren Andraski
Meghan Sagaria-Barritt

Development Director
Julia Kennedy
Jessica Harig

Community Manager
Esmeralda Dominguez-Perez
Callen Blackburn

Board

Chair
Chris Woldum

Vice-Chair
Elizabeth Ellis

Treasurer
Allison “Alli” Phillips
Silvia Hodlewsky

Secretary
Veronica Cavallaro
Daniel Harris

Directors
Stephanie Dybsky
Neena Jain
Sherry Manning
Madhavan Parthasarathy
Sanjay Rajan
Pat Riley
Aaron Smith
Barbara Smith
Diana Walker

 

Staff

Executive Director
Burke Fishburn

Program Director
Meghan Sagaria-Barritt

Development Director
Jessica Harig

Facilities Manager
Esmeralda Dominguez-Perez

Community Manager
Victoria Ireland
Rachel Feldman
Callen Blackburn

Board

Chair
Chris Woldum

Vice-Chair
Elizabeth Ellis

Treasurer
Silvia Hodlwesky

Secretary
Dan Harris

Directors
Veronica Cavallaro
Stephanie Dybsky
Patrick Gaston
Sherry Manning
Mary Perkins
Patrick Riley
Diana Walker

 

Financials

Financial Statements

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

202020192018
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents $216,606
Accounts receivable
Contributions receivable $25,000
Prepaid deposits $19,910
Pledge receivable, net of present value $116,013
Property and equipment, net $101,224
Beneficial interest in assets held by others $29,840
Total assets $542,589
Liabilities
Accounts payable $12,229
Paycheck Protection Program Lona $54,700
Refundable deposits $33,996
Deferred income $10,088
Total Liabilities $111,013
Net assets
Without donor restrictions
   Undesignated $240,512
   Net investment in fixed assets $101,224
   Total without donor restrictions $341,736
With donor restrictions
   Donor specific purpose $60,000
   Endowment $29,840
   Total with donor restrictions $89,840
      Total net assets $431,576
      Total liabilities and net assets $542,589
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents $192,500
Accounts receivable $3,908
Contributions receivable $50,000
Prepaid deposits $22,289
Pledge receivable, net of present value $178,648
Property and equipment, net $103,886
Beneficial interest in assets held by others $27,050
Total assets $615,911
Liabilities
Accounts payable $7,687
Accrued payroll expenses
Refundable deposits $37,630
Deferred income $13,133
Total Liabilities $58,450
Net assets
Without donor restrictions
   Undesignated $343,575
   Net investment in fixed assets $103,886
   Total without donor restrictions $447,461
With donor restrictions
   Donor specific purpose $85,000
   Endowment $25,000
   Total with donor restrictions $110,000
      Total net assets $557,461
      Total liabilities and net assets $615,911
Assets
Cash and cash equivalents $215,246
Accounts receivable $3,741
Contributions receivable $35,000
Prepaid deposits $22,317
Pledge receivable, net of present value $193,032
Property and equipment, net $120,813
Beneficial interest in assets held by others $23,688
Total assets $654,063
Liabilities
Accounts payable $11,098
Accrued payroll expenses $1,924
Refundable deposits $40,226
Total Liabilities $53,248
Net assets
Without donor restrictions
   Undesignated $349,314
   Net investment in fixed assets $120,813
   Total without donor restrictions $470,127
With donor restrictions
   Donor specific purpose $107,000
   Endowment $23,688
   Total with donor restrictions $130,688
      Total net assets $600,815
      Total liabilities and net assets $654,063

 

STATEMENT OF Activities

202020192018
Revenue & Other Support
Tenant rentals $491,168
Individual and corporate contributions $31,172
Foundations $29,167
Membership dues $18,620
Symposium & other income $47,905
Investment income $112
Net assets released from restrictions $44,950
Total revenue and other support $673,055
Expenses
Program services $680.664
Support services
      Management and general $52,318
      Fundraising $45,798
Total expense $778,780
Net Assets
Change in Net Assets (loss) ($105,725)
Net assets, beginning of year $447,461
Net assets, end of year $341,736

The Posner Center’s 2020 IRS Form 990 can be found in our website Resource Library.

Revenue & Other Support
Tenant rentals $570,084
Individual and corporate contributions $26,990
Foundations $110,667
Membership dues $9,977
Other income $47,680
Investment income $3,403
Net assets released from restrictions
Total revenue and other support $768,801
Expenses
Program services $713,531
Support services
      Management and general $43,808
      Fundraising $54,816
Total expense $812,155
Net Assets
Change in Net Assets (loss) ($43,354)
Net assets, beginning of year $600,815
Net assets, end of year $557,461

The Posner Center’s 2019 IRS Form 990 can be found in our website Resource Library.

Revenue & Other Support
Tenant rentals $609,156
Individual and corporate contributions $241,685
Foundations $83,167
Membership dues $14,275
Other program income $1,920
Investment income (loss) ($1,320)
Net assets released from restrictions
Total revenue and other support $951,073
Expenses
Program services $710,584
Support services
      Management and general $38,697
      Fundraising $46,066
Total expense $795,347
Net Assets
Change in Net Assets $155,726
Net assets, beginning of year $445,089
Net assets, end of year $600,815

The Posner Center’s most recent 2018 IRS Form 990 can be found in our website Resource Library.

Invest

Invest in transformation on a global scale

The Posner Center is disrupting the phenomenon of global development organizations operating in isolation from one another. This is a magnificent time to invest in our model and our community as we take the next big steps to transform global development. Contact our Development Director to get started.

Or visit our donation page:

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