About Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado
The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado facilitates the growth and effectiveness of philanthropic contributions and expands the culture of giving to meet the needs of our communities.
The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado inspires hope, leadership, and generosity in the region by bringing economic stability, professional development, and collaboration to the nonprofit sector.
As a community facilitator, the Community Foundation works to increase efficiency, sustainability, and success for nonprofits, while maximizing effective grantmaking for philanthropists, to make Southwest Colorado a better place to live. In 2018, the Community Foundation infused $2.8 million into the region, including CERF funds after the 416 Fire. We invite you to create, grow and give funds through our careful management.
What is a Community Foundation?
The concept of a Community Foundation is as ingenious as it is simple – it is a means to build, over time, substantial funds for the community through contributions. The Community Foundation is a hybrid. Unlike our cousin, the private foundation (whose financial base typically comes from a single donor, family or company), the Community Foundation garners its support from the public. It grows because individuals, corporations, other nonprofits and even government entities believe in it.
The Community Foundation is unlike other nonprofits that focus on specific area of interest, such as health care, disaster relief and the arts, or specific causes such as poverty, heart disease and classical music.
The Community Foundation looks to the well-being of the total community, not just a part of it.
During the mid-1990s, individuals involved with several nonprofit organizations in Southwest Colorado had become aware that the “traditional” forms of funding on which they relied to support their various causes were becoming strained. Federal and State governments had reduced or eliminated funding for many programs local community members needed and desired, and local businesses and citizens were growing weary of being asked to contribute to numerous community fundraisers. Many of these organizations were successfully generating some revenue through fundraisers, but their efforts to do so were requiring a larger amount of staff time than they could commit – and they were still struggling to pay the bills. Therefore, the concept of the Community Foundation was introduced to the local community. Nonprofit professionals were encouraged to learn that donors of large gifts are often more willing to contribute to a foundation that is developed primarily to ensure that community assets are managed according to donor wishes and invested to maximize their earnings potential than they are to donate directly to a nonprofit organization which could experience frequent changes in management and board governance.
In the fall of 1997, various avenues for creating or joining an existing community foundation were researched. After many long discussions and public meetings, the decision was made to create the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado as a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Currently, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado manages more than $5 million.
Board of Directors
Shawn CandelariaVice President
Suzanne HarrisonPast President
Non-Board Committee Members
- Julia Barwell
- Susan Buchner
- Debbie Campbell
- Chuck Fredrick
- Dick Griffith
- Jan Johnson
- Michelle Kooi
- Diane Levison
- Amy Moody
- Sherry Phillips
- Steve Phillips
- Deborah Russell
- David Smiley
- Lauren Ziesel
- Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director
- Erin McGuinness, Finance & Operations Director
- Tracy Pope, Marketing & Grants Director