Annual Report - We Raise Foundation

Just the Beginning

2017 Annual Report

Just the Beginning

2017 Annual Report

Annual Report
Annual Report

Wheat Ridge donors make new beginnings possible by supporting passionate leaders and ground-breaking projects addressing today’s core issues. On a daily basis we are confronted with grim headlines that echo people’s suffering, struggling, and hardship:

“Chicago’s 762 homicides in 2016 is highest in 19 years.”
“The United States has highest rate of incarceration in the world.”
“Today about three-fourths of both African American and Hispanic students attend schools where a majority of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income.”

In reading the Old Testament Book bearing his name, it’s clear that Isaiah also felt the burden of a broken world. But Isaiah also exhorts his people – and us – to have hope for the future, because God’s ever-present and abundant grace will create a way out of the political and spiritual oppression of the day. His promise is for all of us:

Annual Report

At Wheat Ridge, we see God’s grace living within passionate people working to “do a new thing.” We see it in ambitious projects initiated to lift people out of dire situations and create new beginnings for their lives. And Wheat Ridge donors make it possible.

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Wheat Ridge Ministries has been investing in new start-up nonprofit organizations for more than 65 years!

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Annual Report

These projects work in the United States and around the world to bring health and hope to Christian and non-Christian, young and old, needy and broken.



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We’re pleased to share with you some highlights from a few of our grantees.

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You were here from the beginning. You believed in Wheat Ridge’s groundbreaking crowdfunding platform, and you honored us with your support. WeRaise creates a buzz for “smaller” projects that make a big impact on individuals and communities. A successful WeRaise campaign can be the beginning of a new story for a recipient, a new chapter for a giver, and a new relationship between Wheat Ridge and a viable, sustainable organization working towards positive change in their community, one step at a time. Below we’ve highlighted two of this year’s successful WeRaise campaigns:

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From its beginning, WeRaise has lifted up small projects that make a big impact. Tents, jackets, and dental care might not seem like a big deal, but to hurting people and communities, they make a big difference. Thank you for your prayerful and financial support of WeRaise.

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Your financial and prayerful support is a faithful, extraordinary response to the love God has shown you.
You show compassion to your neighbor.
You help create new beginnings for those who suffer. You listen to God’s message and act.

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Annual Report

Program Expense is comprised of: Grants and Projects ($919,385),
Program Education ($758,554), and Program Support ($404,619).

Total Net Assets at 6/30/17 were $11,757,985.

Wheat Ridge Ministries does not accept any government funding.

View our Audit Report


Fiscal Year 2017

Rev. Anne Christiansen
Former Pastor, Mt. Pleasant Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chapin, SC, Chicago, IL

Rev. Jon Diefenthaler
President Emeritus, Southeastern District, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, Columbia, MD

Mr. Mark Duesenberg
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Ferro Corporation, Rocky River, OH

Mr. Jay Ellwanger
Partner, Ellwanger Law LLLP, Austin, TX (Chair)

Rev. Paul Erickson
Bishop, Greater Milwaukee Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Milwaukee, WI

Mrs. Rae Fangmeier
Community Volunteer, Davidson, NC

Mr. James Handrich
Former Lutheran Educator and Former Headmaster, Hong Kong International School, Naples, FL

Mr. Rick Hein
President and CEO, Miramar Bobcat, Inc., San Diego, CA

Mr. Gregory Jordan
Senior Vice President and Senior Managing Director, Foundation & Institutional Advisors, Northern Trust, Chicago, IL

Mr. A. William Kernen
President, Kernen Family Investments, LLC; Co-Owner and President, Kernen Partners, LLC, Omaha, NE

Cmdr. David Kretzmann
Retired United States Naval Officer, Royal Oaks, CA

Mr. Darron Lowe
Vice President, Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Solutions, O’Fallon, IL

Dr. Roderick McCallum
Professor Emeritus of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, TX

Rev. Wayne Miller
Bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL

Rev. Sunitha Mortha
Director for Mission Formation, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL

Mrs. Monique Nunes
Director of Recruitment and University Relations, Martin Luther School, Bronxville, NY

Mrs. Kay Siebert
Clinic Director, Christ Church-Lutheran Christ Cares Clinic, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ

Mr. Andrew Steele
Director of Global Church Sponsorship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, IL; Founder, Bloom Africa, Lesotho, Africa

Rev. Bruce Strade
Former Executive Director, Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries, Portland, OR

Ms. Karis Thompson
Community Engagement Liaison, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; Strategist for Community Development, Redeemer Center for Life + Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN

Ms. Anne Wenzel
President and Executive Director, Western Colorado Community Foundation, Palisade, CO

Mr. Carson Williams
Acquisition Finance, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Atlanta, GA


Paul Miles

Heather Klein Olson
Vice President for Advancement

Ronda Bischoff
Director of Finance

Ann Brandt
Director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services

Meredith Capocci
Staff Accountant

Matt Croll
Director of Finance

Rebecca Davis
Website Coordinator

Eric Hawley
Assistant Director of Programs

Gail Maher
Ministry Programs Assistant

Abigail Miller
Manager of Crowdfunding and Social Media

Joanne Otte
Director of Programs

Anne Schoenherr
Director of Communications

Jennifer Sievers
Manager of Advancement Services

Tanya Thomas
Executive Assistant to the President