transformational Approach

We believe in the unique power of venture philanthropy. By infusing our business knowledge, leadership, and influence towards social impact innovations we can provide a voice to the voiceless and build better lives for generations to come.

By investing in new, sometimes unproven initiatives, David & Laura Merage Foundation (DLMF) embraces the unknown and creatively overcomes challenges to achieve ambitiously impactful results.

Our Model

We lend our expertise, knowledge, and years of experience to help organizations succeed.

understand the societal problem

conceptualize a solution

provide financial capital to bring an idea to fruition

mobilize our expansive knowledge, resources, and expertise

incubate - test, fail, refine, succeed

partner - expand the reach

scale - increase the impact

Our method’s Success

Redline Contemporary Art Center

understand the societal problem

Laura recognized a need for mid-career contemporary artists to work in a shared studio and exhibition space that could bring world-
class contemporary art to diverse audiences.

conceptualize a solution

Laura believed an arts center could spark neighborhood revitalization and have positive community impact well beyond the arts.

provide financial capital to bring an idea to fruition

DLMF purchased a much neglected industrial building in a Denver neighborhood void of arts and culture.

mobilize our expansive knowledge, resources, and expertise

Combining a knowledge of art, real estate, and nonprofit start-up, RedLine was founded in 2007 as a catalyst for change, offering educational programs, artist-in-residency opportunities, and exhibitions.

incubate - test, fail, refine, succeed

DLMF provided RedLine with sufficient funding, strategic oversight, and programmatic support to increase community engagement and build their organizational capacity.

partner - expand the reach

With DLMF's unwavering commitment to the neighborhood and local partners brought revitalization among new businesses, residential development, and more.

scale - increase the impact

As RedLine gained recognition throughout Denver for this unique ability to catalyze positive social change, DLMF encouraged the organization to diversify its funding and broaden their approach.

"With RedLine bringing Laura’s vision to reality, plus so much more, our team remains a proud partner and supporter, uplifting the organization and impact in the community." - Sue Renner, Executive Director of the David & Laura Merage Foundation

The Equitas Project

understand the societal problem

David and Laura saw our national crisis in which mental health problems are managed through incarceration rather than supportive health care services.

conceptualize a solution

A national advocacy organization aimed at disentangling mental health and criminal justice was envisioned.

provide financial capital to bring an idea to fruition

DLMF established The Equitas Project to bring national awareness to this cause and engage the public, community leaders, and policy-makers to create collaborative solutions.

mobilize our expansive knowledge, resources, and expertise

Using the foundation’s vast network, The Equitas Project mobilized initiatives around the country to develop best practices, empower influential leaders, and ultimately create policy change to promote adequate mental health care over incarceration.

incubate - test, fail, refine, succeed

With DLMF’s dedication to the mission, The Equitas Project led Course Correction Summits and engaged a national advisory board to inform priority intervention initiatives, leading to increased awareness and policy reform in Colorado and beyond.

partner - expand the reach

To increase its capacity to decriminalize mental health, The Equitas Project joined forces with Mental Health Colorado, the state’s leading advocate for mental health.

“The intersection of mental health and criminal justice is one of the most egregious failures in the mental health landscape. The vision and continued support from the David and Laura Merage Foundation enables us to lead the way in making essential course corrections to disentangle mental health and criminal justice in Colorado and across the nation.” – Vincent Atchity, President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado
Explore our initiatives