2021 Year-End: Boettcher Foundation Surpasses $400 Million in Historical Giving

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

Boettcher Foundation Press ReleaseDENVER, Jan. 25, 2022 — With its 2021 grantmaking completed, the Boettcher Foundation has surpassed more than $400 million in historical philanthropic giving over its 84-year history.

The Foundation’s 2021 grantees included organizations leading transformational initiatives, connecting communities through infrastructure or programming, and others increasing leadership opportunities. A major emphasis of the Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio included organizations and efforts in rural Colorado or that featured a statewide focus.

“Eclipsing $400 million in historical giving is a major milestone as we invest in the promise of Colorado and potential of Coloradans,” said President and CEO Katie Kramer. “Our philanthropic impact continues to honor our donor intent by supporting our state’s organizations and individuals who are making an impact in their communities.”

In 2021, the Foundation continued its support of the Boettcher Scholarship Program and continued its longtime support of biomedical research. In addition, Boettcher launched COLead, its leadership initiative that strives to create an accessible and inclusive leadership ecosystem in Colorado. COLead includes several components, including the Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship, the Colorado Leadership Collaborative, and the Colorado Leadership Stories project.

Included below are several summaries of 2021 grant recipients.


Space to Create: Space to Create Colorado is an innovative, multi-year partnership between the State of Colorado, funders, and Artspace – a nonprofit developer– to provide affordable workforce housing for creative sector entrepreneurs and artists in rural and mountain communities. The Foundation has pledged $250,000 toward each project, up to nine, across the state. The year 2021 was an important one for Space to Create as it addressed Colorado’s housing crisis. Trinidad brought to market 41 affordable housing units, Ridgway broke ground on a 30-unit housing complex, and Grand Lake completed its feasibility study and moved forward on project site selection. The program is the nation’s first state-led initiative for affordable housing for creative sector workers in rural areas.

Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund: The Colorado Afghan Evacuee Support Fund, sponsored by Rose Community Foundation, is a statewide partnership to ensure that Colorado is prepared to welcome Afghan evacuees and connect them with community resources. Contributions fund grants to organizations in Colorado that provide refugee resettlement services, health and mental health services for newcomers, legal services to help evacuees navigate available pathways for permanency in the U.S., and other forms of needed assistance. Boettcher made a $50,000 grant in 2021 to support our state’s newest Coloradans.

Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado: As the federally designated food supplier for more than 250 food pantries in 31 Colorado counties, Care and Share Food Bank is a critical part of Colorado’s health and nutrition infrastructure. However, delivering refrigerated food and fresh produce to food banks in the San Luis Valley and Southwestern Colorado has posed a serious challenge due to distance and weather. In 2021, Care and Share purchased a refrigerated warehouse in Alamosa to serve as a new distribution center. A $75,000 grant from helped with the facility acquisition. Care and Share will now be able to better serve tens of thousands of Coloradans with more frequent deliveries of fresh food.

Gunnison Arts Center: Arts organizations serve as the cultural lifeblood of many communities, especially in rural Colorado. Located in a 12,000 square-foot historic building at the heart of Gunnison, the Gunnison Arts Center (GAC) partners with numerous organizations to engage 15,000 participants each year through art classes, clay studio, gallery spaces, dance, and theater. Boettcher supported GAC with a $60,000 grant toward comprehensive renovations including updated community gallery and theater space, new dressing rooms, accessibility improvements, and the creation of a digital arts lab to teach students creative digital skills.

Boettcher Scholarship Program

The 2021 Scholar cohort included the founder of Protect Pueblo, a collaborative network that set up COVID-19 health and safety regulations across four schools, a guest blogger for 9News, a Division I football player, and a Scholar who manages her own goat herd. The group of 42 Scholars mark the newest class of students who will be the next generation of dynamic thinkers and leaders. The Boettcher Scholar network includes more than 2,700 leaders who have made their marks in business, government, the non-profit sector, and academia, among other industries. The four-year scholarship, established in 1952, includes full tuition and fees, a book allowance, and a stipend for living expenses. For more information, visit here.


Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards

This year’s awards supported six promising, early career Investigators, allowi­ng them to establish their independent research and be more competitive for major federal and private awards. Each recipient is awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain up to three years of biomedical research. Including the class of 2021, 82 Boettcher Investigators have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. Since 2010, Boettcher Investigators have gone on to earn more than $110 million in subsequent federal grant funding. For more information, visit here.


About the Boettcher Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Boettcher Foundation believes in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come.

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