In the late 1980s, the Junior League of Denver researched ways of creating a secure funding base to ensure its ongoing financial stability. An endowment fund was established by the JLD Board with $70,000 during the JLD’s 70th Anniversary. The endowment fund was derived primarily from excess fundraising income and reached its $1 million goal in 1992. The Annual Campaign Committee was established in 1990 and continues to raise funds on behalf of the JLD and JLD Foundation. In 1991, a special committee recommended the establishment of a supporting foundation to better meet the long-term needs of the JLD. The $1 million endowment fund served as seed money for the new JLD Foundation (JLDF), which was incorporated in 1992 within the State of Colorado. A Board of Directors, currently composed of 13 Active and Sustaining members, governs the JLDF independently from the JLD and its Board. The JLDF established an initial goal of $6.6 million as the target after which annual distributions from the JLD Foundation to the JLD would begin.
In December 2007, the Foundation reached this initial goal. In 2008-2009, the JLD received its first-ever distribution of $216,905 from the Foundation. Each year, the JLDF makes an annual distribution to the JLD to support community programs through direct grants, trained volunteers and public policy initiatives. The JLDF has seen steady growth and its distributions to the JLD have reflected a 33% increase since that first distribution.