TELLURIDE FOUNDATION AWARDS ALMOST $1 MILLION IN COMMUNITY GRANTS 72 Local Organizations Benefit from Generosity of Foundation Donors

  • Published
  • On January 5, 2016
Downtown Telluride at sunset

TELLURIDE, Colo. (Dec. 30, 2015) – Seventy two regional nonprofits will end the year happy to know they will have more funding for their critical programs and projects.  The Telluride Foundation announced its Community Grant awards on December 30th, following its Board of Directors.  In its fourteenth year of giving Community Grants, the Foundation awarded $984,650 to nonprofit organizations serving the region, bringing the total grants given in 2015 by the Foundation to just under $4 million. The Foundation has provided over $38 million in grants to the region since its inception in 2000, without an endowment.

“The Community Grants program is a fundamental program of the Telluride Foundation, which supports a vibrant community and a strong safety net” said Davis Fansler, Chair of the Grants Committee. “Our region is fortunate to have such committed and generous donors that appreciate and support the important work of our local hardworking nonprofits.”

In its 2015 annual Community Granting cycle, the Foundation received 82 applications seeking over $1.3 million.  The Foundation awarded grants ranging from $1,900 to $90,000, with 28 percent going to human services; 18 percent funding arts and culture; 18 percent to education; 16 percent to early childhood development; 15 percent to athletic groups; and 5 percent to the environment/animals. Local groups receiving grant awards included organizations serving Telluride, Rico, Ouray, Ridgway, Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, and Paradox.  The Telluride Foundation supports regional organizations that serve San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose and portions of Dolores counties.

“This year the Foundation, after two years of planning, instituted a new policy having applicants take one in five years off for applying for a grant,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “About 13 organizations volunteered to take this round off, providing additional funding that the Grants Committee could allocate to new programs and projects as well as to capital applications. This policy’s primary intent is to reinforce nonprofit sustainability and financial health by encouraging financial reserves, diverse revenue streams, and earned income opportunities, in addition to reducing dependency on a single funder, such as the Telluride Foundation.”

“Also as a new policy, the Foundation is funding capital projects. This year we awarded three capital grants totaling $135,000” said April Montgomery, Programs Director at the Telluride Foundation.  “From a commercial kitchen in Naturita, a new bus for Paradox Charter School students, to a new snow cat for grooming Nordic trails, these capital projects will be a lasting, substantial benefit to the region, helping to address critical needs for local communities.”

The Telluride Foundation’s Community Grant award recommendations are drafted by the seven-member Grants Committee, all of whom sit on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The committee evaluates the grant requests against a rigorous set of criteria and forwards their slate of recommendations to the full Board for review and final approval. The Grants Committee is comprised of Chairman Davis Fansler, Ann Andrews, Richard Betts, Kevin Holbrook, Megan McManemin, Joanne Brown, and George Glasier. Their recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on December 30th. The Foundation’s next round of local grant applications will be due in October 2016, and announced at the end of December 2016.

In addition to its annual Community Grant awards, the Foundation has continued to expand its funding and the reach of Impact Initiatives such as its Telluride Venture Accelerator, broadband initiative, workforce housing initiative, STEM professional development initiative, family emergency Good Neighbor Fund, and Paradox Community Development Initiative.

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the cultivation and promotion of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation, and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education, and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and/or working in the Telluride region for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit www.telluridefoundation.org.