COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Independent has cut ties with the IndyGive! Campaign amid accusations that the campaign’s current board members are “unprofessional,” “disorganized,” and “dysfunctional.”

Wednesday, The Indy announced the Colorado Publishing House’s decision to cut ties with the IndyGive through an oped published by Publisher John Weiss. According to the paper, the organizations’ relationship started strong when the campaign was first founded by Weiss in 2009. They say that continued through 2015 when the Pikes Peak Community Foundation turned the campaign to a community board.

The campaign works to raise money for local nonprofits in order to fund their operations.

“Initially, the community-run board did a great job,” Weiss wrote. “Over time, the original community board members left, and unfortunately their replacements no longer adhere to IndyGive!’s original tenets and missions.”

The Give! Campaign responded to the news via social media. In a Facebook post, the campaign called the publishing house’s statements inaccurate and promised to provide a productive and safe workplace for its staff, board members and volunteers.

“Our community has demonstrated tremendous open hearted generosity over the past few years and we have the utmost confidence that Give! will carry on the powerful legacy started by John Weiss, the Independent and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation in 2009.”

Below are the names of board members currently listed as being on the Give! Team:

  • Rachel Tyrrell: Campaign Manager
  • Tim Kranz, Chair: Colorado Publishing House
  • Sara Simon: United Healthcare
  • Katie Edson: Pikes Peak Library District
  • Barb Van Hoy: City of Colorado Springs
  • Scott Mullens: Business Owner
  • Jeff Moore, Treasurer: Jeff Moore Advertising
  • Sadie Davis: Program Evaluator and Consultant

According to the Weiss’ oped, the Colorado Publishing House’s decision to cut ties with the campaign began forming “more than a year ago” when organizational leaders reportedly brought concerns to board members’ attention, and did not receive a response.

“…we informed the IndyGive! board that ‘we needed to put significant distance between our organizations’ and ‘that they should NOT count on ANY support from Colorado Publishing House for their 2022 campaign until a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was in place’.”

The Give! Campaign’s statement on Facebook noted that it wants the community to know “…the Give! Campaign is strong; we are the same leaders and volunteers who built a reputation for integrity since Give! became an independent nonprofit in 2016, and we have been financially independent for years. We are committed to continuing to grow community philanthropy through the hundreds of partnerships we have stewarded these past years.”

Still, and effective immediately, Colorado Publishing House’s print and digital publications will no longer endorse nor participate in the 2022 IndyGive! campaign.

CPH’s papers and digital platforms include:

  • Colorado Springs Business Journal
  • Colorado Springs Independent
  • The Fort Carson Mountaineer
  • Pikes Peak Bulletin
  • The Southeast Express
  • The Transcript
  • The Space Orbital (Peterson and Schriever Space Force Bases)

According to the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the paper is now exploring legal options.

This year’s campaign is in the process of recruiting nonprofits. FOX21 will continue following this story as it develops.