One of our top priorities is ensuring that your contribution connects you to the impact that you intend. For those looking to fund specific projects or purposes, the Telluride Foundations offers the opportunity to co-create Donor Stewardship initiatives.
Some examples include:


The Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Telluride, as well as rural schools in the Telluride region, including Paradox, Nucla, Norwood, Ouray, and Ridgway, pursuing further education in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

Started in honor of former Board member Neil Armstrong, by Carol Armstrong, Mike Armstrong and Mark Dalton, the fund has reached $1 million in endowed assets, which will support STEM scholarships and programming in perpetuity.

For more information, click here.


The Hermitage Fund was created in remembrance of the Reverend Sylvester Schoening (“Father Syl”), a Catholic priest who was a pastor in many Colorado communities and spent his retirement living on Wrights Mesa. Father Syl had a passion for the mountains, wilderness, and wildlife, particularly the San Juan and San Miguel mountains. This fund makes grants to organizations which promote the preservation and restoration of land, water, natural resources and wildlife habitat in the San Miguel region of Colorado (to include San Miguel, Ouray, Dolores, and west Montrose counties).


The San Miguel Kids Endowment was created to fund organizations and programs that benefit youth in the Telluride, Norwood and West End school districts. It was created by local philanthropists and long-term Telluridians Debbie and Bill Carstens.

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the Carstens’ 1,724-acre Sound of Music Ranch on Wilson Mesa was earmarked to be gifted to the Telluride Foundation and used to establish the San Miguel Kids Endowment. By creating the endowment, the Carstens and the Telluride Foundation agree to maintain the principal gift intact and invest it to create a source of income in perpetuity for local organizations serving kids. The Sound of Music sold in 2007, and the proceeds created the $750,000 San Miguel Kids endowment.


In 2009, the Telluride Foundation convened public and private sector leaders to establish the Paradox Community Trust (PCT) to create permanent and locally controlled resources for the economically challenged communities of the Paradox Basin, including Dove Creek, Naturita, Nucla, Paradox, Norwood, and Rico. The PCT takes a new approach to rural community development by creating a permanent investment fund of charitable donations, oil, gas, and severance revenues, foundation grants, corporate charitable contributions, and estate planned giving. The PCT uses the principal interest from the permanent fund to foster community improvement, economic development, and build local human capital. For more information on the Paradox Community Trust, visit


Individuals and families who are committed to sustaining a stronger Telluride community for future generations, may do so through a planned gift or bequest to the Telluride Foundation to continue giving back, forever. Ensure that your commitment to a thriving community continues with a bequest to the Telluride Foundation through your will or trust.

For more information, click here.


Strokes of Genius, formerly called the Benchmark Invitational, is a charity golf tournament held annually, which raises money for college scholarships for Telluride High School graduates. Now in its 21st year, Strokes of Genius has become a proud Telluride tradition and is one of the main scholarship funds for graduating seniors, enabling Telluride students with both financial need and academic merit to pursue higher education. Since its inception, Strokes of Genius, has distributed over $300,000 to fund partial college scholarships for 75 Telluride High School graduates.

For more information, click here.


The Chang-Chavkin First Generation Scholars Program provides resources and financial support to low-income first-generation-to-attend-college high school students. The Program provides resources to students, parents and the five regional school districts in three ways: 1) working with high school guidance counselors to provide targeted support to students and their families; 2) scholarship funding; and 3) “wrap-around” services while in college to help ensure graduation.

We are currently hiring for a Student Advocate Position.

Program Information

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