The Pinnacle Companies’ new philanthropic wing commits to giving $50K in its first year
The Pinnacle Companies launched Pinnacle Gives in March, a new wing for the group of local businesses that’s dedicated to supporting the community through grants. Funding requests may be submitted online, and “The Giving Team,” comprised of Pinnacle employee and volunteers, will review those requests on a monthly basis. Causes should fall under at least one of five focus areas — education and youth, arts and culture, the environment, immigration and health — in the community. For more, ThePinnacleCompanies.com/Pinnacle-Gives.
Since 2005 The Pinnacle Companies has produced a growing lineup of new businesses across Summit County, but the company’s latest endeavor won’t be a moneymaker.
In fact, businessowner Chris Renner knows that Pinnacle Gives, the new philanthropic wing to his growing lineup of businesses, will be quite the opposite and solely focused on giving some of the money Renner’s companies make back to the community.
The Pinnacle Companies is the overarching umbrella covering Renner’s history of serial entrepreneurship in the county, beginning in 2005 with Pinnacle Mountain Homes and later adding the Pinnacle Design Studio, Pinnacle Lodging, Mountain Vacations and VisitBreck.
The businesses span a range of industries, diving into everything from residential and commercial construction to design, home furnishings, hospitality and even travel.
In March Renner launched Pinnacle Gives, giving a name to The Pinnacle Companies’ charitable efforts in the community and increasing the dollar amount that’s to be awarded to its highest level ever for Pinnacle.
“Well, I’ve always lived by the mantra, ‘To whom much is given, much is required,’” Renner told the Summit Daily. “I think that we’ve been blessed and I think it’s our responsibility to share that freely with everyone else.”
Since the launch, Pinnacle Gives has donated to The Summit Community Care Clinic, Summit County Youth, the Family & Intercultural Resource Center, CASA of the Continental Divide, Always Mountain Time Spring Food Drive, Breck Film Fest, Domus Pacis and the town of Frisco.
Pinnacle Gives just recently added another partner, donating $5,000 to the Keystone Science School. The money has been designated for the school’s fifth to sixth grade transition program.
The program promotes teamwork, diversity and making new friends while helping students understand the academic and social expectations of middle school, overcome any fears they might have and learn to work together to build a more supportive environment, said Andrea Kavouklis, Pinnacle’s director of marketing.
“I love this one,” she commented, further adding she has “a personal passion” for programs that help children.
Altogether, Pinnacle Gives is planning to dole out at least $50,000 in its first year to various local causes addressing any one of five key areas: education and youth, arts and culture, the environment, immigration and health.
Pinnacle Gives is being led by Chris Renner’s wife Shannon, who’s had a great experience giving away the money allotted to Pinnacle Gives.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to give to organizations that fit our criteria and that are doing amazing work in the community,” she said. “In addition to the larger nonprofits, we have also had the opportunity to give to a few local community members in a time of need.”
Giving in the community is nothing new for Pinnacle, said Chris Renner, who recalls internal conversations about how public The Pinnacle Companies should be about their efforts to promote philanthropy.
As the company saw increasing community needs and requests, Renner explained, he decided they should be more “intentional and systematic” with their efforts, which have often been invisible in the past. That also meant giving them a name.
“As a company Pinnacle has always been generous and participated in lots of different ways, some visible and mostly invisible,” he said. “I think, as we have grown in number of employees and businesses under our umbrella, it made sense for us to centralize and organize the way we give back to our community.”
If the name, Pinnacle Gives, sounds at all familiar — i.e. BGV Gives, the philanthropic nonprofit created by the local timeshare company Breckenridge Grand Vacations — Renner said he could understand such a misunderstanding.
“The short answer is yes, it’s coincidental,” Renner said of the similarity. “I think BGV is a leader in how they give back to our community. We’ve been doing the same thing a long time, and it seemed to have value to give that a name. So yes, if we’re following their leadership, then absolutely.”
According to Renner, self-promotion isn’t the point. He said that by better communicating the company’s philanthropic efforts to local nonprofits — like launching Pinnacle Gives and its new website with a simple, online form for nonprofits to request funding — they can expand Pinnacle’s reach.
“We’ve begun to recognize there’s value in letting nonprofits know what they’re doing, and that’s the end-goal,” he said.
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