As a foundation, we take pride in doing more than just giving out grants. The need for collaboration underlines all the important work done by our grantees. Our collaborations take many forms, allowing us to work closely with communities, build partnerships, and promote positive change.

Affordable Housing

Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund

The Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund (the “Strategic Housing Trust Fund”) was created in 2020 to address the affordable housing shortfall in Rapid City. Housed at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the Strategic Housing Trust Fund takes a long-term approach to the strategic housing issues faced by our community through revolving funds for housing development.

Our role: Founding member, funder. Alan from the JTVF team sits on the Advisory group for this work.


Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition

The coalition is a collaboration of 40+ organizations that advance best practices in homeless services, engage in joint problem-solving, and create shared solutions to both individual and community issues affecting those experiencing homelessness.

Our role: Participant


Community Development Block Grant Board of Directors

This committee reviews requests for City funding for social services programs and the Community Development Block Grant. Mayor Allender utilizes a priority-based budget approach, so funding is intended to align with city/community defined priorities.

Our role: Alan from the JTVF team participates in this committee through appointment by former Rapid City Mayor Allender.

The NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab 2023 Peer Cities Network

Rapid City is one of five city teams selected nationwide to participate in the 2023 Peer Cities Network – a national program for small and mid-size city leaders to develop innovative and equitable local housing solutions. The Rapid City team will is comprised of representatives from the City of Rapid City, John T. Vucurevich Foundation, Black Hills Area Community Foundation, and Elevate Rapid City.
Our role: Participant


Early Learning

JTVF Child Care Innovation Fund

Housed at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the JTVF Child Care Innovation Fund will be used to pilot a program where local businesses, philanthropy, and employees themselves equally share the costs of child care. It’s a bold step towards addressing a growing concern in the modern workforce—child care affordability. The Tri-Share Program aims to make child care affordable and accessible for working parents, help employers retain and attract employees, and support child care providers’ sustainability.

Our role: Founder

National League of Cities Learning Cohort

Rapid City was selected to participate in a national Early Learning Municipal Policy Alignment Cohort in 2019 comprised of 24 communities across the U.S. Participation has leveraged Rapid City to receive national connections to other organizations such as Home Grown, Reinvestment Fund, Low Income Investment Fund, and Stanford Graduate School of Education.

Our role: As part of the Advisory team for ELRC, Jess meets virtually with this cohort.


South Dakota Childcare Business Collaborative

ELSD was accepted in 2023 to join a cohort of states to lead a Childcare/Business Collaborative.

Our role: Participant


Early Learner South Dakota

Early Learner South Dakota (ELSD) is a community-driven, grass roots effort, led by the South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children (SDAEYC) bringing awareness and support to the importance of how access to a variety of early learning environments impacts our community’s future.

Our role: JTVF participates on the statewide leadership, advocacy, and funding committees for ELSD.


Early Learner Rapid City

Early Learner Rapid City is an effort under the ELSD umbrella with a vision that all children have access to quality early learning experiences and environments to create a solid foundation for lifelong success. Early Learner communities, such as Rapid City, engage their community stakeholders to improve early learning in their community. Rapid City is using the Early Learning Community Action Guide from the National League of Cities which helps communities take action to become an Early Learning Community.

Our role: Jess from the JTVF team is on the core leadership team for Early Learner Rapid City, alongside United Way of the Black Hills – Black Hills Reads Initiative, the City of Rapid City, and Early Childhood Connections.


Economic Mobility

Uplifting Parents Coalition

The Uplifting Parents program (UP) provides single parents who are not in crisis support to obtain an Associate or Bachelor’s degree within 2 years. UP utilizes a collaborative referral approach that includes many Different Lens Coaches and Up Coalition members who actively vet and accept participants to the program.

Our role: Jess from the JTVF team participates in the UP Coalition.


Workforce Connections Collaborative

Workforce Connections convenes quarterly meetings to discuss various programs and how to align services to clients. Jessica regularly attends these meetings and present evaluation findings to the group annually.

Our role: Participant


Elevate Rapid City

In 2018, JTVF invested in Elevate Rapid City, an economic development entity for Rapid City and the Black Hills region. Its mission is to achieve the shared economic and community development goals that will elevate the quality of life and employment opportunities for all those who call Rapid City home. Our investment in the workforce development strategy of Elevate directly aligns with our cradle to career funding priority.

Our role: Funder, Alan from the JTVF team is a member of the Board of Directors and executive committee.



The purpose of the OneHeart transformation campus is to elevate the human spirit and the spirit of the Rapid City community. By providing transitional housing and co-locating a variety of services - from childcare to healthcare, from counseling to financial education, and from job-training to higher education– OneHeart creates a way to more efficiently, effectively, and collectively help our neighbors without homes move into permanent housing and a better quality of life.

Our role: Alan from the JTVF team serves in an advisory capacity to the OneHeart board of directors.


Basic Needs

Systems of Care Collaborative

JTVF facilitates a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is organized to meet the behavioral health challenges of children, youth and families to help function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. The SOCC advocates for eliminating gaps in services specific to the needs of children.

Our role: JTVF facilitates this collaborative monthly.

West River Behavior Health Alliance

A study was conducted in 2019 identifying the greatest need for the area to be a crisis stabilization unit to serve individuals being placed on involuntary mental health holds who are sent to the emergency department and then placed into a short-term inpatient stay at the behavioral health unit. The Alliance worked with legislators to have statues changed to support a crisis stabilization models in SD and then to help fund the construction of regionally based facilities. The Alliance has also worked to secure state funding and other philanthropic funding to launch the service once construction of the Rapid City facility is complete.

Our role: Alan from the JTVF team serves on this alliance.

Western South Dakota Funders Group
Initiated and convened by JTVF to bring together local funders to discuss each other’s priorities, processes and grantmaking. Regular participants include Foundation representation from Bush Foundation; Black Hills Area Community Foundation, South Dakota Community Foundation, Stearns Foundation, Black Hills Energy, Monument Health Foundation, Black Hills Energy Foundation, United Way of the Black Hills, and NDN Collective.

Our role: Founding member

Community Services Connections

This coalition of non-profits gather monthly to keep each other informed on what’s happening in their organization. They describe new or changing programing, staff etc.

Our role: Participant