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El Pomar Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-10-21

At A Glance

El Pomar Foundation

10 Lake Cir.

Colorado Springs, CO United States 80906-4201

Telephone: (719) 633-7733


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-12-31)

Assets: $545,966,152

Total giving: N/A





Additional Contact Information

Additional tel.: (800) 554-7711


Incorporated in 1937 in CO - Born in Philadelphia in 1865, Mr. Penrose moved to the Pikes Peak Area in 1892. There he was a pioneer in gold mining in the Cripple Creek Mining District and a founder and director of Utah Copper Co.; later he built the BROADMOOR Hotel in Colorado Springs. His private collection of wild animals is today the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, supported by the foundation. Upon his death in 1939, the foundation received the remainder of his estate after certain bequests. Mrs. Penrose, who died in 1956, provided additional funding. The foundation divested itself of 80 percent of the BROADMOOR Hotel prior to May, 1989.

Purpose and Activities

Grants only to nonprofit organizations for public, educational, arts and humanities, health, and welfare purposes, including child welfare, the disadvantaged, and housing; municipalities may request funds for specific projects.

Program Area(s)

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

American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)

The program brings international emerging political leaders to Colorado twice a year where they are given the opportunity to exchange ideas and philosophies with leading governmental officials, and business and community leaders. El Pomar Fellows organize and host a dozen young parliamentarians during these weeklong visits to Colorado.

Awards for Excellence

The program was established in 1989 to recognize and reward nonprofit Colorado organizations, businesses, and individuals who serve their communities with distinction and excellence. Honorees do not apply for the awards, but are nominated and selected by the Awards for Excellence Selection Commission. Commission members, appointed by El Pomar Trustees, represent a variety of interests and share a history of leadership throughout the state. At a Presentation Banquet each fall, honorees receive monetary grants, commemorative awards, and are featured in video presentations that highlight their work and service. Each year, awards are presented to: 1) 33 Finalist nonprofit organizations - one is selected as the outstanding nonprofit overall and 11 are selected as winners in each of the 11 program categories; 2) One business for its assistance to the nonprofit sector; and 3) Colorado Leaders, named in three categories, for their contributions to the well-being of the people of Colorado.

Cortlandt S. Dietler Scouting Opportunity Fund

El Pomar Trustee Cortlandt S. Dietler passed away in July 2008. As a tribute to his legacy, the Cortlandt S. Dietler Scouting Opportunity Fund distributes up to $100,000 biannually to the six Boy Scouts of America Councils that work in the state of Colorado. The mission of the fund is to “create opportunities for all youth to participate in the Scouting program and to learn the values, ideals, and skills it teaches.” In keeping with the mission of the fund, grants will be made to aid councils and programs that expand scouting opportunities for youth who would not otherwise be able to participate.

El Pomar Fellowship

The El Pomar Fellowship brings together highly qualified college graduates with diverse backgrounds and interests. They spend two years developing their leadership skills in a dynamic, active, hand-on program designed to provide them with a 360-degree view of the nonprofit world. At the core of the Fellowship experience is the opportunity to staff and lead El Pomar's various programs providing a thorough education in the nature of the nonprofit sector and the role of foundations. Additional professional development curriculum covers a broad variety of topics, such as leadership training, financial and investment management, and includes an annual Outward Bound seven-day course. To be eligible, applicants should: 1) be graduates of a four-year university or college; 2) have a Colorado connection, such as be a Colorado resident, have attended a Colorado college or university, or have an interest in public service or civic engagement; 4) exhibit the highest standards of professionalism and behavior; 5) possess strong verbal and writing skills; 6) demonstrate personal initiative and determination; 7) have the ability to travel through out the state of Colorado on official foundation business. The fellowship generally lasts two years from the date entry into the program. An annual class of fellows will typically begin in mid-July. Specific entry and completion dates are based on foundation requirements and individual considerations. Employment with the foundation is considered to be "at-will." See foundation Web site for application information .

El Pomar Internship Program

The El Pomar Internship is a unique summer program that provides continuing undergraduate students an introduction to the nonprofit sector and an opportunity to develop professional interests and skills. Interns work with and are mentored by leaders in philanthropy. They serve an important role by providing administrative support to foundation offices. Interns receive assignments based upon the foundation's needs and, to the extent possible, the interns' interests. A professional development series provides extra training for interns. Past classes have received training in investment, grant-making, and public speaking. The Internship is a separate program from the El Pomar Fellowship. For more information visit the foundation's web site.

Emerging Leaders Development Program

The program is a collaborative effort among the foundation, community leadership development programs, and minority-focused community organizations. Through this program, minority emerging leaders receive leadership skills training, and are presented opportunities to become involved in broad based community activities, civic engagement and service on nonprofit boards and commissions. El Pomar scholarships enable these individuals to participate in programs offered by noted leadership development organizations in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. In addition, the Emerging Leaders Development Program hosts forums to address issues in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Employee Matching Gifts

The foundation matches gifts from employees.

Empty Stocking Fund

The fund is an annual holiday fundraising campaign that supports 14 Pikes Peak Area health and human service agencies that help people in crisis and assist others in attaining self-sufficiency. Established more than 20 years ago by Colorado Springs' local newspaper, The Gazette, the Fund has provided nearly $8.1 million in grant support. The Gazette partners with the El Pomar and Bruni Foundations to match contributions made by the community. Every dollar a donor gives grows up to 63 percent through these matches. The Gazette and El Pomar share all administrative expenses so 100 percent of funds raised goes toward helping those in need.

Forum for Civic Advancement

The forum supports and engages individuals interested in contributing to the civic health of the Pikes Peak Region by preparing those who serve, or those who would like to serve, in elected or appointed positions. The forum is open to all across the political spectrum. At least six times per year, the forum provides an opportunity to learn from the forum Chairs, who are important figures in Colorado politics and public policy. It also provides an opportunity for those currently engaged in the practice of public policy to meet with those who wish to lead Colorado's future. Additionally, the forum has offered seminars on how to run for and win a position on the City Council, and how to run for and win a position with your local school board.

Karl E. Eitel Fund

The fund supports the works of outstanding Colorado nonprofit organizations that serve at-risk youth. The fund was created in the name of a former El Pomar trustee to honor his compassion for disadvantaged young people. Organizations do not apply for recognition and grants, but are nominated and selected by a panel that includes Eitel family members, and El Pomar trustees and staff.

Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program

The program is a customized, four-day program offered to the Colorado nonprofit community by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). The Center for Creative Leadership offers world-class training to managers and leaders seeking a myriad of developmental experiences. The benefits of the program are: 1. Learn about yourself and ways to be more effective; 2. Receive feedback from colleagues, peers in the course, and formal assessments; 3. Confidential, one-on-one coaching from the Center's staff of accredited professionals; 4. identify goals and strategies with the assistance of peers and professional staff; and 5. Establish relationships with peers who can become long term learning partners. Participants of this program are nonprofit executive directors from Colorado with five or more years of non-profit experience who are leading organizations with operating budgets of more than $500,000. Applications must intend to remain in their current position for at least one year. For more information on how to apply visit the foundation's web site.

Penrose House

The former home of El Pomar founders Spencer and Julie Penrose now serves as a nonprofit conference and education center owned and operated by El Pomar Foundation. The stunning scenery and first-rate facilities combine to make a meeting at Penrose House a one-of-a-kind experience.

Pikes Peak Community Development Initiative

The Pikes Peak Community Development Initiative is designed to continue the lessons learned at El Pomar Foundation from over 20 years experience developing and operating programs and outreach efforts that effectively assist in identifying local issues of concern to direct funding and resources.

Program-Related Investment

Historically, the foundation has made PRIs in the form of the purchase and renovation of the former Colorado Springs, CO, estate of its founders to help promote excellence within the third sector. The center develops education programs in nonprofit management, provides meeting space, and maintains a library of resources on the third sector. The ongoing development, renovation, and operating costs of the Center are considered PRIs. .

Regional Councils

A network of nine councils, representing nine geographical regions around the state, help the foundation's trustees better understand and respond to specific needs of the communities across Colorado. Civic and nonprofit leaders, joined by one of the foundation's trustee per region, identify and address important issues and needs specific to their regions. Councils also provide grant recommendations to the trustees based on those issues and needs. To date, $9.6 million has been granted through the Regional Councils.

Student Leadership Experience (SLE)

SLE enhances and supplements leadership education at college campuses across Colorado that participate in Colorado Leadership Alliance (CLA), a program of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation fostering leadership development at the university level. El Pomar supports CLA through an annual two-day symposium for CLA students and the El Pomar Leadership Scholars program. The Scholars program provides tuition assistance and additional leadership skills training for select students. The two-year Scholars curriculum is designed to expose these students to community leaders, the nonprofit sector, and the interaction between nonprofit, business and government sectors. Scholars attend two group meetings each year to learn from each other and reinforce their on-campus studies. The goal is to give students the skills to develop into action-oriented community leaders.

Wildland Fire Fund

The fund supports Colorado volunteer fire agencies to help them keep life and property safe from the threat of wildland fires. The fund was created in rapid response to Colorado's devastating wildfire season of 2002. El Pomar led an effort, in real time, to supply front line volunteer Colorado fire agencies with personal fire fighting equipment, radios, hoses, pumps, etc. Since 2002, the fund has continued to provide direct funding to volunteer fire agencies.

Fields of Interest

  • Addiction services
  • Adult education
  • Arts and culture
  • Basic and remedial instruction
  • Child development
  • Child educational development
  • Child welfare
  • Community and economic development
  • Diseases and conditions
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Environment
  • Family services
  • Food aid
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Historic preservation
  • Homeless services
  • Hospice care
  • Hospital care
  • Housing development
  • Housing for the homeless
  • Human services
  • Humanities
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Music
  • Natural resources
  • Nutrition
  • Performing arts
  • Pharmacies
  • Public transportation
  • Reading promotion
  • Senior services
  • Sports and recreation
  • Theater
  • Visual arts
  • Vocational education
  • Voluntarism
Population Groups
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Ethnic and racial groups
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • People with disabilities
  • Seniors
  • Associations

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-12-31

Assets: $545,966,152 (market value)

Gifts received: $16,849

Expenditures: $18,530,346

Total giving: N/A

Qualifying distributions: $25,482,000