Progress Report

The Barton Institute has been in operation for about two years now, and we are pleased to share our progress with you.

In this Progress Report, you’ll meet people who were once without a home and who now live in the Beloved Community Village of tiny homes in North Denver. You’ll learn about the children in Denver Public Schools who are staying in school by using restorative practices to address discipline issues. You’ll get a glimpse into the work of community members in Southwest Denver coming together to build a center for health and well-being.  And much more.


QF Social Enterprise Fellows Select Field Projects

The QF Social Enterprise Fellows headed off on DU’s winter break with a good feeling – they are each excited to start the field portion of their Fellowships as soon as they’re back on campus in January. This year’s field projects will focus on social enterprises in all three sectors: nonprofit, private, and public.

Here’s how the Fellows will be contributing in 2019:

Blue Star Recyclers: Gideon Irving (Sturm College of Law) and Charlee Ottersberg (Daniels College of Business) will help this electronic recycling program that employs people with autism and other disabilities to expand its work to communities around Colorado.

Cornerstone Capital: Dustin Littleton (Daniels College of Business) and Byron Schuldt (Geography, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics) will work with this socially-conscious investment firm to measure the alignment of its investments in meeting the UN Sustainability Goals.

Fort Lyon/State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs: Ellie Adelman (Graduate School of Social Work) and Bryce Anderson-Gregson (Daniels College of Business) will help this transitional housing program for people recovering from addictions to determine how social enterprises can be developed on their Bent County-based campus.

Knotty Tie: Max Mershon (Daniels College of Business) and Hieu Pham (Health Policy, University College) will work to measure social impact for this custom scarf and tie company that sources its materials sustainably and employs refugees.

Mile High Workshop: Tasia Poinsatte (Josef Korbel School of International Studies) and Zach Thanasilangkul (Economics, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) will help this nonprofit job training program to measure its impact on the lives of the people it serves.

Village Exchange Center: Wala’a Buniayan (Morgridge College of Education) and Summer Downs (Josef Korbel School of International Studies) will help this new Aurora-based center for the immigrant and refugee communities to develop a Cultural Exchange Series as a social enterprise to support their programs.

collage (2).jpg

Colorado Lab Supports Smart Data Summit

The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab (Colorado Lab) supported the Governor’s Office of Information Technology in its first ever Smart Data Summit in November. The event brought together Colorado state agency leadership and staff to discuss how to maximize the value of data to improve the lives of Coloradans. 

Speakers included Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne; Jon Gottsegen, Chief Data Officer at OIT; and Kathy Stack, former Vice President at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and Advisor for Evidence-Based Innovation in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein, Director of the Colorado Lab, moderated a panel on how data sharing improves the lives of Colorado residents. Panelists included Chris Underwood, Director of the Health Information Office at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing; Alison George, Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing; and Kellie Wasko, Deputy Executive Director at the Colorado Department of Corrections. 

Kristin reflected on the panel’s lively exchange: “Health care, housing, and corrections influence the lives of so many people in our state. It was exciting to hear the many ways that these departments are working together to improve the way state government serves Colorado residents.”

The event also included a State Data Initiatives Showcase, including a new state initiative supported by the Colorado Lab to create a linking hub for research and analytics called the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC). Whitney LeBouef, the Colorado Lab’s Director of Data Integration and Analytics, played an important role in the event, including helping secure funding from the National Governor’s Association.

For more information about the Colorado Lab and its work, visit

Colorado Lab Launches Research Network

On September 14, nearly a hundred researchers, state government officials, and community leaders gathered at History Colorado to launch the Colorado Applied Research and Action Network (CARAN). CARAN members will work with the Colorado Lab to improve the lives of Colorado residents by partnering with state and local governments to strengthen coordinated and person-centered services.

In a keynote address that set the tone for the day, Reggie Bicha, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services, said, “We’re so fortunate to have the Colorado Lab…for many years, we have focused on putting research into action, but the challenge we have [in government] is putting action into research.”

The event was the first step in formalizing a network that will include researchers from universities, private research firms, and nonprofit organizations. To apply or learn more, visit

QF Social Enterprise Fellows Kick Off the Year

In the classroom, around the dinner table, and on the trails of Chautauqua Park in Boulder, the 2018-19 cohort of Social Enterprise Fellows is learning about social enterprise and each other.

Fellows were asked to bring an artifact to share and to describe their leadership journey and what they bring to the Fellowship. We’re delighted to share one particularly powerful story of a Fellow’s journey from Summer Downs.

20 organizations responded to our request for proposals and are competing to host teams Fellows from January – May of 2019. Watch future issues of the newsletter for details on those selected!

First Year of Tiny Homes Village a Success for Residents/Neighbors

First Year of Tiny Homes Village a Success for Residents/Neighbors

The Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver today released the results from a study of Colorado Village Collaborative’s Beloved Community Village. The comprehensive evaluation was conducted by the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

The results of the evaluation indicate that the Village is a success for both the residents themselves and for the surrounding community.

Introducing the 2018-19 Social Enterprise Fellows

Fellows collage header.jpg

The Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver is pleased to announce the selection of the 2018-19 QF Social Enterprise Fellows.

Twelve Fellows were selected from a competitive pool and represent eight different academic programs.

A list of the Fellows is below and you can read more here.

The QF Social Enterprise Fellowship has two goals: to give DU graduate students the opportunity to work across disciplines and with community-based social enterprises, and to expand the impact of social enterprises in Colorado’s communities.

The Fellowship program is sponsored by Quarterly Forum (QF) as part of their effort to grow leaders in the public, private, and social sectors.

In the first year of the program, Fellows took part in six different projects at five organizations. One pair of Fellows worked with Access Art Gallery on Santa Fe, which represents and employs disabled artists. The Fellows helped Access to improve their corporate art sales program. Anna Bernhardt, a second year law student, conducted a legal audit and solidified operational structures, while Jayne Butler, who received her Masters of Fine Arts from DU on June 8th, created a “Look Book” to boost corporate sales.

Fellows worked with Women’s Bean Project to improve client experience, and created business plans for social enterprises at Emily Griffith Technical College and Groundwork Denver. Still others worked with The Denver Foundation to outline the growth model for social enterprises, and to examine the breadth and strength of the social enterprise community in Metro Denver.

Learn more about Social Enterprise Fellowship program.

2018-19 Barton Institute QF Social Enterprise Fellows:
Ellie Adelman / Graduate School of Social Work
Bryce Anderson-Gregson / Daniels College of Business
Waala Bunaiyan / Morgridge College of Education
Summer Downs / Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Gideon Irving / Sturm College of Law
Dustin Littleton / Daniels College of Business
Max Mershon / Daniels College of Business
Charlee Ottersberg / Daniels College of Business
Hieu Pham / University College (Health Policy)
Tasia Poinsatte / Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Byron Schuldt / National Sciences and Math (Geography)
Zach Thanasilangkul / Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (Economics)