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Celebrating 80 Years - 1997, Colorado Nonprofit Association of the Pikes Peak Region

Tags: #Celebrating80Years


#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and the people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


True to its mission to strengthen Southern Colorado’s nonprofit sector with leadership and resource development, advocacy, and collaboration, the Colorado Nonprofit Association of the Pikes Peak Region (formerly the Center for Nonprofit Excellence) has served as an invaluable resource for local nonprofits for more than 20 years. In 1991, El Pomar provided a three-year start-up grant in recognition of the organization’s work to support other nonprofit organizations throughout the region.


Grantee Spotlight: Colorado Nonprofit Association of the Pikes Peak Region                                  (formerly Center for Nonprofit Excellence)

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence was established in 1991 to provide information, trainings, and resources to nonprofits throughout the Pikes Peak Region and Southern Colorado. Originally founded as a 501(c)3 affiliate of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Center provided support to a growing nonprofit sector of both national and local organizations. An asset to the community since these early days, the organization provides member organizations access to leadership trainings, resource and idea exchanges, and workshops. The goal of these efforts is to help organizations learn, improve, increase capacity, and ultimately better achieve their mission and ability to serve the local community.

In 2018 the Center for Nonprofit Excellence announced that it was merging with the Colorado Nonprofit Association, a statewide organization established in 1986 to serve as the voice of the nonprofit community and to encourage information exchange among nonprofits. This is an exciting new chapter for both organizations as they combine their years of experience and resources to better serve nonprofits throughout the state of Colorado. The new Colorado Nonprofit Association of the Pikes Peak Region office in Colorado Springs will continue to serve, educate, and convene the 1,200 nonprofit organizations in our community for years to come.

El Pomar first granted to the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in support of its 1991 establishment, and has provided more than $1 million in support to date. In 1997, El Pomar provided the Center for Nonprofit Excellence $125,000 in general operating support to bolster its volunteer center and the organization was also honored as the recipient of an El Pomar Award for Excellence.


El Pomar in 1997

The Foundation provided more than 200 grants to 188 organizations in 1997, totaling more than $4.9 million to nonprofits throughout Colorado. In addition to funding the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College, other major grants included the Emerging Leaders Program with the Urbanites Leading the Pikes Peak Region Inc., the construction of a senior center in La Junta, and support for 23 school districts through El Pomar’s “EPYCS” Youth in Community Service Program. 1997 was also El Pomar's first year as a partner with the Empty Stocking Fund campaign, which raises funds for human service agencies throughout the Pikes Peak region every holiday season. 


Spotlight by Erin Kerr

Images courtesy of