Arts & Entertainment  July 6, 2015

Foundry Group donation to help Community Foundation bridge nonprofit shortfall

BOULDER — The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, with a big assist from local venture-capital firm Foundry Group, announced Monday that it is planning to give out an extra $300,000 in grants to area nonprofits this summer to help offset major cuts announced last month by Foothills United Way.

The donation came as part of Foundry Group’s participation as a founding member of the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado, in which startups and other companies donate either a portion of their founding equity or a portion of annual profits to benefit the community.

Community Foundation president Josie Heath said Monday that many of the organizations that stood to lose funding from the United Way are nonprofits that the Community Foundation also helps already. Foothills United Way had announced that it would cut nonprofit grants by more than $500,000 this year to help the organization stabilize its finances.

“Clearly, this will not make these nonprofits whole in terms of the cuts,” Heath said in a phone interview. “But at least we felt like it could help ease some of the impact.”

The Community Foundation disburses about $5.5 million to community organizations each year. But about $4.5 million of that is in donor-advised funds. The other $1 million given out each year comes from a community trust from which the Community Foundation decides where the money will be donated. The Foundry Group’s latest donation will be added to that community trust pot for this year.

“We’re excited about being able to provide some unexpected assistance,” Heath said.

Community Foundation officials said the Foundry Group’s donation came into play thanks to a recent “exit” by the firm. While a Foundry Group official didn’t name Fitbit specifically, one of the Boulder VC firm’s funds had owned 28.9 percent of Fitbit’s shares before its initial public offering in June.

Foundry Group managing director Seth Levine said in an email that the firm has pledged a portion of the profits from each of its investment funds to local charities through EFCO. He said that the latest donation pushes Foundry Group well over the $1 million mark donated, including a $100,000 donation made toward flood relief in 2013.

Levine said Foundry Group’s intention is to completely fill the funding gap left by Foothills United Way’s cuts by the end of the year.

“We feel very fortunate to be in a position to give back in this way, especially at a time when the United Way is cutting back local funding to such important nonprofit organizations in our community,” Levine said.

BOULDER — The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, with a big assist from local venture-capital firm Foundry Group, announced Monday that it is planning to give out an extra $300,000 in grants to area nonprofits this summer to help offset major cuts announced last month by Foothills United Way.

The donation came as part of Foundry Group’s participation as a founding member of the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado, in which startups and other companies donate either a portion of their founding equity or a portion of annual profits to benefit the community.

Community Foundation president Josie Heath said Monday that many of…

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