2018 Annual Report

Letter from the President & Board Chair

As a place-based foundation dedicated to long-term quality of life in Colorado, Gates Family Foundation takes the long view of most issues facing the state. In 2018, the economies of the Front Range and some portions of rural Colorado continued to expand significantly. The state continued to see substantial in-migration of talent, much of it young. The economy also continued to diversify, with sectors like outdoor recreation, biosciences, and aerospace continuing to grow substantially.

At the same time, Colorado continues to struggle with both new and persistent challenges. The achievement gap in K-12 public education remains one of the greatest in the United States, and many urban school systems are more segregated by race and income today than they have ever been. Growth and change have brought huge issues with respect to housing affordability, gentrification, and displacement. Other parts of the state have not shared in this prosperity. Portions of eastern, southern, and far northwest Colorado have not seen similar gains in employment and economic opportunity.

Growth also continues to put pressure on the state’s land and water resources. Despite a relatively wet and snowy winter in 2018-19, most parts of the state continue to battle with prolonged drought, increased wildfire danger, and early signs of the impact of climate change. Recreational pressures on public lands and unique resources like Colorado’s fourteeners have never been higher. In the urbanized Front Range and some mountain valleys, mobility challenges are also on the rise as communities seek to find scalable alternatives to the personal automobile. The capacity of democratic institutions and civil society to cope with all of the above is challenged by fiscal and structural governance constraints, as well as an evolving media landscape and a significant decline in local journalism capacity.

As you will see in the highlights provided below by the various staff teams, the Foundation’s work in 2018 continued to address these and other important challenges – and opportunities – facing the state. In many ways, 2018 was our most productive year ever.

Thomas A. Gougeon

Thomas A. Gougeon

President

Lauren Cannon Davis

Lauren Cannon Davis

Board Chair

Educational Equity

Innovation zones, rural district improvement, and community engagement were bright spots.

Natural Resources

Water innovations and supporting the launch of a new statewide land trust coalition lead our list of priorities.

Vibrant Communities

Promoting economic opportunity and informed communities were two main areas of focus.

The vision set out in our current strategic plan – to leverage all of the Foundation’s resources in service to the Colorado community – was realized as we put $25.3 million to work pursuing mission-relevant charitable purpose activity in one form or another. That amount includes:

  • Nearly $9 million in grants paid through the main Foundation
  • More than $11.5 million in grants paid through the eight family funds housed at the Foundation
  • Just over $2.4 million operating the Foundation with a team of 12 professionals working in multiple fields
  • Nearly $700,000 deployed in Program-Related Investments (PRIs)
  • Nearly $1.2 million deployed in Mission-Related Investments (MRIs)
  • Approximately $525,000 invested in the Hover Building, the Foundation’s home base, a meeting and event resource for many nonprofit and community partners and the home of the edXchange public education shared-space collaborative

Due to the market downturn in the last quarter of 2018, the Foundation’s total assets declined to $455.1 million at year-end.  As of January 31, 2019, the balance had already recovered to $471.3 million.

Our capital grants program received more than 100 requests, and ultimately we made $3.35 million in capital grant commitments, including significant awards to the Aurora School of Science and Technology at the Anschutz Medical Campus, New Legacy Charter School, and the National Western Stock Show.

National Western Center redevelopment

National Western Center redevelopment

The past year also saw continued growth in the Foundation’s impact investing portfolio. We committed to our sixth PRI, $1 million to Greenline Ventures to support small business lending throughout Colorado. We also added three more market-return impact investments to our portfolio – to support early-stage ed tech tools, sustainable management and conservation of timberlands, and affordable housing and transformative development.

Valerie Gates and Tom Gougeon accept the 2018 Champion of the Land from Colorado Open Lands

Valerie Gates and Tom Gougeon accept the 2018 Champion of the Land from Colorado Open Lands

We made significant progress on our new website, which now provides more transparency and insights from the Foundation. We were recognized as the 2018 “Champion of the Land” by Colorado Open Lands. The event provided a chance to reflect on Gates’ 40 years of history with the conservation community, as well as our first project with Colorado Open Lands – the conservation of the historic 3,200-acre Evans Ranch at the base of Mount Evans in Clear Creek County.

There were also some significant changes within the staff.  Senior Vice President Beth Conover left the Foundation in August after seven years to become executive director of the Salazar Center for North American Conservation at Colorado State University. Russ Schnitzer and Laia Mitchell were promoted to senior program officers, and made co-managers of the Natural Resources and Community Development team.  Abby Schaller and Lisa Rucker were promoted to senior program officer roles, and Anna Schmid was promoted to Controller. Sue Dorsey (Senior Vice President – Finance, Administration & Impact Investing) and Melissa Davis (Vice President – Strategic Communications & Informed Communities) got new titles to recognize their work expanding into new areas. And after reviewing more than 330 applications, the team selected Whitney Johnson as a program officer for natural resources and community development.

2018 was an amazing year, full of diverse types of work throughout the state. By design, a significant portion of the Foundation’s impact, grant making, and investing occurs in rural Colorado. It continues to be a privilege to contribute to the legacy of the Gates family in Colorado, to invest in so many of the people and places that make Colorado special, and to work with so many amazing partners in all of the fields the Foundation touches.

Sincerely,

Lauren Cannon Davis
Board Chair
Gates Family Foundation

Thomas A. Gougeon
President
Gates Family Foundation

2018 Financials

2018 Philanthropic Activity:
$25.3 million

  Total Family Fund Grants
  Total GFF Grants
  GFF PRIs
  GFF MRIs
  Hover Building
  Staff & Administration

Strategic Grants:
$5,304,427

  Educational Equity
  Natural Resources
  Vibrant Communities

Capital Grants:
$3,595,338

  Education
  Parks & Recreation
  Community Development
  Arts & Culture
  Well-being of Children, Youth and Families
Grantee Paid in 2018 Type Strategic Priority Area Served
A+ Colorado $5,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

A+ Colorado $60,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Academy of Advanced Learning $50,000

Capital Grant

Education

Arapahoe

America Succeeds $124,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

American Forest Foundation $124,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Larimer

Americas for Conservation and the Arts $30,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Artspace $50,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Las Animas

Atlantis Community, Inc. $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Atlas Preparatory School $35,000

Capital Grant

Education

El Paso

Attention Homes $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Boulder

Aurora Cultural Arts District $18,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Arapahoe

AXL Academy $250,000

Program-Related Investment

Education

Arapahoe

Bellwether Education Partners $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

Bent County Board of County Commissioners $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Bent

Bethel Community Center $40,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Lincoln

Big Green $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

Big Sandbox $9,668

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

BikeDenver $12,500

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Bridge Emergency Shelter $80,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Montezuma

CASA of the Pikes Peak Region $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

El Paso

CASA of the Seventh Judicial District $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Montrose

Center for ReSource Conservation $25,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Central Colorado Conservancy $75,000

Capital Grant

Natural Resources

Lake

Central Colorado Conservancy $63,158

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Chaffee

Chalkbeat $75,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Charter Board Partners $20,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

City of Fort Collins $100,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Larimer

City of Montrose $35,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Montrose

City Parks Alliance $10,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

CityCraft Foundation $42,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

CityCraft Foundation $75,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Civic Canopy $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Climb Higher Colorado $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Coalition for the Upper South Platte $20,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Park

Colorado Association of Funders $10,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

Colorado Charter Facility Solutions $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Colorado Charter Facility Solutions $1,250,000

Program-Related Investment

Education

* Statewide

Colorado Children’s Campaign $50,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Colorado Education Organizing Funder Collaborative (CEO) $60,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

Colorado Forum Fund $80,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative $45,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative $70,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation $15,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Colorado Impact Fund $548,177

Mission-Related Investment

Community Development

* Statewide

Colorado Industrial Areas Foundation $30,250

Strategic Grant

Education

Adams

Colorado League of Charter Schools $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Colorado Open Lands – Conservation Futures Project $75,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Colorado Open Lands – Land Trust Collaboration Grants $75,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Colorado Public Radio $25,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Colorado State University $37,500

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Colorado Succeeds $30,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Chaffee

Colorado West Land Trust $50,000

Capital Grant

Natural Resources

Mesa

Colorado West Land Trust $100,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Mesa

Colorado West Land Trust $95,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Mesa

Colorado Youth Congress $60,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Community Resource Center $10,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Community Resource Center $10,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Conservation Fund $25,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Conservation Lands Foundation $100,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Conejos

Creede Repertory Theatre $10,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Mineral

CrossPurpose $45,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Conejos

Delores Project (The) $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Denver Botanic Gardens $100,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Denver Civic Ventures $40,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Denver Tennis Park $225,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Denver Urban Gardens $98,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

Denver Urban Gardens $19,500

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Arapahoe

Denver Water $100,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

District One $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Huerfano

Dolores River Boating Advocates $70,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Montezuma

Early Connections Learning Centers $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

El Paso

Edgewater Collective $27,500

Strategic Grant

Education

Jefferson

Education Reform Now $75,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Elevation Community Land Trust $75,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Elevation Community Land Trust $175,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

Emily Griffith Foundation $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Empower Schools $21,519

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Energy Resource Center $15,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Alamosa

Environmental Learning for Kids $125,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Faith Family Hospitality of Fort Collins $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Larimer

Family Star $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek/City of Fort Collins $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Larimer

Gold Crown Foundation $35,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Jefferson

Grand Mesa Arts Center $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Delta

Grassroots Foundation $20,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Yuma

Greenline Ventures LLC $177,344

Program-Related Investment

Community Development

* Statewide

Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government $94,500

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Healthy Community Food Systems $30,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

La Plata

Heart J Center for Experiential Learning $30,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Larimer

High Country News $50,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Delta

Historic Fraser $15,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Grand

Historic Georgetown $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Clear Creek

Jefferson County School District $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Jefferson

Keystone Center $40,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Montezuma

Keystone Science School $90,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Summit

KUTE $35,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

La Plata

Lake County School District R-1 $100,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Lake

Laradon $90,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group $42,500

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Boulder

Limon Child Development Center $40,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Lincoln

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy $40,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Lone Cone Library District $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

San Miguel

Luttrell Barn Cultural Center Foundation $21,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Moffat

Lyme Timber Company LP — Forest Fund V $422,227

Mission-Related Investment

Natural Resources

Colorado and beyond

Lyons Regional Library $40,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Boulder

Meals on Wheels of Boulder $15,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Boulder

Mesa County Valley School District #51 $125,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Mesa

Mesa County Valley School District #51 $30,500

Capital Grant

Community Development

Mesa

Metro Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint $25,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Mile High Connects $75,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project $20,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Montezuma

Museum of Contemporary Art $60,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

National Black Child Development Institute $25,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

National Western Stock Show $250,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

National Western Stock Show $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

National Wildlife Federation $60,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

New Legacy Charter High School $100,000

Capital Grant

Education

Arapahoe

North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Delta

North London Mill Preservation $11,670

Capital Grant

Community Building

Park

Older Adults Technology Services $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Outdoor Alliance $65,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Gunnison

Palmer Land Trust – Bessemer Farmland Exchange Project $60,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Pueblo

Palmer Land Trust – Hanratty Farms $275,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Pueblo

Paradox Valley School $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Montrose

Project Worthmore $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Qualistar Early Learning $100,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Radian | Placematters $24,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Ralston House $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Adams

RE-1 Valley School District $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Logan

Re:Vision $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Development

Denver

Reach Capital II $220,000

Mission-Related Investment

Education

Colorado and beyond

Redline Contemporary Art Center $20,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Regional Transit-Oriented Development Fund $513,669

Program-Related Investment

Community Development

Denver

Ricardo Flores Magon Academy $50,000

Capital Grant

Education

Denver

Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust $40,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Rio Grande

Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust – Del Norte Riverfront Project $25,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Rio Grande

Rise Above Violence $10,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Archuleta

River Network $100,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

RiversEdge West $30,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

Mesa

Roaring Fork School District $10,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Garfield

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational and Charitable Foundation $50,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

Rocky Mountain Preparatory School $300,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

Rocky Mountain Preparatory School $5,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

Rocky Mountain Public Media $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Denver

Rocky Mountain Public Media $70,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

RootED $300,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

RootED $4,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

Roots Elementary School $80,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Denver

San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition $25,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Alamosa

Sand County Foundation $13,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Sonoran Institute $100,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

South Park Schools Foundation $20,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Park

Steamboat Health and Recreation Association $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Routt

Streetsblog Denver $35,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

STRiVE $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Mesa

Teach For America $220,000

Strategic Grant

Education

* Statewide

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership $75,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Trust For Public Land $125,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Trust For Public Land $50,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

University of Colorado Foundation $10,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

* Statewide

University of Denver $85,000

Strategic Grant

Community Building

* Statewide

Valley Settlement Project $30,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Garfield

Village Exchange Center $50,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Arapahoe

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado $40,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

WalkDenver $25,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Walking Mountains Science Center $75,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Eagle

West Colfax Business Improvement District $26,000

Strategic Grant

Community Development

Denver

Western Landowners Alliance $75,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Western Resource Advocates $100,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Windward Fund – Water Funders Initiative $125,000

Strategic Grant

Natural Resources

* Statewide

Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism $25,000

Strategic Grant

Education

Arapahoe

YouthPower365 $30,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Eagle

YouthZone $25,000

Capital Grant

Community Building

Garfield