2015 Annual Report
El Pomar Foundation posts its tax return information (forms 990-PF and 990-T) when it becomes available. Click the links below to view this information. Still have questions? Please refer to our financial information FAQs below.
Hard copies of the tax return information are also available upon written request. Cost for each form is $15. If you would like one or more of these documents, please make a written request on your letterhead and include a check ($15 x ___ year(s)) payable to El Pomar Foundation. Requests should be sent to:
Financial Information FAQs
What is a private foundation?
The IRS recognizes two kinds of tax-exempt charitable organizations, or 501(c)(3)s. A public charity receives a large part of its income from the general public or the government. A private foundation, on the other hand, receives its income from investments on an endowment. Here’s how it works: an individual or corporation gives a fixed amount of money, say $1 million, to start a foundation. After that, the foundation’s officers can increase the $1 million—not by getting more donations (which would make them a public charity), but by investing the money. Then, the officers of the foundation use the endowment to fund other organizations.
Where do the assets of the Foundation come from?
Upon his death in 1937, Spencer Penrose left the majority of his estate—approximately $12 million in value—to start El Pomar Foundation. His wife, Julie, left about $9 million more upon her death in 1956. Over the course of more than 70 years, through investment and stewardship of these resources, the Foundation’s assets have grown to approximately $450 million. This has enabled El Pomar to increase its annual giving to approximately $20 million—close to twice the amount of Penrose’s original gift.
Why do the assets of the Foundation fluctuate?
Any portfolio will inevitably rise and fall in value as trends and events affect investments. The Foundation’s assets are invested in a wide variety of stocks and bonds; the diversity allows the assets to grow reasonably steadily, without risking major losses. This will enable the Foundation to serve the people of Colorado for many years to come.
How much money does El Pomar Foundation contribute to the community each year?
El Pomar Foundation makes approximately $20 million in grants and program contributions each year. These funds reach every corner of the state; and include competitive grants (open to application), Regional Council grants, and programs.
Does El Pomar Foundation pay taxes?
Yes. “Tax-exempt” status means an organization does not have to pay corporate income taxes. It does not exempt it from all taxes. For example, if a foundation buys stock in private businesses (which is the only way to grow its assets), the IRS will place an excise tax on any money made in those investments. If you factor in all of the taxes paid by the Foundation over time, the IRS makes the list of El Pomar's top-10 grant recipients. And paid employees of all nonprofits—including private foundations—must still pay taxes on their salaries.
Can individuals donate to El Pomar Foundation?
No. The Foundation’s grants are made from its existing assets.