Telluride Foundation staff is often asked about the relationship between our Community Grants program (over $1M annually given to local nonprofits) and our Impact Initiatives (internally owned and operated programs). Recently we dove deeper into the financial relationship between Community Grants awarded to organizations affiliated with our initiatives and compared those grant awards to outside grants raised by our staff working on these initiatives.
The result is a simple story (represented in the chart below) of how we maximize the impact of our donor gifts. Donor gifts fuel our Community Grants, which seed initiatives and ultimately attract significant outside grants.
For example, Tri-County Health Network (TCHN) is a public health program that reaches into four counties providing 15+ direct-service public health programs. The graph and chart below illustrate TCHN’s rise from a small, internal, Telluride Foundation-created program to the organization it is today. TCHN was originally funded by one small outside grant to provide school-based preventive dental care for kids. Since receiving that first external grant, TCHN has grown into an independently operated nonprofit with a $3M annual operating budget. Since its inception, TCHN has been awarded a total of $189,000 in Community Grants from the Telluride Foundation but has raised and deployed an additional $11M in outside grants. This is a ten to one leverage of our donor gifts!
A number of grant-making entities – state and national foundations, small private foundations and Colorado state and federal agencies – are always looking for partners like the Telluride Foundation that have a history of successfully implementing innovative, scalable programs. Continuing to take advantage of these outside funding sources allows the Foundation to significantly leverage our donor gifts to effect significant positive change in the communities we serve.