Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking
The Community Foundation manages a variety of grant opportunities to ensure our local nonprofit community is vibrant, sustainable, and strong.
- The Community Foundation acts as grants manager for the Payroll Department's "Meet Your Match" Grant. In order to strategically focus nonprofit giving in La Plata County, the Payroll Department teamed with the Community Foundation in 2015 to create the grant. The Payroll Department, which requires a 100% match of funds awarded, is especially interested in supporting new or recently launched programs that further the nonprofit's mission and may need a boost while the organization secures sustainable funding.
- Community Concerts in the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel benefits La Plata County nonprofits and promotes Southwest Colorado's talented local music scene on Wednesday evenings in the summer. Over the past seven years, these events have raised $134,000 for local nonprofits through concert proceeds.
- The 19th Hole Concerts is a concert series in Pagosa Springs, pairing a local band and an Archuleta County nonprofit on Thursday evenings in the summer. The benefiting nonprofits are selected through a grant application process and collaborate to generate attendance at the concerts through a variety of marketing tasks. $43,000 has been granted over the past six years through the 19th Hole Concerts.
- The Community Foundation acts as grants manager for the Ballantine Family Fund. The Ballantine Family Fund is a general purpose fund, which means the Trustees approve grants across a broad spectrum, including arts and culture, environment, animal protection, education, human services, and youth. The Ballantine Family Fund supports nonprofits in all five counties of Southwest Colorado. Nonprofit organizations submit an online application and the Trustees evaluate the requests to determine their ability to support the proposal based on the mission and purpose. The Community Foundation supports the Ballantine Family Fund by bringing nonprofit knowledge and financial expertise, while the Ballantine trustees maintain their independence with grant making decisions and funding priorities. The Ballantine Family Fund grants approximately $300,000 each year.
- The Community Foundation has seeded two County Funds, one for Archuleta and one for La Plata. The Funds are currently growing and will be used to support local nonprofits in each county in the future.
- The Community Foundation is home to more than 60 donor advised funds, organizational funds, designated funds, scholarship funds, fiscal sponsorship funds and field of interest funds, managing more than $8.5 million in investments for philanthropists in our community and facilitating $4 million in grants to the community in 2020.
- The Community Foundation manages the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). CERF is designated for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. Established in 2008 in response to the Season's Restaurant fire, CERF has been activated for the Gold King Mine spill in 2015, the Adobe Building fire in Pagosa Springs in 2016, and the 416 Fire in 2018. The Community Foundation activated the CERF in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 protective measures that were put in place in Southwest Colorado to reduce the risk of virus exposure and transmission and particularly to preserve and protect the capacity of local healthcare facilities. Donations were accepted and deployed to community-based organizations directly responding to the needs of vulnerable members of the community and nonprofit organizations suffering economic consequences from the pandemic. $1.25 million has been distributed across SW CO since the beginning of the pandemic.
In 2020, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado infused $3,996,727 million into Southwest Colorado's nonprofit community. Those grants are broken down as follows:
• $2,299,518 was granted from Community Foundation Funds to nonprofits, of which 30% was disbursed from the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)
• $1,553,264 was donated from the public to Community Foundation fiscal sponsorships and projects, including $987,427 to the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)
• $54,000 was granted through Scholarship Funds for educational purposes
• $89,945 was granted through Community Foundation projects, such as the 9-R school staff appreciation initiative, the Reimagined Community Concerts in Durango and the Rise & Recover grant in Pagosa Springs
The Community Foundation inspires hope, leadership and generosity in our community by bringing economic stability, professional development and collaboration to the nonprofit sector. As a community facilitator, we coordinate with nonprofit professionals throughout Colorado to provide opportunities that:
- Increase efficiency, sustainability and success for nonprofits in Southwest Colorado
- Build relationships and facilitate networking between nonprofit professionals
- Create opportunities for peer discussion around best practices
- Enhance relationships across county and geographic boundaries
The Community Foundation regularly offers capacity building opportunities to nonprofits:
- In 2021, with COVID restrictions continuing into the spring, we launched "Wake Up With Wrinkle" as virtual nonprofit networking opportunities for leaders within sectors to gather and exchange ideas, learning from one another's challenges and successes. We also supported other virtual opportunities through the Regional Leadership Committee of Rural Philanthropy Days and offered DEI training through an ableism workshop in partnership with Community Connections.
- In 2020 during the pandemic, the Community Foundation's nonprofit professional development opportunities became virtual, remote capacity-building webinars. Weekly educational opportunities were offered throughout the early months of the pandemic through a partnership with the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) and Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance. In the summer and fall, the Community Foundation offered additional webinars facilitated by nonprofit consultant Denise Clark on best practices in crisis management, financial management and human resources. A separate cohort of five organizations received planned giving / major gifts coaching with Chris Cook.
- In 2019, the Community Foundation hosted a comprehensive two-day workshop for 40 participants on best practices in nonprofit finances. Our favorite take-away from the training was that "nonprofit" is a tax status, not a business model. Financial Focus: Mission and Money was facilitated by the Nonprofit Finance Fund and equipped nonprofit leaders to understand the operating performance and financial health of their organizations, empowering participants to make strategic decisions informed by their own financial stories.
Our Board Development Series in 2019 provided an intensive three-part training on nonprofit board best practices. This series was designed for board members of nonprofit organizations in Southwest Colorado, with additional workshops offered for nonprofit staff. The series addressed topics such as roles and responsibilities of boards, identifying and recruiting members, running effective meetings, and board evaluation. Facilitated by Illene Roggensack of Third Sector Innovations, the workshops in Cortez, Durango and Pagosa Springs trained more than 85 nonprofit leaders across the region.
"Through professional development opportunities, we hope to empower nonprofits in becoming efficient, effective and resourceful," said Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. "Professional development also facilitates networking between nonprofit professionals, by creating an opportunity for peer discussion around best practices."