Ask TDF (Summer 2017)

The Denver Foundation

I'm on the board of a small nonprofit organization that formed three years ago. We'd like to build an endowment so we're more sustainable in the future, but none of us have experience in this area. Should we try?

For many nonprofits, creating an endowment is a path to sustainability. Yet it can feel like a monumental task, especially for small organizations and those in the early stages of operation. You may wonder: Are we ready for an endowment, especially when we’re already busy serving our community? When you partner with a team that understands your needs and goals, the answer is yes! The Denver Foundation is dedicated to the nonprofit community’s long-term success, which is why we provide services to help the sector learn, grow, and thrive. Our team of experts can work with you to establish a nonprofit endowed fund that will support your organization’s financial future and allow you to focus on your mission. The Denver Foundation helps nonprofit organizations build sustainability and a legacy.


As the largest and most experienced community foundation in Colorado, The Denver Foundation has more than 90 years of experience managing philanthropy for individuals, businesses, families, and nonprofits. Currently, the Foundation holds endowment and advised funds ranging from $25,000 to $8 million for more than 100 nonprofits in Metro Denver. The Denver Foundation’s roots are deep. When you place your endowment funds at The Denver Foundation, you reassure donors that funds earmarked for the future will be carefully, expertly managed.


The Foundation manages your fund as part of a high-performing unitized investment pool. An annual percentage of your assets (3-5 percent typically) is distributed to your organization via an annual payment, on flexible terms that meet your needs. You decide when, or if, to receive an annual distribution to meet current and long-term financial goals. Along the way, you receive a full range of services from The Denver Foundation, including back-office support for the endowment fund; continuing educational opportunities provided at no cost; and ongoing support from the Philanthropic Services Group.


Endowment funds are intended for perpetual asset growth. Endowment funds offer an annual distribution of a percentage of assets determined at the time the agreement is signed, generally 3-5 percent. The administrative fee for service is 1 percent tiered. The investment of our nonprofit endowment funds are advised by nationally renowned Monticello Associates and overseen by The Denver Foundation’s investment committee.

Want to learn more? Please email Kelly Purdy of the Philanthropic Services Group,, or call 303.300.1790.

I heard you have a program that helps college students pursue opportunities in the nonprofit sector. Tell me more! — EAGER UNDERGRAD

Indeed! The Denver Foundation is happy to support the development of the nonprofit field through our Nonprofit Internship Program (NPIP), which places qualified undergraduates at more than a dozen nonprofits across Metro Denver every summer. Throughout the 10-week program, interns participate in ongoing professional and personal development; meanwhile, the nonprofits—all past or current TDF grantees—benefit from additional staff support and an infusion of fresh energy and perspective. Since the program started, 143 undergraduates have completed the internship. Many have gone on to careers and even executive-level positions with nonprofits across the region. The Foundation selects a cohort of interns every summer. Interns are paid for a total of 345 hours over the course of 10 weeks.


The NPIP was established in 2007 in response to findings from our multiyear Inclusiveness Project, which showed that internships help encourage individuals of color to pursue opportunities in the nonprofit sector. While open to applicants of all backgrounds, the program reflects our commitment to the core value of racial equity. Through the NPIP curriculum, interns engage with equity-based issues in their communities as they explore their own ability to contribute as leaders. Beyond building skills and professional contacts, NPIP interns have the chance to build group cohesion, develop lasting relationships, build exceptional personal leadership skills, and broaden their understanding of the nonprofit community.


To be eligible for the internship program, you must be a current undergraduate student enrolled in classes at a two or four-year college within the seven-county Metro Denver region (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties); be legally eligible to work in the United States; not have received a bachelor’s degree in another field; have at least a 2.5 GPA; and have completed at least 12 credits at the time of application.

Check out the full guidelines via www. Internship-Program. For more information, please call Becky Alberti-Powell, Nonprofit Internship Program Associate, at 303.300.1790, or email

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