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Who we are: Frequently Asked Questions

What does El Pomar mean? 

El Pomar is Spanish for "the orchard." El Pomar founders Spencer and Julie Penrose lived in an estate called El Pomar because it was situated on a one-time apple orchard. When the Penroses established the Foundation they gave it the name El Pomar. The Foundation now owns the home that inspired its name and operates it as a nonprofit education and conference center called Penrose House.

Where is El Pomar Foundation located?

We're based in Colorado Springs, but we make grants and operate programs that impact residents of all 64 Colorado counties.

How much money does El Pomar have and how much does the Foundation contrubute each year?

El Pomar Foundation is one of the largest and oldest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West, with assets totaling approximately $450 million. El Pomar currently contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and programs.From its inception, El Pomar Foundation has provided more than $400 million in capital, program, and general operating support through direct grantmaking and has invested more than $47 million in various programs.

How do the trustees decide who gets grants and what kind of programs to operate? 

The trustees look to the Penroses for guidance. Based on their legacy, the following guidelines help inform the trustees' decision making:

  • Identify, encourage, and support outstanding leaders of all ages
  • Promote innovation to effect positive change
  • Respond strategically and quickly to Colorado's changing needs
  • Create multiple impacts for every dollar spent
  • Provide additional resources when grant dollars alone are not the solution.
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