Frequently Asked Questions


What areas does El Pomar fund? Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant?

El Pomar is a general purpose foundation that contributes more than $22 million annually through charitable distributions across Colorado. To learn more about eligibility and the grant application process, visit:


What is a private foundation, and how does it differ from a community foundation?

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 grantmaking 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.

What is the source of funding for the Foundation? Does El Pomar accept donations?

El Pomar’s funding comes from the growth of the original endowment established by Spencer and Julie Penrose in 1937. With $540 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 $1.1 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.

Learn more about El Pomar’s history at

How can I learn more about El Pomar Foundation’s grant making guidelines?

The Foundation is limited to providing grant support to Colorado nonprofit organizations and activities that take place within the State of Colorado. To view a list of what El Pomar Foundation does and does not fund, please click here.

Are there other grants available outside the competitive process?

The competitive grant process remains the primary vehicle for organizations to receive funding. In addition to the competitive process, El Pomar oversees several funds, each with a specific focus and mission. To learn more, visit:

Are there deadlines or cycles for submitting grant applications?

There are no deadlines for the competitive process. We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Can organizations apply for funding from Regional Councils?

Eleven 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.

To learn more about the Regional Partnerships program, visit:

What are El Pomar’s programs? How do I learn more?

When grant dollars alone are not the solution, El Pomar Foundation creates and operates programs that encourage leadership and promote community development. To view a complete list of programs and descriptions, visit:

How do I reserve a meeting space at Penrose House?

We are pleased to offer Penrose House to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and government agencies free of charge. Penrose House welcomes use of the space for strategic meetings, seminars and trainings. To learn more about reserving a space, visit:

Where do I direct media or logo inquiries?

Answers to questions about press media, logo usage or other communications matters can be found at

I would like El Pomar to sponsor an event or table. How do I request the Foundation’s support?

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 Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

I’d like to visit the Penrose Heritage Museum and/or Shrine. What are the hours and cost?

More information on the Penrose Heritage Museum and the Shrine can be found at