Mayor John Suthers
Mayor John Suthers Daniels Fund Board Chair Mayor, Colorado Springs
Hanna Skandera
Hanna Skandera Daniels Fund President & CEO

Dear Friends of the Daniels Fund,

2021 was a milestone year for the Daniels Fund as we reached $1 billion in total giving since our founding in 2000. It's hard to get your arms around just how much impact $1 billion can have. What is clear is that Bill Daniels' generosity has changed the lives of countless individuals, with more than 13,000 grants and nearly 4,600 Daniels Scholars named since his passing.

This year, we again shared Bill's spirit of giving, compassion, and kindness in the places that meant so much to him. We awarded more than $44 million via 456 grants and announced 231 new Daniels Scholars, adding to Bill's ever-growing legacy of giving back.

As we reflect on 2021, we are excited to further Bill's vision for impact. Our areas of focus were determined by Bill more than 20 years ago and remain as relevant as ever. They are the foundation of all we do, and today we're talking about them with an intentional focus on the transformative outcomes of our giving.

Four pillars capture and ground our giving, serving as guardrails to ensure continued alignment with Bill's intent. They tell the story of our impact on individual lives and in our communities:

Ultimately, everything we do is about making life better, one individual at a time. When we think of Bill's intent and desire to impact the communities he loved, it's clear to us these four pillars are the foundation of that work.

We remain inspired by our grantees – whose work, compassion, and dedication transform lives in our four states. Our scholars continue to be among the most impressive young people in the country – entrepreneurial, proud Americans who are full of grit and committed to completing their education and giving back to their communities.

As you will see in this report, this year we doubled down on Bill's vision, executing our impact with innovation, responsiveness, compassion, and an eye to the future.

Thank you for your partnership and trust as we continue this critical work.

Mayor John Suthers

Hanna Skandera

2021 Year in Review

$1 Billion Given 2000-2021
Four-State Region
$44.13 Million 2021 Grants Dollars
$16.38 Million 2021 Scholarship Dollars
456 Grants in 2021
4,584 Daniels Scholars (As of 2021)
231 Daniels Scholars Named in 2021
908 Active scholars attending 192 schools across the United States (As of Fall 2021)
69 Rapid Response grants to help in times of emergency
Total $44,131,215 456 Grants

Thank You to our Board of Directors

Daniels Fund Board of Directors

2021 ushered in new leadership for the Daniels Fund Board of Directors. Following the dedicated service of former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson (Chair 2017-21), Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was elected Chair of the board in May 2021.

2021 ushered in new leadership for the Daniels Fund Board of Directors. Following the dedicated service of former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson (Chair 2017-21), Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was elected Chair of the board in May 2021. Serving on the board since 2015, Mayor Suthers is committed to the work of the Daniels Fund and the legacy of Bill Daniels. A proven leader, he brings a thoughtful approach to this role, informed by his experience as a mayor, understanding of community challenges, and innovative solutions he's developed as a public servant and statewide leader. We also welcomed a new member to the Daniels Fund Board of Directors. Former New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez joined the board in August, bringing with her a deep understanding of challenges and solutions in our giving areas of focus in New Mexico, a strong dedication to community, and proven record of impact in her home state.

We are grateful for the ongoing leadership of Secretary Nicholson, who continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Secretary Nicholson is the only current board member named to the original board by Bill Daniels. In his leadership role, Secretary Nicholson led the organization through its recent CEO transition. His unwavering commitment to the Fund reflects his close bond to Bill, a personal friend for decades. Meet our board.

A Billion Dollars of Impact

2021 was a milestone year for the Daniels Fund as we gave away our billionth dollar since 2000. We have awarded more than 13,000 grants and named nearly 4,600 Daniels Scholars in that time. The billion-dollar mark was officially crossed in December when we awarded a $200,000 grant to long-time partner Arrupe Jesuit High School at a celebration at The Cable Center.

Developing Contributing Citizens



We prepare the next generation of citizens who are community-minded, values-driven, and proud of our country.

If you've met a Daniels Scholar, you've seen firsthand that they are some of the most impressive young people in the country. Over the course of his lifetime, Bill Daniels invested in the lives of young men and women by funding their educations and supporting their entrepreneurial dreams.

We equip people with the skills, knowledge, and ethical foundation to better engage in civic life, be well-regarded in their community, and improve the places they love. The Daniels Scholarship Program provides up to $100,000, extensive resources, and tailored support toward achievement of a bachelor's degree. Daniels Scholars embody the timeless values that guided Bill Daniels, such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, entrepreneurial spirit, and excellence. They demonstrate strong ethics, grit, civic virtues, love of country, and a belief in the free enterprise system.

In addition to our scholarship program, we fund organizations that develop the next generation of American leaders. From promoting ethics education and enhancing civic knowledge to increasing access to amateur sports and the character lessons that come with it, we partner with nearly 100 organizations to impact the future of our four-state region.

$10.32 Million In support of 70 youth development grants
$2.06 Million In support of 29 amateur sports grants
96% Of SHIFTCollege participants left feeling more prepared for college
20 Partners in our ethics initiative
95% Of graduating Daniels Scholar seniors are registered to vote and 96% have voted in recent elections
Nearly 70% Of graduating Daniels Scholar seniors volunteer in their community

Blessed Asare

Meet 2021 Daniels Scholar, Blessed Asare, who is studying to become a doctor at the University of Colorado Denver.

Jorge Lievana
Athletics & Beyond

Lives Changing at Athletics & Beyond

As a 14-year-old Golden Gloves Champion, Jorge Lievana's future in the sport was bright, but challenged by a lack of training equipment and space. Athletics & Beyond changed that.

Jorge Lievana's passion is boxing, and he dreams of one day becoming an Olympian. Though already wildly successful at the age of 14 – Jorge is a State Golden Gloves Champion, Regional Silver Gloves Champion, and two-time State Silver Gloves Champion – he lacked a professional training ground. Instead of a gym, you could find him training in his garage or kitchen. With the support of Daniels Fund grantee Athletics & Beyond, Jorge now has access to a gym as well as financial assistance for flights, tournament fees, hotels, rental cars, and food when tournaments and competitions are out-of-state.

For the Daniels Fund and organizations like Athletics & Beyond, athletics is about more than the sport itself. It's about life lessons and character building – discipline, teamwork, fairness, and commitment. Bill Daniels was also a Golden Gloves Champion and, like Jorge, credited sports with changing his life. Our work with nonprofit partners and youth sports organizations helps ensure that youth experience the benefits of sports program participation, and elite amateur athletes can experience competition on the national and international stage.

National Civics Bee
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Impacting Our Civics Crisis

With only one in five Americans able to name a single branch of government, it's clear we have a civics education crisis in this country. We're partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to change that.

  • One in five Americans cannot name a single branch of government (Annenberg Policy Center Survey)
  • Only 24% of eighth-grade students performed at or above the NAEP proficiency level on the civics assessment (2018)
  • Only 7% of young Americans view the United States as a "healthy democracy" (Harvard Youth Poll)

How do you actively participate in something you don't understand? It is critical for the functioning of our nation's political systems, and our free enterprise system, that we all understand the basics of our government. In 2021, we launched the National Civics Bee, an initiative with middle school kids to increase civic knowledge in America in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. We're also supporting organizations that train teachers or implement grassroots programs that teach our youth about our country's system of government and help develop contributing citizens.

Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program
Case Competition

Ethics in Action

For more than a decade, we've taught ethics through practical application at our annual Case Competition. Meet the 2021 champions.

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program was established in 2010 to instill a high standard of ethics in students and strengthen principle-based ethics education in participating schools. The program consists of 11 university partners in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. In the annual Case Competition, students are given a complex business scenario, asked to apply a principle-based ethical lens, and present recommendations to a panel of judges. The 2021 event required creativity and flexibility as we took the competition virtual for the first time ever. Students from the University of Northern Colorado took home the gold in the undergraduate track and Colorado State University's team placed first in the graduate track. Read More.

Enhancing Quality of Life



We empower people to make their own free choices and live more independently.

Rooted in Bill Daniels' utmost respect for and compassion toward all people, the Daniels Fund's nonprofit partners connect people with the resources, tools, and support they need to live more independently. From life-changing equipment that gives people a new lease on life and caregiver training to resources that support addiction recovery, our grantees are making life better for aging adults, people of all ages with disabilities, and those among us who struggle with addiction. A life of choice, independence, and agency is a reality for so many thanks to the hard work and innovation of our grantees.

$1.43 Million In support of 36 grants for organizations that support people with disabilities
$2.98 Million In support of 37 grants for organizations that serve seniors
$2.51 Million In support of 25 grants for organizations working to prevent and treat drug and alcohol addiction
Child Development Center of Natrona County

Hearing Mom for the First Time

2021 is a year that one Wyoming family will never forget. Meet June, who heard her mother's voice for the very first time in 2021 thanks to the Child Development Center of Natrona County.

2021 is a year that one Wyoming family will never forget. Meet June, who heard her mother's voice for the very first time in 2021. The Child Development Center of Natrona County, a Daniels Fund grantee, changed this family's lives with the purchase of special devices that enabled June to hear clearly for the first time since her birth. Diagnosed with Cornelia De Lange Syndrome, standard hearing aids were ineffective for June. The future was uncertain for June and her family, who hadn't been able to get insurance coverage for different hearing devices. The Daniels Fund grant gave the Child Development Center of Natrona County the financial flexibility it needed to purchase highly specialized equipment like the Baha devices vital for June.

"My feeling of independence from that chair was life-changing...a trophy of hope."
– Meredith, patient at Daniels Fund grantee Craig Hospital

A Unique and Effective Model for Youth

Get to know more about Daniels Fund grantee 5280 High School, which takes a unique approach to helping young people with addiction recover while preparing them for the future.

Alzheimer's Association of Utah

Valuable Resources in a Time of Need

When Bonnie's husband Ned began showing signs of dementia, she knew she wanted to take care of him, but didn't know how best to do so or where to turn for help. Luckily, she found the Alzheimer's Association of Utah.

When Bonnie's husband Ned began showing signs of dementia, she knew she wanted to take care of him, but didn't know how best to do so or where to turn for help. She called the Alzheimer's Association of Utah's 24/7 Helpline and was able to get questions answered and get connected to a local support group for help. Thanks to the Alzheimer's Association, a Daniels Fund grantee, Bonnie learned skills to make her a better caretaker for Ned and take care of some of her own needs so she could stay healthy for her family. Ned has since passed away and now Bonnie is paying it forward as an avid volunteer for the association, connecting others to the same resources that were so valuable to her and her family in their time of need.

Promoting the Free Market



We propel people to realize the American dream through free enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Bill Daniels believed there was no better opportunity in the world than our free enterprise system, and his success in the cable industry is a proof point. Bill's incredible generosity, made possible by his incredible success in business, fuels the Daniels Fund's opportunity for impact today.

Through our grantees, scholars, and unique partnership with Young Americans Bank, we promote the free enterprise system and ignite the spark of entrepreneurship within our communities. We know that the foundational understanding of free enterprise they receive today will propel even greater impact in the future. Daniels Scholars themselves serve as some of the most powerful examples of the life changing power of education paired with bold ideas, hard work, excellence, and a strong network.

$2.46 Million To support Young Americans Bank
Young Americans Bank
Young Americans Bank

The World's First and Only Bank for Kids

Bill Daniels believed education in the free enterprise system should start early, so he opened Young Americans Bank, the world's first and only bank just for kids, in 1987. It is still operating today.

Bill Daniels loved the free enterprise system, but was troubled by how little effort went into preparing people to access its potential. He believed education in the free enterprise system should start early, so he opened Young Americans Bank, the world's first and only bank just for kids, in 1987.

As Bill directed, the Daniels Fund provides funding to subsidize the bank's operations to this day. That support translates into valuable education for its 18,673 account holders, with 2,362 new accounts opened in 2021 alone. The bank is teaching kids not only how to save, but also to manage checking accounts, debit cards, loans, and credit cards. With this financial education comes valuable lessons about entrepreneurship and the power of free enterprise. Bill Daniels supported many causes, but there were only two charitable ventures that he personally launched: Young Americans Bank and the Daniels Fund. He intended both to last forever.

Bill Daniels
"The eighth wonder of the world is the free enterprise system. The ninth is that so few people understand it."
Bill Daniels – Bill Daniels

Daniels Scholars Build Their Entrepreneurial Dream

Helena Cappon and Thomas Orr are two Daniels Scholar alumni who – inspired by Bill Daniels – are embarking on an entrepreneurial venture they hope will make a big impact in their community.

Jimmy Pham
Daniels Scholarship Program

Achieving the American Dream

With the support of ACE Scholarships, Arrupe Jesuit, and the Daniels Scholarship Program, Jimmy Pham achieved the American dream.

With the support of ACE Scholarships, Arrupe Jesuit, and the Daniels Scholarship Program, Jimmy Pham achieved the American dream.

After Jimmy's father died when he was just 8, Jimmy's mother moved the family to the United States and worked two jobs in pursuit of the American dream. With the support of two Daniels Fund grantees — ACE Scholarships and Arrupe Jesuit High School — and the Daniels Scholarship Program, Jimmy achieved that dream. He now works as an aerospace engineer and earns enough money to allow his mom to retire.

Driving Upward Mobility



We advance opportunity through the power of education and dignity of work.

Bill Daniels knew that access to a high-quality education and holding a good job will change the direction of a person's life. He spent much of his adulthood helping young people develop the skills they needed to succeed in life. His efforts went beyond funding an education; he often served as a mentor to hold young people accountable for their grades and provided direction and inspiration for their eventual careers.

Education and work are transformative – not just for the individual, but for generations to come. From early childhood through the K-12 system, we fund organizations that put kids first and increase their ability to attend the school that best fits their unique needs. We also fund organizations that give people a hand up – a second chance at upward mobility through employment – and those working to end homelessness through supportive services. Bill Daniels himself is a success story demonstrating the power of work, and we seek to put gainfully employed individuals on an upward trajectory and increase their likelihood of success.

$8.89 Million In support of 55 K-12 education reform grants
$3.85 Million In support of 32 early childhood education grants
$6.38 Million In support of 58 organizations serving people experiencing homelessness
231 Daniels Scholars named in 2021
37% Of our 2021 class of Daniels Scholars are the first in their families to go to college
$975,000 In Boundless Opportunity Scholarships for non-traditional students

Daniels Scholarship Propels Sisters to New Heights

Sisters Yvana and Vanessa Radatus credit the Daniels Scholarship Program with giving them the tools that led to their career success.

Dween Lak & Nico Gonzalez

Meet Dween Lak and Nico Gonzalez, two 2021 Daniels Scholars attending the Colorado School of Mines.

Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School
Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School

The Promise of Possibilities

In a state that ranks 50th in high school graduation rate, Albuquerque Collegiate Founder Jade Rivera and her colleagues are a lifeline of hope for some of New Mexico's most impoverished families.

Jade Rivera, the founder of Albuquerque Collegiate, has big dreams for her students. In a state that ranks 50th in high school graduation, Jade and her colleagues are a lifeline of hope for some of New Mexico's most impoverished families. Armed with best practices from the highest-performing charters across the country and a firm belief that education can alter destinies, Jade opened Albuquerque Collegiate in 2018 with the support of the Daniels Fund. Today, the team at Albuquerque Collegiate is setting its students on the path to college, more than doubling the state's average proficiency rating in reading for kindergarten to second grade. The team fully believes in possibilities for all students and is guided by the best strategies and ideas from across America so that its students can compete locally and nationally. They hold high academic and behavioral expectations and provide support to help students overcome barriers and ultimately achieve their dreams.

Springs Rescue Mission

A Life Transformed

After a struggle with addiction led Jessica into unemployment and homelessness, Springs Rescue Mission changed her future and opened doors to opportunity.

A struggle with addiction that lasted years led Jessica into unemployment and homelessness. Desperate to turn her life around, she came to Springs Rescue Mission for food and a helping hand. Jessica dreamed of a day when homelessness and hunger would be behind her — a day when she would be in a position to give back and help others like herself. Gradually, with the support of the Rescue Mission, she worked her way out of homelessness. In 2021, she joined the fight against homelessness as a chef feeding the hungry in the Springs Rescue Mission's Samaritan's Kitchen. Jessica is finally able to pass the same kind of help and hope that changed her life on to others. "I love getting to know this community and to give back like this," Jessica said. "It's amazing to see how people find hope here — the transformation that happens in this place is real."

Innovation for Good

Meet LENA, a Daniels Fund grantee that uses innovative technology to train teachers and change young lives.

Bill Daniels
"Be the kind of person who takes the time to pass on knowledge and values to the next generation. Strive to live your life such that family, friends, and business associates remember you as an honest person. Help others who will be left behind. I believe if you live your life in this way, you'll leave this world with a clear conscience and with a smile on your face."
Bill Daniels – Bill Daniels

Contact Us

Just like Bill Daniels, we love our community. Connect with us on social media, in person, or by phone, and learn more about us on our website.

Return to Top