When grant dollars alone are not the solution, El Pomar Foundation creates and operates programs that encourage leadership and promote community development. 

Awards for Excellence

Complete Program Listing

American Council of Young Political Leaders


The American Council of Young Political Leaders program strives to create a public diplomacy tool leaders can use to gain global perspective and access to international leaders. Each year, El Pomar hosts several delegations of international leaders, introducing them to various community and state leaders. We believe these cultural exchanges serve as an important tool of public diplomacy, encouraging trust, understanding, and goodwill on a personal basis.

More about ACYPL

Awards for Excellence

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The Awards for Excellence program recognizes outstanding Colorado nonprofit organizations by presenting them with grant dollars for their contributions to the nonprofit sector. Since its inception in 1989, the Awards for Excellence program has provided more than $6.5 million in grant support to more than 500 nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado.

More about Awards for Excellence

El Pomar Fellowship


Through hands-on experience and a rigorous professional development curriculum, the next generation of Colorado leaders gets a 360-degree view of the nonprofit sector. This two-year paid fellowship for recent college graduates prepares individuals for lifelong roles as community leaders.

More about the Fellowship

El Pomar Internship


El Pomar's summer internship program provides an opportunity for college students with an interest in the nonprofit sector and leadership to gain valuable work experience. During their 10-12 week experience, interns support the work of all departments within the Foundation.

More about the Internship Program

Emerging Leaders Development 

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Emerging Leaders equips ethnic minorities already engaged in their own communities with the training to broaden their impact on the community at-large. ELD then takes the next step and connects local organizations with these specially-trained leaders who are eager to have an impact.

More about Emerging Leaders Development

Empty Stocking Fund

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In partnership with the Colorado Springs Gazette, El Pomar helps administer this annual fundraising campaign that has raised more than $1 million for ten years in a row, and more than $22 million in its 35-year history. Funds are distributed to 20 health and human services partner agencies providing services in the Pikes Peak region.

More about the Gazette-El Pomar Empty Stocking Fund

Forum for Civic Advancement


Founded in 2002, Forum for Civic Advancement seeks and supports individuals interested in contributing to the civic health of the Pikes Peak region. Throughout the year, Forum brings in outstanding speakers from across the country to provide insights on public policy issues affecting Colorado.

More about Forum for Civic Advancement

Julie Penrose Award


The Trustees of El Pomar Foundation established the Julie Penrose Award in 2020 in honor of what would have been Ms. Penrose’s 150th birthday. The Award is presented yearly to outstanding women who, like Julie Penrose, have made significant contributions to their communities through their leadership and dedication.

Military Affairs


With numerous military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver, El Pomar Foundation supports service members and their families across Colorado. Through grant making, community partnership and building and maintaining relationships with military installations and service organizations, El Pomar remains committed to service members, veterans and military families.

Learn more and contact Military Affairs

Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program


El Pomar Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program (NELP) trains nonprofit CEOs and executive directors to effectively manage and lead extraordinary nonprofit organizations. It is a customized leadership development program offered to Colorado nonprofits through two unique programs: NELP 2.5 and NELP 4.0.

More about Nonprofit Executive Leadership

Penrose House Conference Center


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.

Make a conference reservation and learn more about Penrose House

Pikes Peak Heritage Series

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Pikes Peak Heritage Series was launched in 2015 to celebrate and raise awareness of the natural assets of the Pikes Peak Region. Discussion topics focus on how the region can best promote and protect these assets, which provide for a diverse economy and a high quality of life.

More about the Pikes Peak Heritage Series

Regional Partnerships

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This innovative outreach program engages more than 70 local community leaders from Colorado's 64 counties who serve on El Pomar's 11 regional councils. Council members offer insight and perspective on the important issues in their own communities to inform El Pomar's grant making across the state. Each regional council recommends $200,000 in grants annually and serves as a sounding board for the Foundation's activities across the state. 

Meet Council members and learn more about Regional Partnerships

Rocky Mountain Tax Seminar for Private Foundations

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This seminar is designed to update and inform managers and trustees of private foundations about the ever-changing tax laws that affect private foundations and to encourage dialogue with the panel of speakers about practical problems foundation managers face in the day-to-day management of their foundations.

More about Rocky Mountain Tax Seminar