Community First Foundation

We are a leading community foundation that helps donors and nonprofits improve quality of life and create positive change in Jefferson County, the Denver metropolitan area and beyond.

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Start a fundraiser Current fundraisers for this charity (9)


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Beth McConkey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Start Date: 2018

Beth joined Community First Foundation in April 2018. She is a tech-biased communication and marketing professional who has been creating and leading multichannel strategies for almost 20 years. Beth enjoys building high-achieving teams through heart-centered leadership and courageous transparency. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served in marketing and communications leadership roles at Regis University, Rocky Mountain MS Center, and Colorado Energy Science Center.

Beth holds a bachelor of applied science in Business and Marketing from Regis University. She enjoys making art of all types and is happiest when she's in the woods or near large bodies of water.

Erica Thornley, Vice President of Product Development, ColoradoGives
Start Date: 2021

Erica joined Community First Foundation in January 2021. Erica brings more than 15 years of digital product management experience to the Foundation. Prior to joining Community First Foundation, Erica held a leadership role at Cro Metrics, an experimentation and optimization agency as well as leading the Digital Experience team at Vail Resorts, Inc., a premier mountain resort company. She is passionate about website optimization and innovation to deliver a seamless online experience. Her expertise includes developing platform optimization strategies, executing complex digital initiatives, and leading cross functional teams to deliver results. She holds a Master of Arts in Business Management and Economics from Assumption College.

Noah Atencio, Vice President of Community Impact
Start Date: 2014

Noah joined the Foundation in June 2014 as vice president of Community Impact. He brings more than 22 years of grantmaking and program development experience to his role of overseeing the deployment of the Foundation's grantmaking resources. Previously he served in leadership positions at the Daniels Fund and El Pomar Foundation. Noah has also served on numerous commissions and held advisory roles on issues related to early childhood, homelessness and substance abuse. A student of leadership, he is a proud alumnus of the President's Leadership Class at the University of Colorado - Boulder, the El Pomar Fellowship in Community Service, Leadership Jeffco and the Latino Leadership Institute.

Noah is a native Coloradan and grew up in Westminster. He holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Kelly S. Dunkin, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2019

Kelly Dunkin joined Community First Foundation as President and CEO in February 2019. Previously she worked for a variety of nonprofit, business and social impact organizations. These include 11 years at The Colorado Health Foundation in Denver, where she grew into the role of Vice President of Philanthropy, and 10.10.10, where she served as National Director. 10.10.10 is a project of Colorado Nonprofit Development Center and inspires entrepreneurs to solve 10 "wicked" social problems.

Kelly also served as a consultant for businesses, nonprofits and social impact startups as well as projects in Lima, Peru, where she developed her Spanish language skills.

Kelly's education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University, an Elementary Education Licensure from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Ghazal Vaghedi, Vice President of Business Development and Community Engagement
Start Date: 2021

Ghazal joined the Foundation in March 2021 and is responsible for cultivating, nurturing and serving a portfolio of donors and prospective donors to educate, activate and influence current and legacy giving. She brings extensive experience in assessing customer needs and optimizing products and service solutions for donors, businesses and nonprofits. Prior to joining Community First Foundation, Ghazal held leadership roles as Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development for Countable, Vice President of Community and Business Development for MightyCause (formerly Razoo), and Head of Market Development at Engaging Networks.

Ghazal attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts in International Affairs and Political Science. She also holds a Master of Laws in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies from the University of London.

Kenneth R. Kirwin, Vice President of Finance
Start Date: 2008

Kenneth Kirwin joined the Foundation in December 2008 after serving as Controller/CFO for the Tennyson Center for Children. He has served in a financial capacity in the nonprofit sector since 1991 at organizations such as Denver Rescue Mission and New Ventures of Regis University.

Ken was raised in Colorado and received a bachelor of science in professional accounting and business administration/ finance from Regis University. He received an M.B.A. in finance at Loyola University in Chicago. He is a certified public accountant.


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Nonprofit completed the Colorado Nonprofit Association's Excellence in Principles & Practices Recognition Program?



Community Investment

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.