Archive for December, 2015

Colorado Foundation Giving At Record High

Colorado Foundation Giving Hits Record High

Contributes to overall annual giving of more than $4 billion by Coloradans

DENVER – Giving by Colorado’s foundations reached a record $803 million in 2013, increasing 11 percent from the previous year and 150 percent over the past decade, according to a new report by Colorado Association of Funders, the statewide network of grantmakers. Combined with donations by individual Coloradans, annual charitable giving in Colorado totaled almost $4.2 billion.

“This is the time when Colorado’s charitable organizations depend on year-end donations of any amount, so it’s heartening to see that Coloradans continue to give,” said Joanne Kelley, Executive Director of Colorado Association of Funders. “We’re also pleased to report that overall foundation giving continues to expand to record levels after several bumpy years following the Great Recession.”

The 2015 report, produced in partnership with the Foundation Center in New York, provides an updated snapshot of the scope of charitable giving in Colorado.

Other findings in the data for 2013, the most recent year for which complete information is available:

  • Colorado is home to more than 1,350 grantmaking foundations supporting nonprofits and other social causes.
  • In 2013, Colorado-based foundations held more than $12 billion in charitable assets. Overall grantmaking rose to $803 million, up 11 percent from $724 million in the previous year. Over a 10-year period, giving by Colorado foundations has increased 150 percent from $321 million in 2003.
  • Colorado’s foundations distributed the largest share of their grant dollars to health (33 percent) and education (31 percent), followed by human services (11 percent).
  • Colorado foundation giving far outstrips giving by other states in the surrounding eight-state mountain region, with Nevada ($324 million) and Arizona ($281 million) ranking a distant second and third overall.
  • Grant recipient organizations in Colorado also receive significant funding from non-Colorado foundations. In addition to the $803 million in giving by Colorado foundations, grantmaking foundations based outside the state gave a total of $240 million in grants to Colorado, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributing $44.7 million.
  • Of the overall $4.2 billion in charitable giving by Coloradans and Colorado foundations in 2013, 78 percent was contributed by individuals. Foundations account for 19 percent of overall philanthropic giving in the state, while bequests made through wills make up the remaining amount at 2.5%. (See data on individual giving based on IRS statistics in “The Charitable Deduction in Colorado.”)

More information about Colorado foundation giving and individual giving can be found on CAF’s website.



Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants— a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center’s website each day and are served in its five library/learning centers and at more than 450 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.



The Colorado Association of Funders is a statewide network of more than 80 private foundations, community foundations, family foundations, corporate funders, federated funds and workplace giving programs. As the only organization in Colorado dedicated to serving the full spectrum of funders, the Colorado Association of Funders acts as a key local resource for foundations and other funders seeking to promote philanthropy, share ideas and expertise, and collaborate on funding strategies to expand their reach across the state and beyond. We honor the diverse missions of our members while working toward shared goals that advance the sector and benefit Colorado. For a list of our members and for more information, please visit or call (303) 398-7454.






Colorado Nonprofits Applaud Congress for Supporting Charities and Communities They Serve

  • December 18, 2015
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Today, Congress approved The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which includes several items that benefit donors, charitable organizations and the communities they serve. In particular, The PATH Act enacts permanent tax incentives for donations of food, land for conservation purposes, and cash from Individual Retirement Accounts.

Although these policies have been part of the tax code for the nearly a decade, Congress originally approved these policies on a temporary basis. On several occasions, Congress allowed the policies to expire for particular years or renewed late in the year, which limited opportunities to make qualifying donations and left donors uncertain of how these tax incentives would be applied to their contributions.

“For years, these tax policies have helped our state’s nonprofits meet Coloradans’ food needs, conserve wildlife habitat and recreational spaces, and encouraged seniors to give back to organizations that make Colorado a great place to live. Nonprofits signed our letters and contacted members of Congress to make their voices heard.  We applaud Congress for passing The PATH Act and making these charitable giving incentives available to donors permanently,” Colorado Nonprofit Association, Director of Public Policy Mark Turner said.

Nationally, since 2006, the incentives have enabled land trusts to conserve over two million acres of land.

“This legislation has been a national policy goal for the Colorado land conservation community for many years,” says Amanda Barker, Executive Director, at the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts.  “We applaud the Colorado Nonprofit Association and the coalition of supporting nonprofits for their efforts to get this passed. The permanent tax deduction is an incredibly valuable tool for Colorado landowners deciding whether to protect their land and water with a conservation easement. We have so much to celebrate today!”

These tax incentives have helped food banks access over 70 billion pounds of nutritious food that would otherwise be wasted and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in IRA gifts to charities.

“Community foundations supporting critical needs in our state rely on the IRA charitable rollover to raise crucial funding each year,” said Joanne Kelley, Executive Director of the Colorado Association of Funders, the statewide network for foundations and others supporting philanthropic causes. “We have been working in partnership with others to make this a permanent, year-round option for donors to ensure it has the maximum impact on charitable giving.”

The PATH Act also permanently makes several tax credits to help working families including the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If Congress had allowed these policies to expire, nearly 264,000 Colorado families, including 129,000 children, could have fallen into or deeper into poverty when key pieces of the EITC and CTC expire in 2017, according to the Colorado Fiscal Institute.