#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.
El Pomar Youth in Community Service (EPYCS) was a program administered by El Pomar Foundation to educate and encourage youth to participate in philanthropy and engage with their communities through service. From 1991 to 2008, EPYCS students learned about grant making, developed leadership and professional skills, and gained first-hand knowledge of their communities and the nonprofit sector.
Grantee Spotlight: El Pomar Youth in Community Service
During its operation from 1991 to 2008, El Pomar Youth in Community Service (EPYCS) was one of the nation’s largest youth philanthropy programs and focused on promoting philanthropic community engagement among the next generation of Coloradans. Specifically, the Foundation worked with schools to establish philanthropy-focused clubs and provided a $7,500 matching grant to each school group that successfully raised $500 or more. EPYCS students worked within their individual clubs to develop a mission statement that reflected the community issues they most wanted to address. Each chapter then awarded $8,000 annually in grant funds to local nonprofit organizations that best addressed the concerns they identified.
In 1999 alone, El Pomar provided more than $750,000 to 141 school districts across the state toward these efforts. EPYCS clubs were supported by El Pomar Fellows, and in addition to the grant review and fund distribution experience, EPYCS students also participated in leadership development trainings and workshops designed to expand their knowledge of the nonprofit sector and grant making.
While El Pomar’s involvement in EPYCS concluded in 2008, many of the original clubs continue to operate in schools across the state. El Pomar continues to promote philanthropic engagement in the next generation through its Fellowship and internship programs. El Pomar also continues to invest in Colorado’s youth through competitive grants and grants made through Regional Councils and the Karl E. Eitel Fund.
El Pomar in 1999
In addition to the EPYCS grants in 1999, the Foundation provided 56 grants totaling $4.3 million to nonprofits throughout Colorado. One notable capital grant in 1999 was to the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley to aid in construction of a site in Alamosa. Other major grants included $100,000 to the Nature Conservancy to support their conservation efforts through the purchase of two ranches, and support for the expansion of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s shelter.
Spotlight by Erin Kerr
Images courtesy of El Pomar Foundation