On November 27, 1957, the Colorado Lions Foundation was incorporated under the Laws of Colorado. The Foundation was the result of the foresight and initiative of Lion Frank S. Rose of Grand Junction, Colorado and Lion George S. Winters from Canon City, Colorado, along with other active Colorado Lions having similar interests. The Foundation is a 501c(3) charitable organization under the IRS Code of 1954. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were developed and have been amended or restated in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1992, 2007, and 2017.
The Foundation is organized to administer charitable activities of the Lions Clubs of Multiple District 6, and to assist individual Lions Clubs with their separate charitable projects by providing grants. The Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, patriotic, athletic, literacy and cultural purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations. It is also allowed to receive and maintain a fund or funds and to apply the principal and income thereof exclusively for charitable purposes, as most effectively assists, encourages and promotes the general well-being of the human race. In addition, the Foundation may purchase, receive, lease, take by gift, devise or bequest or otherwise deal in and with real property or personal property or any interest therein.
The purpose of the Foundation is to give comfort to those in need, lending a hand to those Clubs needing a boost, and to be a facilitator to Lions Clubs in Colorado. Some examples include:
- Funding for emergency assistance for victims involved in natural disasters such as tornadoes, fires, and floods.
- Grants to financially assist Lions Clubs for special projects in their communities that are too extensive to finance on their own
- Being the administrator of special funds for Lions Clubs in order to make the best possible use of these funds.
- A grant program to promote Lionism as a family organization.
- Funds a number of programs and initiatives to address humanitarian needs at the local and multiple district levels, including preserving sight, combating disability, and promoting health.
- Through a special endowment fund, awards college scholarship
The CLF was given land in Woodland Park by several Englewood Lions and it is now the Colorado Lions Camp. In 1981, operation of the Camp was separated from the Foundation; the Lions Camp is a separate 501c(3) entity of the Lions of Colorado, overseen by the Camp Trustees. The Foundation retained ownership of the property and now leases the property to the Lions Camp for one dollar per year.
In 2005, the Colorado Lions Foundation started the Endowment Scholarship Fund, originally endowed by Lion Sky Schuyler. The purpose of the Foundation's Educational Scholarship Endowment Fund is to provide undergraduate educational scholarship funds to legal citizens within the State of Colorado and MD-6 who may or may not be associated with a Lion or Leo.
The non-profit 501(c)(3) status of the Foundation has created the means for allowing individuals to make a tax-deductible contribution of assets for use by the Foundation. In addition, funds are collected by the Foundation from special promotions (i.e.: Humanitarian, Anne Sullivan, and Centennial Awards, pin sales, et al.) and from estate plan designations. The first Humanitarian Award was awarded in 1990 and the first Anne Sullivan Award was awarded in 1997. Other assets are managed and included in the asset base of the Foundation, which includes the Colorado Lions Camp real estate and various accounts with specific designations and objectives. A portion of these assets have been designated for the long-term endowment of the Foundation. Edward Jones serves as the Financial Advisor for the Foundation.
Colorado Lions Foundation members include all Lions of Multiple District 6 who are in good standing. Each member receives one vote at the annual Meeting held at the Colorado Lions State Convention, and at special meetings of the corporation. The Board of Directors includes one Director from each District, who is elected by delegates from the respective District, plus an at-large Director, elected at the State level. They govern the Foundation as directed by the members.