Leadership Development Programs
El Pomar’s leadership development programs continually develop and enhance leadership throughout the state. We believe access and opportunity help people build better lives, and well-equipped leaders create a strong ecosystem of organizational vibrancy and sustainability. These four targeted programs are directed at young leaders, leaders of color, and executives from all sectors.
Giving young leaders an opportunity to grow and learn how to lead in their communities is critical to the long-term success of organizations in Colorado. Our Fellowship for recent college graduates and young professionals is a paid, two-year program where Fellows work full-time for the Foundation and participate in a professional development curriculum.
Empowering leaders of color in our communities is essential to cultivating and celebrating diverse leadership. We created Elevating Leadership Development (ELD) to create greater access and support for people of color in Southern Colorado to tap into their leadership potential. ELD provides spaces and places to foster connections between people and opportunities.
Creating a pipeline of leadership in the nonprofit sector means creating interest among young people in Colorado. Our summer Internship program is an effort to encourage interest in the nonprofit sector among continuing undergraduate college students. El Pomar Interns benefit from nonprofit work experience alongside professional development opportunities as they support many facets of the Foundation.
We know that even the best executives can always use additional support in getting the most out of their leadership potential. That’s why we created PeOPLE – an annual four-day experience for leaders of public, private, and nonprofit organizations in Colorado to help grow your leadership impact.
Community Engagement Programs
When grant dollars alone can’t solve the issues facing the people of Colorado, sometimes bringing people together to learn and dialogue about them can unlock possibility. El Pomar created a series of community engagement programs because we believe a well-informed and connected community lifts us all up. Our community engagement programming convenes Coloradans to learn about, connect and tackle each community’s challenges head-on.
Recognizing rural communities receive fewer grants than urban regions, and also understanding local communities are best equipped to identify their own needs, we created Regional Partnerships. We split the state into 11 regions and convened local community leaders into regional councils for each, which recommend up to $200,000 in grants each year. El Pomar’s overall grant making benefits significantly, as we also rely on council members to serve as a sounding board for competitive grant applications.
As community leaders in the Pikes Peak region, we know it’s important to support the civic health of our community through conversation and debate. The Forum for Civic Advancement brings in speakers, elected officials and candidates, and community leaders from across our region and state to provide insights on public policy issues and help advance our civic conversation. Since 2002, this has taken shape through lectures, panels and debates among candidates for elected office.
At El Pomar, just as Spencer and Julie Penrose relished, we have the joy of spending our days in the shadow of Pikes Peak. We also know there’s always more to learn about the natural assets of the region surrounding America’s Mountain. We launched the Pikes Peak Heritage Series to celebrate, educate about and explore the beautiful environment of the region through lectures, discussions and opportunities to connect with outdoor and land use leaders.
In addition to our leadership development and community engagement programs, El Pomar operates or supports a variety of other programs that allow us to celebrate and support many leaders and organizations in Colorado.
One of our grant partners, American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), brings delegations of leaders from around the world to the U.S. to promote cultural exchange, public diplomacy, and growth among leaders at home and abroad. El Pomar staff and Fellows support the delegates’ experience while in our state.
Our first program, Awards for Excellence, celebrates outstanding nonprofit organizations and individuals in Colorado for their contributions. Each year, these awards are presented at our Night of Excellence ceremony, where honorees are spotlighted for their work and receive grant dollars to continue the extraordinary impact they make across the state.
Our co-founder, Julie Penrose, was a trailblazing woman in Colorado through her dedication to community and leadership of the state’s philanthropic sector. In celebration of what would have been her 150th birthday in 2020, El Pomar created the Julie Penrose Award to celebrate outstanding women who, like Julie, are making or have made significant contributions through their leadership and dedication to their communities.
Since 2010, El Pomar has presented one of the most preeminent tax forums for private foundations in the country. Designed to update and inform leadership and trustees of private foundations about the ever-changing tax laws affecting their organizations, the seminar facilitates and encourages dialogue with a panel of expert speakers about practical problems foundation managers face in their day-to-day management.
Beyond leaving their wealth with El Pomar Foundation to benefit the well-being of Coloradans, three historic properties that were either created by or tied to our co-founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, are also in the Foundation’s care. Each a unique destination in and of itself, these properties connect us with the history of the Penroses and their contributions to Colorado — as well as their continued legacy this region still treasures — and also provide space to convene, reflect, and educate on critical issues of today.