Alliance for Sustainable Colorado Receives $7.5 Million Program Related Investment to Support Transformation of Alliance Center

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Denver Foundation Donor-Advised Fund makes an innovative loan to The Alliance Center, a non-profit hub for sustainability in Colorado.

“We are delighted to be a part of this creative and groundbreaking funding option . . . We look forward to demonstrating the value of this financing method for its expanded use in the future.” - John Powers

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado announces receipt of a $7.5 million Program Related Investment (PRI) made through a donor-advised fund of The Denver Foundation. The Alliance is using the loan, with a highly favorable interest rate, to invest in LEED platinum renovation of the Alliance Center, a 100-year old, multi-tenant nonprofit building in Lower Downtown Denver. The Alliance will also be able to pay off its municipal bond issued by the City of Federal Heights and held by Wells Fargo Bank, and invest in critical deferred maintenance and repairs.

This PRI is a first of its kind for The Denver Foundation and breaks new ground for future projects. A PRI is a loan with better terms than those that can be obtained commercially. PRIs also afford funders and recipients the opportunity to leverage financial and social impact benefits. In this case, the Alliance is receiving an interest rate of one percent per annum for a 15-year loan over 25-year amortization, saving over $4 million in interest compared to a commercial loan of 5.5 percent ( two percent over prime rate). As the loan is repaid, the funder may re-grant the funds, thus increasing its long-term impact.

“We are grateful to Dr. Stephanie Gripne, head of the Impact Finance Center at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, who both conceptualized and provided the expertise to make this transaction possible. We also thank Wells Fargo Bank and the City of Federal Heights, which allowed us to refinance the Alliance Center in 2011. Without their invaluable assistance, we would not be where we are today enabling the synergies of co-location for over 30 nonprofit tenant organizations and others who utilize the building,” stated John Powers, Founder and Board Chair for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. “We are profoundly grateful to the benefactors of the Alliance and delighted to be a part of this creative and groundbreaking funding option that can be utilized by donors. We look forward to demonstrating the value of this financing method for its expanded use in the future.”

“This PRI is an example of The Denver Foundation’s commitment to helping fundholders achieve their philanthropic goals,” said Barbara Berv, VP of Philanthropic Services at The Denver Foundation. Berv added, “Maximizing impact in our community, whether through impact investments like this or through traditional grantmaking, means The Denver Foundation is achieving its mission.”

As a result of this PRI, the Alliance may complete the renovation of the Alliance Center, creating the 21st century workspace and sustainability hub for Colorado. In addition, the case study of this PRI will contribute to the National PRI | MRI Research Project, the first of its kind being conducted by the University of Denver’s Impact Finance Center. For more information about this Project, please contact Dr. Stephanie Gripne at Stephanie.Gripne(at)du(dot)edu or 303.900.2060.

Formore information about the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the Alliance Center, and this PRI please visit, or contact John Powers at jpowers(at)sustainablecolorado(dot)org. For more information about The Denver Foundation, please contact Angelle Fouther at afouther(at)denverfoundation(dot)org.


About Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado (the Alliance) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 dedicated to engaging nonprofit, business, government and education leaders in collaboration to overcome complex sustainability challenges. Envisioning a Colorado where leaders across the state work together to make decisions that improve quality of life by simultaneously promoting economic vitality, healthy vibrant communities, and environmental integrity for current and future generations, the Alliance offers programs, tools and demonstration models to meet this vision. For more information, visit

About The Denver Foundation
The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2013, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $47 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit

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Angelle Fouther
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