Bill Kirton, Communications Director, with the Rocky Mountain Ownership Center


Recently, I had the pleasure of corresponding with Mr. Bill Kirton, Communications Director, at the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center. He has taken our Online Grant Writing Course and has had great success! All of us at Grant Central USA were so thrilled for Mr. Kirton and his organization that we wanted to share their award winning story in hopes that it inspires and empowers other organizations.

I first heard of RMEOC’s achievement during what at first seemed to be a simple technical question which then quickly developed into a great success story. Through correspondence, he was kind enough to give me more details regarding their progress including being awarded a $50,000 grant from The Denver Foundation and $150,000 grant from the Piton Foundation.

“We are currently preparing grant reports for an upcoming deadline, as well as additional applications. I wanted to carefully review the excellent material you have provided and am now focused on doing that.

 In 2015, we received a $50k grant from The Denver Foundation and a $150k grant from the Piton Foundation. Both of these institutions are interested in what we do because employee-ownership is a way to create and to preserve businesses in local communities and, therefore, increase local economic sustainability. Some foundations want to move from ‘charity’ to ‘change,’ in other words, they want to see their resources being used in ways that create economic sustainability. 

The Denver Foundation, because of our conversations with them, are now engaged in a variety of cooperative enterprise development projects, one of which is with the leaders in the Anschutz Medical Campus complex. The campus includes The University of Colorado Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, and the yet to be completed Veterans Hospital. The campus is located in a low-income area in Aurora, Colorado. The Denver Foundation effort is based on the model created in Cleveland, OH, the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, which involves the creation of employee-owned businesses to serve the ‘anchor institutions’ in the surrounding area (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, Case Western University, etc.). 

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