Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado facilitates a $3.17 million infusion into regional nonprofits


    By Tracy Pope
    Special to The SUN
    In 2018, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado infused $3.17 million into southwest Colorado’s nonprofit community:
    • $1,743,451 in grants to nonprofits from Community Foundation fund holders.
    • $996,532 in grants from Friends of the Foundation to our fiscal sponsorships and other projects.
    • $303,775 in grants facilitated by the Community Foundation for the Ballantine Family Fund.
    • $64,880 in grants funded by the Community Foundation.
    • $61,000 in scholarships for educational opportunities.
    The Community Foundation is home to nearly 60 donor-advised funds, organizational funds, designated funds, scholarship funds, fiscal-sponsorship funds and field-of-interest funds. The foundation manages more than $5 million in investments for philanthropists in our community, offering invaluable resources to ensure that donors can be impactful with their giving, making a difference in the lives of others.
    “We serve our community by facilitating effective grantmaking and expanding the culture of giving in southwest Colorado,” said Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the foundation. “Last year, we saw significant growth in giving due to overwhelming generosity after the 416 Fire. Combined donations to and from the Community Emergency Relief Fund account for more than $700,000 of this infusion, more than 20 percent of total giving. But, even without the generosity of CERF, we still saw a 20 percent increase in overall giving compared to 2017.”
    The largest percentage of Community Foundation giving, 55 percent, comes from grants to nonprofits from fund holders.
    “People with a philanthropic heart use the Community Foundation to make their giving impactful,” said fund holder Molly Martin, who is a founder and former board member of the Community Foundation. “I have witnessed the foundation’s giving grow steadily over the last 20 years and I really value the local insight the staff offers to my family when we consider our giving options.”
    In addition to facilitating grants to and from our funds, the Community Foundation acts as an independent grant manager for other entities in our region, such as the Ballantine Family Fund. In 2018, the Ballantine Family Fund trustees awarded $248,775 to 125 nonprofits in southwest Colorado, with an average grant size of $1,990.
    By sector, the Ballantine Family Fund awarded:
    • $6,000 to animal protection.
    • $64,275 to arts and culture.
    • $41,000 to education.
    • $30,000 to environment.
    • $62,000 to human services.
    • $27,000 to youth.
    • $18,500 to other.
    By county, the Ballantine Family Fund awarded:
    • $13,500 to Archuleta.
    • $6,500 to Dolores.
    • $133,800 to La Plata.
    • $70,975 to Montezuma.
    • $6,500 to San Juan.
    • $17,500 to other counties that support southwest Colorado, but are not physically located in our geographic region.
    “The Ballantine Family has been a huge asset to our region for decades,” said Tracy Pope, grants manager for the Community Foundation. “Between my work on behalf of the Ballantine Family Fund and the Community Foundation, I have the privilege of collaborating with hundreds of amazing organizations making a difference in southwest Colorado.”
    In addition to grants, the Community Foundation supports nonprofit organizations with professional development opportunities. Registration is still available for Financial Focus: Mission and Money April 4-5 in Durango. Cost for the two-day training is discounted to $150 from an estimated $500 value. Visit or call 375-5807 for more information.