For-profit

Gary Community Investments (GCI)

Gary Community Investments (GCI; also known as Gary Community Ventures) is the parent organization of both the Gary Community Investment Company and the left-of-center Piton Foundation, which invests in both for profit and non-profit organizations focusing on issues facing children and families in Colorado.

The organization was founded by prominent Colorado businessman Samuel Gary, who died in 2020. [1] Gary Community Investments and the Piton Foundation have the same CEO, former Colorado State Senator Michael Johnston (D-Denver).

Gary Williams Energy Company

Gary Williams Energy Company, the energy firm founded by Sam Gary, was the primary source of funding for the organization until it was sold in 2011 upon Gary’s retirement from the energy business. With funds from their employer-sponsored philanthropy fund, Sam and his wife, Nancy Gary, founded Gary Community Investments, which later developed the Piton Foundation. [2]

Investment Strategy

Gary Community Investments claims to strategically invest in three areas of school readiness, youth success, and family economic mobility. [3]

Most of the organization’s funding supports what it has called “improving outcomes” for children from the prenatal stages to early childhood, roughly around the age of 5. GCI funds programs for children up to the age of 18 but also the “families, communities, and systems that foster their development.” GCI has referred to this as a “two-generation approach.” [4]

Advocacy

Gary Community Investments supports ballot measure campaigns in Colorado. In 2020, it was involved in two statewide campaigns: Proposition EE, which raised taxes on tobacco products and e-cigarettes, [5] and Amendment B, which changed the way property taxes in Colorado are calculated. [6]

Grantmaking

Through the Piton Foundation, Gary Community Ventures funds research institutions such as the University of Denver, Community College of Aurora, and the Tennyson Center for Children along with other organizations with advocacy goals. [7]

In 2018, GCI made a $795,000 investment in Teach for America to “recruit, train and place [Teach for America] corps members in community-based ECE settings during the 2018-2019 school year, develop partnerships with community providers for placement, and work with the Colorado Department of Education to ensure smooth licensure of ECE corps members.” [8]

Gary Community Investments has given substantial funds to Council for a Strong America, a left-leaning advocacy group that frames left-of-center social welfare policy as necessary to national and local security. [9]

 

References

  1. “The Passing of Sam Gary.” Gary Community Ventures, December 23, 2021. https://garycommunity.org/content-category/gary-in-the-news/passing-of-sam-gary/. ^
  2. “Our History.” Gary Community Investments. Accessed February 2, 2020. https://www.garycommunity.org/our-history/gary-williams-oil ^
  3.  “Two Generation Approach.” Gary Community Investments. Accessed February 2, 2020. https://www.garycommunity.org/two-generation-approach ^
  4. “Two Generation Approach.” Gary Community Investments. Archived from the original August 3, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20200803145834/https://www.garycommunity.org/two-generation-approach ^
  5. [1] “Proposition EE.” Gary Community Ventures, March 15, 2022. https://garycommunity.org/case-studies/proposition-ee/. ^
  6. “Amendment B.” Gary Community Ventures, March 15, 2022. https://garycommunity.org/case-studies/amendment-b/. ^
  7. Piton Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2019, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/810587194/12_2020_prefixes_80-85%2F810587194_201912_990PF_2020121617481824 ^
  8. [1] “Teach for America.” Gary Community Investments. Archived from the original June 21, 2019. Accessed March 31, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20190621053107/https://www.garycommunity.org/investment/teach-america ^
  9. Piton Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2019, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/810587194/12_2020_prefixes_80-85%2F810587194_201912_990PF_2020121617481824 ^
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