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Boettcher Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-12-18

At A Glance

Boettcher Foundation

600 17th St., Ste. 2210 S.

Denver, CO United States 80202-5422


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-12-31)

Assets: $290,494,536

Total giving: $10,491,345






Incorporated in 1937 in CO - Charles Boettcher came to territorial Wyoming and Colorado in 1869 from his native Prussia. He established a hardware business, serving the nearby farming communities and mining camps, started a cement company (formerly Ideal Basic Industries), and helped establish the sugar beet industry in Colorado (Great Western Sugar Company). In 1910, his son Claude founded an investment banking firm. Charles Boettcher II, Claude Boettcher's son, served as director of many of the family enterprises until his death in 1963

Purpose and Activities

Since 1937, the foundation's mission has been to invest in the minds and mortar of Colorado. It does this by awarding full 4-year in-state scholarships to the state's top high school seniors , awarding grants to early-career Colorado scientists through its Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program, investing in the Boettcher Teachers Program and providing capital grants to Colorado nonprofit organizations.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Boettcher Scholarship Program

The program has been, since its inception in 1952, one of the foundation's most important and well-known activities. Limited to Colorado high school graduates for attendance at Colorado universities and colleges, the program provides full tuition and most expenses to high school graduates, chosen solely on the basis of merit. Scholarships can be used at the following Colorado universities: Adams State College, Colorado Christian University, the Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Fort Lewis College, Johnson and Wales University-Denver Campus; Mesa State College, Metropolitan State University, Regis University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, University of Colorado-Denver, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, and Western State College. Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered: 1) Rank in the top five percent of their graduating class or the top 2 students in classes under 40; 2) ACT 27 or SAT 1200 (minimum scores); 3) Colorado Resident; 4) U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.; and 5) High School senior. The scholarship covers tuition together with books and fees as well as an annual stipend of $2,800 for room and board. Application deadline is Nov. 1. Application forms can be obtained from high school counselors.

Boettcher Teachers Program

About one-third of new teachers in public schools who serve high numbers of low-income limited English speaking and culturally and racially diverse students leave the profession after just three years. About half of them leave within five years, citing their lack of practical preparation and on-the-job mentoring. In addition, teachers are more likely to leave high-poverty schools where there is the greatest need for quality teachers. To address these problems, the Boettcher Teachers Program was conceived and in 2003 funding for research to start the program was approved. Boettcher Teacher's Program is a partnership with the Boettcher Foundation, Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), Regis University, and three local school districts; Aurora School District; Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Mapleton Public Schools. The goals of the program are: 1) Recruit top-notch, highly motivated, diverse college graduates and mid-career changers, especially those with a desire to work for equity in schools, and those who qualify in district shortage subject areas like math, science and bilingual education; 2) Provide a world-class teacher education program grounded in a full-time, mentored classroom apprenticeship in a high-needs school and coursework that integrates theory and practice; 3) Support the ongoing learning of mentor teachers; 4) Enhance collaborative cultures in partner districts and schools; 5) Engage a university partner for rigorous coursework, a provisional teaching license after year one, leading to a master's degree following year two, and a professional teaching license after completing an induction program in partner district; 6) Provide competitive fellowship loans/tuition support which participants will repay after graduation by teaching in high needs public schools for three additional years after completing the two-year formal educational program; 7) Provide incentives and support to keep graduates in schools with the greatest need; and 8) Ultimately make a difference in the achievement of historically underserved children.

Opportunity Award

The foundation provides financial assistance through the Boettcher Opportunity Award. Started in 1989, the award supports under-represented students at Colorado colleges and universities. Each participating school is awarded $15,000 to be distributed to five qualified students from under-represented groups. The program provides scholarship funding to sixteen institutions, including: Adams State College, The Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Fort Lewis College, Johnson & Wales University, Colorado Mesa University, Metropolitan State, University of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, and Western State College.

Teacher Recognition Awards

The program was created by the trustees of the foundation to provide an opportunity for Boettcher Scholars to extend their gratitude to the counselors, principals, superintendent and, in particular, teachers who have dedicated themselves to providing the youth of Colorado with an outstanding education. Recipients of the Teacher Recognition Award are recognized at a dinner in their honor and receive a plaque commemorating the occasion. They also receive a check for their school for $1,000, which they may use toward a special program or project at their schools.

Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program

The Webb-Waring Institute was founded in 1924 by Dr. Gerald Bertram Webb and later directed by Dr. James J. Waring. For over 80 years, the organization has contributed to the advancement of biomedical research by engaging in basic and clinical research and training research scientists. In 2008, the Webb-Waring Institute became part of the University of Colorado and is now known as the Webb-Waring Center. The Boettcher Foundation has been entrusted with the stewardship of the Webb-Waring Foundation's assets, and through an innovative agreement between the Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Foundation, a new funding area was established at the Boettcher Foundation that will support the work of early career investigators (ECI) in the biomedical sciences in Colorado. ECI are faculty members who are four years or less from their first academic appointment at a Colorado research institution. This program is designed to help recruit, retain and advance scientific talent within Colorado and will be implemented in partnership with public and private nonprofit institutions that have significant biomedical research programs. Eligible investigators will apply through competitive processes established within their individual institutions.Eligible Colorado institutions include: Belle Bonfils, Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Craig Hospital, Mesa State College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, National Jewish Health, Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Denver and University of Northern Colorado. For additional information, please contact: Julie Lerudis, Dir., Grants Program, tel.: (303) 534-1937, e-mail:

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Diseases and conditions
  • Early childhood education
  • Education
  • Family planning
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Homeless services
  • Hospice care
  • Human services
  • Museums
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rural development
  • Sustainable development
  • University education
  • Visual arts
  • Women's services
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Females
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students
  • Associations

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-12-31

Assets: $290,494,536 (market value)

Gifts received: $120,000

Expenditures: $15,517,123

Total giving: $10,491,345

Qualifying distributions: $13,634,320