How and Where the Erion Foundation Supports Nonprofits in Colorado

Ann Cantelow/shutterstock

A family foundation based in Loveland, Colorado, the Erion Foundation maintains a very local focus with its grantmaking. Helen and Ken Erion created this foundation in the mid-1980s following the success of their directory-publishing business, which became the Johnson Publishing Company. Today, the couple’s son Doug runs the foundation as its president alongside other Erion family members. Here are some top facts to know about the Erion Foundation’s giving in Colorado.

A northern Colorado focus

The Erion Foundation is a regional grantmaker that is exclusively dedicated to northern Colorado. Many grants go to groups based in Loveland. But the foundation also geographically prioritizes the following areas: Loveland Planning Area, Thompson School District, Poudre School District and Larimer County.

Five topics of interest

There are five general areas of interest at the Erion Foundation. Firstly, the funder provides advocacy support for major projects and designates about half of its grant funds for large, multiyear endeavors. Example grantees are museums, hospitals, libraries and swimming pools.

In addition, the Erion Foundation’s basic needs grants support food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and family support services. Health and welfare grants go to hospitals, emergency services, senior services and clinics. Education grants fund school districts, special needs education, early childhood learning programs and educational building funds. Finally, Erion provides funding for cultural and community organizations, such as university art programs, arts advocacy and local events.

Types of funding

The Erion Foundation primarily supports nonprofit programs and capital projects. It only funds general operations for three organizations: the House of Neighborly Service, Meals on Wheels and the Community Kitchen. It is common for the Erion Foundation to partner with other grantmakers to award challenge and matching grants. The foundation also encourages extended family members to volunteer in their communities, to complement its monetary support for local nonprofit groups.

A straightforward application process

The Erion Foundation has simplified its grantmaking process and makes an application form available on its website. In addition to the application form, grantseekers should also include a copy of their IRS designation letters and most recent IRS Form 990 with their submission. The funder prefers email submissions but accepts mailed applications as well.

At the time of writing, the foundation was not accepting new grant applications due to the many large capital projects it is funding. However, check the deadlines page on Erion’s website for the most up-to-date information. The foundation considers requests of less than $10,000 on a case-by-case basis and requests of more than $10,000 at quarterly board meetings.

Read more about this foundation and its staff in IP’s full profile of the Erion Foundation, which is part of our Mountain States Funding Guide.