Frequently asked questions
We know you have questions about our work, and want to help provide clarity. Our Frequently Asked Questions aim to provide additional information about El Pomar’s grant making, programs, and historic properties.
Grants & funding
El Pomar is a general purpose foundation that contributes more than $25 million annually through charitable distributions across Colorado. Visit our grant making page to learn more about eligibility and the grant application process.
Private foundations are charitable organizations that do not qualify as public charities. As in the case of El Pomar Foundation, they usually are established with funds from a single source such as family or corporate money – instead of funding from the general public or donations.
Community foundations are grant making public charities that are dedicated to a defined local geographic area. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities. Donations are actively accepted and often are directed by donor advised funds.
El Pomar’s funding comes from the growth of the original endowment established by Spencer and Julie Penrose in 1937. With $700 million in assets and total grant and program investments of more than $600 million since 1937, the Penrose’s initial gift of $21 million has grown to more than $1.4 billion in total impact in Colorado. El Pomar has accepted donations in the past which created endowed/restricted funds that honor the donor’s intent and are in alignment with the Penrose’s guidance of El Pomar Foundation. Currently, El Pomar has four endowed/restricted funds: Anna Keesling Ackerman Fund, Dorothy Ferrand Fund, Freda Hambrick Fund, and the Kent Olin Fund.
The Foundation is limited to providing grant support to Colorado nonprofit organizations and activities that take place within the State of Colorado.
The competitive grant process remains the primary vehicle for organizations to receive funding. In addition to the competitive process, El Pomar oversees several special funds, each with a specific focus and mission.
There are no deadlines for the competitive process. We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.
11 regional councils comprised of local leaders from across the state provide direct grant recommendations to the Trustees with potential for a combined annual impact of more than $2 million. Regional grant applications are by invitation only.
Other common questions
Over thirty years ago, El Pomar’s Trustees realized we could contribute more than grant dollars to support the success and vitality of communities and nonprofits throughout Colorado. With the addition of leadership development and community engagement programming, we’ve taken a more active role in developing nonprofit leadership capacity as well as a leadership pipeline, been more in touch with community leaders throughout Colorado, and can better evaluate the impact we make across the state.
We are pleased to offer Penrose House to all Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and government agencies free of charge. Penrose House welcomes use of the space for strategic meetings, seminars, and trainings.
Answers to questions about press media, logo usage, or other communications matters can be found on our Press & Media page.
To request an event or table sponsorship, send a cover letter and list of sponsorship opportunities to:
Eleanor Martinez – Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Click here for more information on the Penrose Heritage Museum and the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.
Visit our Contact Us page to get in touch. We value your feedback and welcome any opportunity to provide more information and clarity.