As a way to ensure our community is taking steps in the right direction, we focus our efforts on donating to the most innovative and creative solutions. This approach fulfills community needs that would otherwise remain unmet and positions the Telluride Foundation at the forefront of philanthropic innovation. Some examples include:


Public health services can greatly improve the quality of life for people and save lives. TCHN’s vast network of field workers provides 20 innovative community health programs in homes, area schools, libraries, and local clinics. These programs fill numerous gaps unmet by traditional healthcare services in our region and greatly increases the number of at-risk residents who can access these services. Using telehealth technology, TCHN offers services, which were previously only provided in major cities. Programs range from multicultural services that empower immigrants to school-based dental programs. For more info visit


Whether we use it for education, entertainment, access to health care or to run a Fortune 500 company, the internet is the most important utility available to us in the 21st century. Lack of broadband access has serious impacts on children’s ability to keep pace with their peers, doctors’ ability to provide quality healthcare, emergency workers’ ability to respond quickly to crises, and businesses’ ability to grow and create new jobs. The Foundation is leading an effort to build and connect a new (“middle mile”) fiber optic network to every school, library, health care center, business, and household from Nucla to Telluride, connecting our entire region to the 21st century. For more information, contact Erika Lapsys at


Now in its sixth year, TVA has created a new kind of energy in Telluride. Founded on innovation and entrepreneurship TVA has established a strong local entrepreneurial ecosystem. TVA seeks to ensure Telluride’s ongoing prosperity through a business development boot camp for entrepreneurs, world-class mentoring and business incubation, as well as connecting start-up businesses with investment opportunities.


For more information visit:


“Strong Neighbors” is a locally driven approach to create shared prosperity within our neighboring rural communities (Naturita, Nucla, Norwood and Rico) by supporting their efforts to build thriving and resilient towns. The Foundation’s leadership, resources, and deep community relationships combined with grants, initiatives, and investment programs strive to help our neighboring communities transition from 100+ years of boom & bust economies based on resource extraction to thriving, diversified economies.

Strong Neighbors includes a number of initiatives and programs within it including the development of Local Endowments, which help establish long-term funding streams in these communities, as well as supporting the West End Economic Development Corporation, whose goal is to create and encourage a friendly pro-business environment through nurturing and developing entrepreneurs and new business owners, supporting existing employers and small business owners, and recruiting new industries and primary jobs to the region. For more information, contact April Montgomery at


The west end of San Miguel and Montrose Counties has abundant water and a suitable climate for growing food, as well as strong agricultural roots; yet the region is struggling to develop economically. We believe that supporting food producers, distributors, retailers and healthcare professionals, will encourage and bolster a diverse, sustainable economy, as well as provide fresher, more nutrient rich food to low income families in the region. This Initiative has already spurred enormous growth in the local food economy in our region and we are excited to see what comes next. For more information, contact April Montgomery at


Economic “booms and busts” are nothing new in the west end of San Miguel and Montrose counties due to their historic dependency on resource extraction (uranium, gas, timber, and ultimately coal). Today, with the recent closure of the New Horizon coal mine and the imminent closure of the Tri-State coal fired power plant, the community is preparing for another bust.

Our Skills-Based Education & Workforce Development Initiative seeks to help the community counter the loss of coal-related jobs by proving skill-based training and job placement to high school students and adults and strengthen new employment opportunities for all. Two examples of programs within this initiative are: An Apprenticeship program at Nucla high school which prepares high school graduates who are not college bound for well-paying careers in the service sector and a rural pilot of “Skillful” (an initiative of the Markle Foundation) which capitalizes on a Job Seekers skills to help them find new employment. For more information, contact Elaine Demas at