A Community-Informed Approach
In 2003, recognizing rural communities were disproportionately supported with fewer grants than urban regions on the Front Range, and also understanding local communities are best equipped to identify their own needs, El Pomar created its Regional Partnerships program. We divided the state into 11 regions and convened local community leaders into regional councils for each, which each recommend up to $200,000 in grants annually. Now a distinctive cornerstone of our grant making program, this community-informed approach has dramatically increased the number of grants in rural Colorado and our impact across the state.
As a result of Regional Partnerships, we’ve been able to increase impact and establish deep-rooted connections throughout the entire state, as well as ensure that those who live and work in the regions are central to funding recommendations in their communities.
A flagship program
Learn more about our community-informed approach to grant making.
Explore the 11th edition of the Foundation Giving in Colorado report, which overviews giving from private and community foundations to grant recipients throughout Colorado from 2017 – 2021.
Our Place-Based Model
El Pomar’s Regional Partnership program divides the state into 11 regions, representing each of Colorado’s 64 counties. For each region, we have a council made up of local leaders who have a deep understanding of their communities. Regional council members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and represent the business, nonprofit, and public sectors. Each council member comes to El Pomar with an established record of community engagement and the ability to provide firsthand information about the needs in their region— they offer the kind of insights that can only come from living, working, and volunteering at a local level. Each council provides direct grant recommendations to El Pomar’s Trustees, with the potential for a combined annual impact of more than $2 million across the state.
Find your Council
Regional Partnerships connects local community leaders who share a desire to improve their communities. Through these relationships, we're better able to effectively invest in local communities across the state. Additionally, through events such as El Pomar’s annual Statewide Meeting, regional council members from across the state connect with and learn from each other about their approaches to supporting creative solutions to community issues.
The program allows regional councils freedom in their processes, recommendations and overall strategy. The regional structure also encourages council members to think beyond their local communities and work across county lines to find regional solutions.
Regional Partnerships builds trust by bringing key leaders and organizations to the table to facilitate meaningful connections.
Fellows, staff and Trustees have enthusiasm and a deep commitment to regularly meeting with local community members and traveling to the regions. This aids in relationship building and their understanding of the region.
Our impact across Colorado
of community-informed grant making
in recommended grant dollars
recommended by regional councils
If you have any questions regarding Regional Partnerships, please email us.