Customer Support

Community Giving

Our Approach

Xcel Energy serves hundreds of cities and towns throughout our service territory. With our active and ongoing investment in their infrastructures—through our poles, pipes and wires—we are literally connected and serve as an integral member of those communities.

We believe it is our responsibility to have a positive impact—as an energy provider, good neighbor, community advocate and environmental steward. After all, we know that our success is directly tied to the success of our communities. Our support is far-reaching—from charitable giving to employee volunteering to economic development and support for energy assistance programs.


Through several matching donation and volunteer programs, we encourage our employees to be involved and to share their time, energy and talents. From supporting our annual volunteer Day of Service to our successful United Way Campaign, our employees have a tradition of giving generously and supporting our communities.

The Xcel Energy Foundation is our company’s charitable arm and oversees our giving and volunteer programs. Our foundation support is focused generally in four areas:

2016 Focus-area Giving Highlights

We contributed more than $3.9 million in foundation grants in 2016 to promote our primary focus areas of STEM education, economic sustainability, environmental stewardship and access to arts and culture. Across communities in the eight states we serve, approximately 350 nonprofit organizations received grants, averaging just about $9,700 each.

STEM Education

The Xcel Energy Foundation gave nearly $1.3 million in 2016 to programs that provided hands-on learning opportunities that demonstrate the linkage between math and science, real-world applications and future careers. Our goal is to increase the number of students entering and completing post-secondary education in STEM disciplines and pursuing STEM careers.


2016 STEM Education Giving






North Dakota $58,500
South Dakota $35,600
Total $1,286,100

Making the connection between science and the natural world

Cal-Wood Education Center is situated on 1,200 acres of Colorado wilderness outside of Jamestown, Colorado. The organization provides life-changing outdoor experiences for more than 4,500 youth and family members who come to Cal-Wood each year. The Xcel Energy Foundation supports Cal-Wood’s Science-based Environmental Education program, which is the organization’s largest program that embodies the heart of its mission.

On Cal-Wood’s pristine mountain property, the organization focuses on the study of local plants, animals, weather patterns, forestry, pioneer life, geology, pond ecology and more. With each class group, Cal-Wood education staff partner with visiting teachers to tailor a specific set of learning objectives that are relevant to the needs of the students and support STEM objectives. They place a priority on providing students with knowledge of current science, engineering and natural resource careers that they might choose to purse in the future. This is especially important for minority students who are underrepresented in STEM careers. The Building Relationships with Inner-City and Diverse Groups and the Environment (BRIDGE) scholarships are awarded to low-income students so that they can attend the program, which is a three-day, two-night outdoor immersion program for elementary and middle school students. Cal-Wood takes special actions to customize its program for linguistically diverse students.

Rafael Salgado, executive director of the Cal-Wood Education Center, recently received the Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Alliance of Environmental Education—another Xcel Energy Foundation grant partner—for his lifetime of contributions to environmental education.

“Cal-Wood has received funding from the Xcel Energy Foundation since 2012, totaling nearly $35,000 in financial support. In addition, we have benefitted from over 250 hours of volunteer time through the company’s Day of Service. We estimate that with Xcel Energy’s support, 830 low-income children have been able to participate in our three-day, two-night environmental education program. These students represent 15 low-income schools from 12 cities from the Front Range. Donors like Xcel Energy are making a difference in our kids’ lives by supporting organizations such as Cal-Wood. We are very grateful for their support.”

—Rafael Salgado
Executive Director,









Learn more about our education funding and find the full list of grant recipients.

Economic Sustainability

The Xcel Energy Foundation donated more than $1.1 million in 2016 to programs that promote workforce development, workforce readiness, specific job skills training, job placement and job creation. This includes programs that provide case management and supportive services to low-income populations to assist them in attaining and retaining employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.


2016 Economic Sustainability Giving






North Dakota $54,500
South Dakota $41,200
Total $1,126,200

Providing job training for life

Summit Academy OIC offers certificate programs for the construction and healthcare industries. Their programs serve low-income, mostly minority residents of the Twin Cities by connecting them with hard and soft skills and wrap-around support services. Students receive one-on-one counseling and career advising and complete personal, financial and professional development courses.

The Xcel Energy Foundation supports Summit’s adult education programs, providing individuals from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with the skills they need to obtain living-wage and upwardly mobile careers in the high-demand industries of construction and healthcare.

“Xcel Energy has supported Summit Academy OIC’s no-cost construction and healthcare training programs since 2001. In 2016, Summit Academy placed 258 students in employment earning an average annualized wage of $33,000—an $8.5 million dollar impact. Together, we are building stronger communities.”

Katie McShea
Grant Writer,
Summit Academy OIC







Learn more about our funding for economic sustainability and find the full list of grant recipients.

Environmental Stewardship

The Xcel Energy Foundation donated more than $530,000 in 2016 to projects that help foster an ethic of stewardship and conservation. This includes partnerships focused on conserving and improving wildlife habitat, open lands, wet lands, parks, trail systems or recreational areas, as well as efforts that promoted natural resource conservation and awareness.


2016 Environmental Stewardship Giving






North Dakota $28,300
South Dakota $10,000
Total $530,300

Engaging youth to take action

H2O for Life educates and engages youth to learn, take action and become global citizens. The organization provides students with unique and valuable learning experiences through service-learning opportunities focused on the global water crisis and local water issues in their home communities.

The Xcel Energy Foundation supports Race 2 Reduce, a service-learning opportunity focused on local water. The program provides classroom curriculum for teachers of all grade levels, kindergarten through high school, to raise awareness for clean water.

 “Because of the generous donation and long-standing partnership with Xcel Energy, to date, Race 2 Reduce has reached over 8,800 students and over 1,150 teachers and adult community members, engaging more than 100 classrooms and seven clubs throughout the two local school districts. Our poster contest drew over 1,600 submissions from across the state of Minnesota with more than 70 different school districts participating.”

Kelly Wrobel
 Director of Development,
H2O for Life







Learn more about our environmental stewardship funding and find a full list of grant recipients.

Access to Arts and Culture

The Xcel Energy Foundation contributed more than $455,000 in 2016 to programs that provide free or reduced admission to artistic and cultural activities for people who otherwise would not have access. This includes projects that enhance visual, music or performing arts education in K–12 schools by offering curriculum, after-school programming, concerts, musician or performer visits or family workshops.


2016 Access to the Arts and Culture Giving






North Dakota $27,700
South Dakota $18,000
Total $455,200

Providing access to live performing arts

The Lone Tree Art Center opened in 2011 as the first performing arts and multi-use public venue in south metro Denver. Its presence in Douglas County, one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, enhances the vitality and supports the economic development and infrastructure of this bustling community. The venue’s popularity and its flourishing programs demonstrate the demand for high-quality cultural experiences. Welcoming visitors from throughout the seven-county metro area, the center has broad reach and has served more than 300,000 patrons and visitors since opening.    

The center offers student matinee performances that invite elementary, middle and high school students from throughout the metro Denver area to experience live performances and interactive presentations which enhance learning. Popular offerings include the National Geographic Live! Speakers Series, interactive science shows and productions based on children’s and classical literature. Matinees offer low-cost student and extended outreach to Title 1 schools, with a goal of increasing program impact with students who have limited exposure to live performing arts.

“With help from Xcel Energy, the Lone Tree Arts Center has been able to create an innovative program designed to make the arts accessible to children from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. The funding allows us to identify Title I schools, invite them to attend a professional performance, and pay all costs associated with the field trip. For many of these children and schools, this is the only way they can attend. Thanks to Xcel Energy for helping us make a difference!”

Lisa Rigsby Peterson
Executive Director,
Lone Tree Arts Center







Learn more about our funding for arts and culture and find a full list of grant recipients.

Employee Involvement

The cities and towns we serve represent more than just our service territory. They are where our employees live, work and raise their families. Our employees have a strong tradition of giving back to the community through charitable donations and volunteerism.

Xcel Energy offers a number of programs to encourage employee involvement, including:

United Way Campaign

Xcel Energy has a long-standing tradition of supporting United Way and the community organizations it assists. Each year, we sponsor an employee campaign that for seven consecutive years has raised well over $2.5 million annually in employee and retiree pledges, which the company matches. The campaign is a fun and rewarding part of working at Xcel Energy, with a number of special fundraising events—from chili cook-offs to sport tournaments.

The company’s 2016 United Way campaign was one of the most successful, as we topped a number of campaign measures, including:

More than 5,200 employees and retirees contributed $3 million in pledges and event contributions. Combined with the company match, the campaign raised a total of more than $5.7 million to support United Way programs and hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout Xcel Energy’s service territory.

Xcel Energy supports United Way at the highest levels, with a long history of company leaders serving on boards and committees. In 2016, Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy president, chairman and CEO, and his wife served as board chairs for the Greater Twin Cities United Way campaign. David Eves, Xcel Energy president of Public Service Company of Colorado, served as board chair for Mile High United Way in Denver. David Hudson, Xcel Energy president of Southwestern Public Service Company, served as board chair for the United Way of Amarillo and Canyon in Texas, while Mark Nisbet, Xcel Energy principal manager in North Dakota, served as the board chair for the United Way of Cass Clay in Fargo. In addition, we have received multiple awards and recognition from United Way organizations throughout our service territory for our overall support.

Recognition for Outstanding United Way Leadership

Our employees in Texas and New Mexico truly deliver each year for their local United Way organizations, participating at the highest rate among all Xcel Energy locations. In 2016, more than half of our employees in these states made a pledge through the campaign, and company leadership played an active volunteer role.

At the annual United Way of Amarillo & Canyon Victory Gala, two Xcel Energy employees were honored for their work during the campaign. Mark Mechenbier, Energy Supply Operations manager, was awarded Loaned Executive of the Year for his commitment to the United Way mission and going “above and beyond” at meetings and events. Ronnie Walker, Texas North regional Community Relations manager, was honored with Team Leader of the Year for inspiring United Way team enthusiasm, reinforcing loaned executive skills and being an effective leader.

2016 Day of Service

Xcel Energy made a difference in numerous communities during our annual Day of Service held in September. More than 4,000 employees, family members, friends and even customers volunteered for nearly 100 nonprofit projects. Volunteers performed a number of tasks from packing food boxes to planting trees and park cleanup. In total, the effort contributed more than 13,000 volunteer hours in a single day to support our local communities, valued at more than $400,000.

Other Community Giving

In addition to focus area giving, the Xcel Energy Foundation may provide strategic philanthropic grants to projects that are significant to our local communities. In 2016, the Xcel Energy Foundation made a gift of $250,000 to the Eau Claire Community Foundation for the Confluence Project, a performing arts center that is central to the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire.

For several years, the city has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, local businesses, private donors and government agencies to plan and raise money for the project. The company’s donation helped to kick off the final leg of a 100-day fundraising campaign to encourage other businesses to make contributions.

About the Xcel Energy Foundation

The Xcel Energy Foundation was established in 2001 to fulfill the mission of using the collective knowledge, resources and skills of our staff and colleagues to make a positive impact in communities throughout our service territory.

The foundation board provides oversight and is comprised of five directors and three officers, including Ben Fowke, who serves as the foundation’s chair and president. The board meets annually to review financial statements and approve the annual budget, which is determined by prioritizing what the board hopes to accomplish with the available resources. They also set policy on a number of items, including the levels at which we provide matching funds for employee efforts, our focus areas for giving and overseeing the foundation’s investments. The majority of Xcel Energy Foundation funding comes from Xcel Energy shareholder dollars.

Find a full breakdown of giving through the Xcel Energy Foundation in the Performance Summary.

Additional Resources

Read more about the Xcel Energy Foundation and community giving on our website.

Find more information about energy assistance and Xcel Energy’s local economic contribution.

Community Giving (PDF)

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