• Published
  • On August 5, 2016
Group holding Telluride Foundation sign

TELLURIDE, Colo. (August 1, 2016) – The Telluride Foundation’s annual Community Grant application is now available on its website, and nonprofit organizations that service the region are encouraged to apply. Building on its strategic efforts to measure outcomes and strengthen nonprofits financially, the Foundation has amended its grant guidelines to allow multi-year grant applications. Grant applications are due Monday, October 24 at 5 p.m.

As the largest grant funder on the Colorado Western Slope, the Telluride Foundation made just under $4 million in grants in 2015 and has granted over $38 million in total since its inception in 2000. Last year, the Foundation awarded $984,650 in Community Grants to 72 regional nonprofits, and it expects to award over $1 million in Community Grants this year.

To encourage and benefit financially sustainable nonprofits, the Foundation is instituting new grant guidelines that provide a multi-year funding option to nonprofits, allowing them to apply for up to three years of funding. To qualify for this option, organizations must have taken one year in the past five off from applying for a Telluride Foundation grant, since the 2015 cycle and must have a five-year history of receiving grants from the Foundation. Other criteria considered by the Foundation includes successful reporting on outcome indicators, operating within budget, being financially strong, and having stable management.

The Foundation piloted a multi-year grant option in 2007 with three organizations. “The feedback from the pilot was very positive,” said April Montgomery, VP Programs at the Telluride Foundation, “Nonprofits have been asking us to bring back this option, but we delayed re-instituting it during the economic down turn and while we focused on implementing collective outcome measurements.”

Recently the Foundation has established two new aspects to its grants program, both aimed at strengthening nonprofits. It developed grant outcome measures for each sector; these measures are the culmination of a three-year process, working with nonprofits, to identify practical, but informative, indicators that demonstrate that select outcomes have been met. Second, the Foundation instituted a new policy of rotating to take one in five years off from applying for a grant. Last year, approximately 11 nonprofits volunteered to take the year off, providing additional funding that the Grants Committee was able to allocate to new programs and projects as well as to capital applications. By instituting a flexible year off policy, the Foundation is reinforcing 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.

The grant application, reporting, and award process is entirely electronic, and the application and all necessary information is now available on the Foundation’s website at www.telluridefoundation.org (Click on “Our Work”, Click on “Community Grants”, and scroll down to “Community Grants Application”). A live webinar will be available for applicants on September 7 from 10am – 11am; it will also be available for applicants to view at their convenience after the live version. The webinar highlights new components of the application, reviews criteria and guidelines, and walks through the application process, and answers participant questions. Applicants can pre-register for the live webinar or watch the taped webinar on the Community Grants Application page of the Foundation’s website. If you have any questions regarding the grant guidelines or application, please contact April Montgomery, VP Programs at 970-728-8717 or april@telluride.dreaminblog.com.

Any qualified nonprofit organization that serves individuals in San Miguel, Ouray, and/or west Montrose counties or Rico, with programs and activities that are consistent with the mission of the Foundation, is eligible to apply for a grant from the Telluride Foundation. Applications are reviewed by the Grants Committee, who then makes funding recommendations that are reviewed and finalized by the Board of Directors at their annual meeting in December.

The Telluride Foundation’s annual Community Grants program is just one of the ways the Foundation supports the Telluride community. The Foundation also provides training, workshops, capacity building, and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, as well as facilitates initiatives in health, rural and community development (Paradox Community Development Initiative and Telluride Venture Accelerator), arts, and STEM education. The Foundation additionally provides emergency hardships grants to low-income residents.

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.