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GCI Partners with Uncharted on Early Childhood Accelerator


Gary Community Investments is partnering with the Uncharted to run an early childhood accelerator for entrepreneurs developing innovative solutions to improve the lives of low-income children ages 0 to 5. Defined by the Uncharted, accelerators are customized programs that swarm resources around ventures tackling our world’s biggest social and environmental problems.

The Early Childhood Accelerator will bring together a dozen highly vetted startups from around the United States. They’ll be brought to Denver, Colorado, along with world-class mentors, and given access to financing opportunities and a global network of support to help scale their ventures to the next level.

Applications for the accelerator will be open until April 1, 2016. Visit Uncharted’s website to learn more and apply for this opportunity, and to view Uncharted’s past early childhood ventures.

Celebrating the Colorado State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)


To celebrate the Colorado state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) being available to working families for the first time in 15 years, Governor Hickenlooper proclaimed January 28 Colorado State EITC Awareness Day. Together with the Colorado Fiscal Institute and Mile High United Way (MHUW), The Piton Foundation, which is part of Gary Community Investments, hosted a press conference where Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia read the proclamation and spoke about the importance of ensuring eligible families claim the state EITC. Lt. Gov. Garcia was joined by State Senator John Kefalas and Krysten Stevenson, an EITC recipient and member of 9to5Colorado. Click here to watch the Lt. Governor reading the proclamation. 

Individuals and families can find out if they qualify for the state EITC and free tax preparation assistance by dialing 2-1-1 or visiting www.piton.org

EITC & Free Tax Help


Working families that make less than $53,000 could be eligible for the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Learn if you qualify for a bigger tax refund. Also, free tax help is available through the Tax Help Colorado program. Find a free tax site in your community.

The Piton Foundation considers tax credits for working families, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), to be important tools for increasing the financial security of Colorado families. In 2013, more than 354,000 Colorado taxpayers received $772 million in EITC refunds, however an estimated 118,000 Coloradans are still missing out on as much as $257 million in EITC refunds each year because they don’t know they qualify. Every year, we conduct the Tax Credits for Working Families Public Outreach Campaign to help ensure that all eligible families claim this valuable credit. In addition to the federal EITC, this year Colorado families can now claim a state EITC, which is worth 10 percent of the federal credit.

We invite nonprofits, community organizations, government agencies and businesses to partner with us to help ensure that everyone who is eligible claims both the federal and state EITC. Download our EITC flier, EITC & free tax help flier, poster in English and Spanish and electronic newsletter & website copy. Hard copy versions of these materials are available for free in any quantity by contacting Courtney Sabine.

In addition, free tax help is available to families who earn less than about $53,000 a year through the Tax Help Colorado program, a partnership between The Piton Foundation, the Colorado Community College System and Red Rocks Community College. In addition to Tax Help Colorado’s 26 free tax site locations, a full listing of all the free tax sites in Colorado is available through our free tax site look up tool.

Mile High Data Day


In today's open data culture, we have the ability to use data to tell stories, collaborate across organizations, and make data informed decisions that have the power to improve the lives of others. The Piton Foundation's Data Initiative invites you to learn how to combine these elements and use open data to drive social change at the first annual Mile High Data Day on February 19 at the University of Colorado Denver.

Mile High Data Day attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Build relationships, share best practices and learn from experts.

  • Strengthen partnerships between social change and data organizations.

  • Create a vision for an ongoing network focused on using data to support community change.

The event will include speakers, panels and interactive breakout sessions. Mile High Data Day’s keynote is Steve Spiker, Director or Research & Technology at the Urban Strategies Council. Steve is the co-founder of OpenOakland, a civic innovation organization helping government become more transparent and engaged. He speaks nationally about data driven decision making and was chosen as one of Next American City’s Vanguard class of 2012 and honored as a White House Champion of Change in 2013. Review the full agenda here

Mile High Data Day’s key partners include:

Registration for Mile High Data has closed. For additional event information, contact Kelly Nelson. 

 

ULC Recognizes Gary Community Investments for its Support


Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) featured Gary Community Investments and The Piton Foundation in its November "Partner Spotlight."

Piton helped found ULC in 2003, and, since then, ULC has grown from a $10 million organization to almost $70 million through real estate investments that directly benefit neighborhoods and communities. As a strong partner, GCI continues working with ULC in making strategic investments to support the preservation and development of real estate in vulnerable and transitioning neighborhoods.

Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) celebrates the achievements of its partnerships that create and preserve nonprofit facilities and affordable housing for communities in metro Denver. ULC's Monthly Partner Spotlight is awarded to partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering ULC's mission to improve the lives of Denver area residents through its real estate investments and community assets.

To read the entire article, click here.

The Colorado Children’s Campaign Celebrates 30 Years


Our longtime partner, the Colorado Children’s Campaign, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary at its annual luncheon, which brought together hundreds of influential community leaders to explore pressing issues facing Colorado’s kids. At the luncheon, Governor John Hickenlooper recognized the Children’s Campaign for its three decades of shining a light on areas where Colorado could do better. “The Children’s Campaign’s focus on child poverty, achievement gaps and disparities in opportunity for Colorado kids has been a catalyst of meaningful change,” Governor John Hickenlooper said.

During the event, Gov. Hickenlooper and Children’s Campaign CEO Chris Watney honored Children’s Campaign founders Sam and Nancy Gary, Elaine and Dr. Steve Berman, Anna Jo Haynes, Dr. Paul Melinkovich and Barbara O’Brien for their role in laying the groundwork for a non-partisan advocacy and research organization dedicated to improving the well-being of Colorado children. Watch this video to see how what started as an idea has grown into a movement to ensure every chance for every child in the state.

Read the Latest EITC News


As part of The Piton Foundation's Tax Credits for Working Families Public Information Campaign, we distribute EITC News, a monthly electronic newsletter that provides information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax preparation assistance. 

We invite you to read November's EITC News, which includes updates and information on our outreach campaign, the new state EITC, Tax Help Colorado's free tax assistance sites, and the Affordable Care Act and tax time. To read our e-newsletter, click here

Sign up here to receive EITC News updates from November through April. 

Save the Date: Mile High Data Day


In today's open data culture, we have the ability to use data to tell stories, collaborate across organizations, and make data informed decisions that have the power to improve the lives of others. The Piton Foundation's Data Initiative invites you to learn how to combine these elements and use open data to drive social change at the first annual Mile High Data Day on February 19 at the University of Colorado Denver. Join the Denver metro region's data community as we share best practices and strengthen our region's data culture.

Mile High Data Day attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Build relationships, share best practices and learn from experts.

  • Strengthen partnerships between social change and data organizations.

  • Create a vision for an ongoing network focused on using data to support community change.

The event will include speakers, panels and interactive breakout sessions. Mile High Data Day’s keynote is Steve Spiker, Director or Research & Technology at the Urban Strategies Council. Steve is the co-founder of OpenOakland, a civic innovation organization helping government become more transparent and engaged. He speaks nationally about data driven decision making and was chosen as one of Next American City’s Vanguard class of 2012 and honored as a White House Champion of Change in 2013.

Please check back in early January for registration details and the day’s full agenda.

Mile High Data Day’s key partners include:

Bruce Hoyt Named Senior Vice President, Investments


Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation, announced today that Bruce Hoyt has been named Senior Vice President, Investments. In this role, Hoyt will lead and manage the organization’s for-profit and philanthropic investment strategies, helping to advance its mission of improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families. 

For nearly four decades, Hoyt has been dually committed to careers in investment banking and community volunteerism. Most recently, he served as a Managing Director with KPMG Corporate Finance in Denver, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions. He was a co-founder of the investment banking firm St. Charles Capital, which was sold to KPMG in 2014. In addition, he has experience working with Boettcher and Company, Great West-Life and The Wallach Company. 

Hoyt currently serves as the board co-chair for Colorado Succeeds, and he serves on the boards of the Data Quality Campaign and the Colorado Zoological Trust. He served eight years on the Denver Public School board and has also served on the boards of The Denver Public Schools Foundation, Mile High Montessori, Friends of Manual High School, and Mile High United Way. He has served on several task forces related to early childhood education and was a member of Governor Hickenlooper’s transition team on education.

“We are very excited to have Bruce join our team,” says David J. Younggren, President of Gary Community Investments and The Piton Foundation. “His extensive business and leadership experience, coupled with a long history of serving on numerous community boards and other significant civic involvement, will be of tremendous value in helping us execute on our strategies to improve outcomes for Colorado's low-income children and their families.”

Hoyt, who is a Colorado native, received his Master of Management from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Click here to read a short Q&A with Bruce on his new role. 

Reflecting on Stapleton's Development


The Front Porch recently released its October issue, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Stapleton Development Plan, commonly known as “The Green Book.” Because of his vision for Stapleton as a mixed-use community that broke the pattern of urban sprawl, our founder, Sam Gary, is recognized for his passionate leadership of the project, which is described as “the second of three pillars that undergird the Green Book.”

Sam understood that the support of civic leaders was essential to making the visionary Stapleton redevelopment happen. He rallied these leaders behind the idea and created the Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation, which raised $2 million to both create the written plan and nurture a process that would lead to its approval by the Denver City Council.  Read the full article here.

To learn more about the evolution of the first, and largest, greenbuilt planned community the United States, read Stapleton: An Oral History, which is available from the Stapleton Foundation.

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