Archive for July, 2012

Building Home Through Community

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Dakota Sandras

Homelessness is often thought of as an extreme. We imagine someone standing outside the grocery store with a cardboard sign that reads: “will work for food.” Or maybe we think of folks sleeping in tattered blankets under a downtown bridge. Rarely do we imagine our neighbors, or a suburban family of four, or ourselves, as homeless. But, as I learned on a Community Impact Visit with Greccio Housing, homelessness is increasingly becoming a reality for many people who never considered themselves at risk. (more…)

When Talk Becomes Action

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Foundations can be notoriously slow-moving organizations. Under normal circumstances this doesn’t undermine the mission. When disaster strikes, however, slow and steady doesn’t necessarily work. We recently worked with the Council on Foundations to take a closer look at El Pomar’s response to the Colorado wildfire outbreak with an eye toward providing some insight that could be helpful to other grantmakers. The post below, written by El Pomar Director of Communications Josie Burke, originally appeared on the Council’s blog. (more…)

Regional Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program Comes to the San Luis Valley

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Jeff Hopfenbeck

Last week, 16 nonprofit executives from the Central Peaks, San Luis Valley, and Southwest regions came together in Alamosa for the two days of intensive leadership training. Designed for executive directors of nonprofits with annual budgets under $750,000, the Regional Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program rotates around the state on an annual basis. (more…)

What Google Won’t Tell You About Myers-Briggs

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Dakota Sandras

I am an ENFP. I’m curious, perceptive, and tend to be seen as personable, creative and spontaneous. Sara, the Awards for Excellence intern, is an INTJ. She is conceptual, objective, goal-oriented, and is often seen as reserved and independent. We are obviously pretty different, but we have learned how to be a great team in part through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) workshop administered by El Pomar Senior Vice President Cathy Robbins.

I could go on forever about the MBTI test and its impact on us as interns, But, quite frankly, you just could Google search “Myers-Briggs” and get a good idea of how useful the test can be. What will not appear in the search results is that the Myers-Briggs workshop shows how El Pomar invests in our success as interns. (more…)

Philanthropy…Gone Viral

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Over the past three months we have read about the emerging trend of crowdsourced philanthropy. We have seen corporations turn to crowdsourcing as a way to better engage the public in their philanthropic efforts, and have watched as has harnessed the power of celebrity (and technology) for good. But what happens when philanthropy goes viral?


No Dentist = No School

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Dakota Sandras

The world is full of cause and effect relationships. If there’s lightning, there’s thunder. If you sneeze, your neighbor says, “Bless you.” And if kids go to the dentist, they will receive a better education than the kids who don’t.

Yes, that’s right. Studies have shown that dental issues are the number one reason children miss school. (more…)

The Fire, the President and the Unexpected

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Jeff Hopfenbeck

“There are two things I never thought I would do in my life: go to a World Series, and meet the President. During the Rockies’ 2007 World Series run I did the first, now I’ve done the second. And I’m not sure what’s next.” – Colorado Springs firefighter at Station No.  9; June 29, 2012

For the entire Colorado Springs community, the past two weeks have been a lesson in the unexpected. No one expected the fire. No one expected two lives and 346 homes would be lost. And no one expected to meet the President of the United States. (more…)

Building Futures by Meeting Needs Today

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Dakota Sandras

In 1943 the psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of human needs. At the base of the pyramid are physiological needs such as food, water, and sleep. The next layer of the pyramid is safety, and includes health, shelter, and family. The theory is that if a layer of the pyramid is not stable, then any of the needs above it cannot be filled until the lower, more pressing needs are satisfied.

Unfortunately nearly one in four women in the United States cannot build their futures because they are missing the foundational second block: the need for safety. Crossroads Safehouse of Fort Collins is dedicated to filling that void so that victims of domestic violence don¹t have to live their lives worrying about meeting basic needs, but can move on to pursue joys such as love, confidence, and creativity, while they are at Crossroads and beyond.


Wildfire Response: El Pomar Continues Funding Through $2.5 Million Pledge

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

One week ago, El Pomar Foundation announced a $2.5 million commitment to support wildfire response efforts throughout Colorado. Here is an updated list of organizations that have received funding. The Foundation will continue to make grants that support first responders and human service organizations assisting those who have been affected by wildfires, with a goal of addressing both short and long-term needs. Have a funding suggestion? Email us at