1309 E 3rd Ave., Smiley Building, Suite 20 A tiny pinwheel Durango, CO 81301
PO Box 1673 tiny pinwheel Durango, CO 81302


Almost $500,000 Donated in SWCO on Colorado Gives Day

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado announces $485,134 in donations in Southwest Colorado on Colorado Gives Day 2020

Dec. 11, 2020 — The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado spearheads regional participation in Colorado Gives Day — an easy, online initiative for donors to contribute to nonprofits across Colorado. This year’s Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday December 8, was record-breaking, with $50 million donated to nonprofit organizations statewide and more than $485,000 donated to organizations in the southwest corner of the state.

Local donors are able to choose from 88 organizations listed on the website, swcogives.org, and make safe, secure, online gifts to local organizations directly serving the five-county region of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties.

“Each of the last four years that the Community Foundation has led this effort we have seen giving increase substantially,” says Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. “This year the jump in donations was astounding — $200,000 more than last year’s giving, a 70 percent increase. Our community clearly understands how hard 2020 has been for so many people, and local donors really stepped up to support nonprofits.”

The Community Foundation’s mission is to power philanthropy, encouraging people to give where they live. This year’s collaborative marketing efforts prompted 2,499 individual donations, a 60 percent increase over last year’s number of donations.

“It will be interesting, as we dig into these numbers, to determine how many individual donors we had this year,” says Tracy Pope, Director of Marketing and Grants for the Foundation. “I think we will find out that we had both new donors and repeat donors who gave more this year. The overall generosity has been incredibly inspiring.”

“In addition to these generous donations, we will also see our portion of the $1 million incentive fund shared with local organizations,” adds Pope. “I expect to see another $20,000 or so awarded to our local organizations, thanks to the statewide sponsors of Colorado Gives Day, Community First Foundation and FirstBank. That means we will see an infusion of approximately a half-million dollars into Southwest Colorado in just one day!”

Online donations may still be made at swcogives.org, as this is a year-round electronic giving platform to benefit local nonprofits.

$1.25 million in Emergency Grants through the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado has provided over $1.25 million in COVID rapid-response granting

November 19, 2020 – Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Community Foundation has spearheaded the COVID emergency response donations in our five-county region through the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). Combined granting from CERF and the Community Foundation’s projects and donor advised funds has totaled more than $1.25 million since March.

The Community Foundation has distributed CERF funds totaling $617,514, supporting nonprofits and the broader community.
Food security has been the focus of a large portion of CERF granting, with $187,621 distributed to nonprofits and local food producers across five counties in Southwest Colorado. The Foundation has worked to provide region-wide collaboration in food purchasing to benefit multiple food systems, while leveraging $85,000 of other funds, such as CARES Act dollars, to stretch CERF dollars even further. Purchases have included both non-perishable and perishable items. When feasible, the perishable food is purchased from regional small farms to support local agriculture. Some of the local ag businesses include Sunnyside Market, 550 Farms, Banger Farms, Mountain Roots, and Tap Root.

“It has been eye-opening to be a part of the team that is addressing the sharp increase in food insecurity across our region,” says Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “People who have never needed food assistance before are visiting our local pantries at record numbers.”

In addition to CERF, the Foundation has granted $593,180 through COVID-response donations from donor advised funds and other COVID-related projects. The Community Foundation is home to 33 donor advised funds. So far this year, 75 percent of the Foundation’s donor advised funds provided grants to nonprofit organizations.

“This has been an intense eight months,” says Wrinkle. “I have not seen granting at this level in my eight years at the Foundation. When emergencies arise, our partners truly step up to make generous, impactful donations.”

Grants were disbursed across numerous sectors in all five counties of Southwest Colorado. The top three sectors that received funding were human services, education, and arts & culture (see graph included below).

Since the impacts of the pandemic are expected to continue through winter and beyond, $147,000 in CERF funds are earmarked for spending in first quarter of 2021. The CERF fund receives COVID-related emergency donations at coloradogives.org/cerf.

The Community Foundation serves Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties.

Resources for our Nonprofit Partners

In response to the COVID-19 Crisis


Federal Payroll Protection Program re-opens in 2021

Learn more about eligibility and deadlines here.


Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF):

CERF has infused almost $700,000 into the community since the end of March, including three rounds of emergency granting to regional nonprofits, as well as additional support for SW CO food pantries to purchase food. CERF funds have also supported other projects, such as Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (swcoda.org), Save the Food, Feed the People, and the distribution of protective equipment to nonprofits.

CERF is raising funds and serving nonprofits in all five counties in Southwest Colorado. The CERF grant committee is working with other state and local funders to ensure its investment is strategic and supporting the nonprofit sector effectively.

To donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund visit www.coloradogives.org/cerf or send a check payable to the Community Foundation with CERF in the memo line to P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO  81302. 

Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (SWCODA.org): SWCODA is a repository of resources and information that shares the many ways people can get assistance during this time and how individuals and businesses can get involved and help. To find appropriate resources, click on the county where you live (found at the top of the website) and then click on the type of resource you are requiring — whether that is public health questions, employment-related issues (including unemployment benefits) and/or local services (including food, housing, utility, transportation and government-related needs).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available locally through SWCODA and the La Plata County Economic Recovery Task Force. Bulk purchasing allows for better pricing on hand sanitizer and face masks. Click here to purchase.

The Community Foundation’s LAUNCH fund provides low-interest loans to area nonprofits through First Southwest Bank’s Community Fund. Click here for more information.

Region 9 Economic Development of SW Colorado has a list of resources and funding opportunities: click here. Region 9 is also soliciting donations as an Enterprise Zone Project, which will support businesses in SW CO through grants and low-interest loans. Click here to donate.

La Plata County Economic Development Alliance is collecting resources for local businesses, much of which applies to nonprofits, as well. Click here to learn more from the Business Resource Playbook.

Need a resource for your Human Resources? Our partners at the Payroll Department recommend this online site to help you navigate HR questions, including work-from-home policies, options for paid time off due to the COVID-19 crisis, sick leave, and more.


For general information about the COVID-19 crisis in Colorado, click here to access the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the State Emergency Operations Center.

Energize Colorado is a group of diverse, skilled volunteers who are connecting businesses and nonprofits with resources to address current challenges and spur transformative growth. Webinars and training opportunities are available, as well as PPE bulk purchases.

Check out HelpColoradoNow.org for more helpful resources.

Philanthropy Colorado has an extensive list of funding opportunities, click here.

Colorado Nonprofit Association has resources available to navigate the current challenges. Keep skills sharp with these training opportunities: CNA trainings and events in response to COVID-19

Community Resource Center is hosting Funder Roundtables every week through August. Register in advance here. For other resources and funding opportunities, click here.


The COVID-19 crisis has impacted our region’s nonprofits in various ways. Some of you have front-line programs and are working overtime. Some of you are working from home, as well as overseeing your children’s remote learning. Some of you have been impacted by the cancelations and actually have lots of extra time on your hands. If you fall into the last category, or if you just need a break from the crazy and would like to take some self-growth time… there are lots of professional development webinars available. Below are a few links you might find helpful:

Colorado Nonprofit Association: offers trainings and virtual events

TechSoup: includes tools to support for safe and effective remote work

Bloomerang: blog with expert insights on fundraising and donor communication during the crisis

Network for Good: check out these COVID-19 Response Resources, including fundraising strategies, timely blog posts and fundraising coach Q&As.

Nonprofit Finance Fund: COVID-19 Tools and Resources page, including tips to manage through uncertainty and find financial stability. Thoughtful blog insights and webinars also available.

Nonprofit Learning Lab: provides free nonprofit resources focused on fundraising, board development, volunteer management, diversity, equity, inclusion and more. Their resources are guidebooks, tip sheets, free webinars and activities.

Tech Gives Back Initiative donates $300,000 to CERF

September 3, 2020 – Durango, CO – The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado announces Tech Gives Back, a fundraising effort spearheaded by philanthropist John Witchel, raising more than $300,000 for the foundation’s Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).

The funds support food security in our region, engaging youth employment and general operating support for the nonprofit sector.

“Those of us working in the tech sector appreciate being in Durango, where we can work hard, play hard and raise our families,” said John Witchel, former GitPrime President.  “We are honored to give back to a community that has been so supportive of our business endeavors. Partnering with the Community Foundation makes this a strategic gift, since they have the relationships and knowledge of the nonprofits in SW Colorado.”

“This donation will enable us to support the nonprofit community in new and creative ways,” said Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of the Community Foundation serving SW Colorado. “We are using some of these funds to coordinate with local nonprofits in all five counties to distribute perishables, including milk, bread and locally-sourced ground beef and vegetables through December. This effort supports our local agriculture businesses and nonprofits and increases food security for our region.  It’s a win-win-win.”

Earlier this summer the Community Foundation granted Tech Gives Back funds to 11 nonprofits that have AmeriCorps members. In addition, Tech Gives Back supported grants to Southwest Conservation Corp and Sonlight’s youth employment program.

As a community facilitator, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado works to increase efficiency, sustainability, and success for area nonprofits, while maximizing effective grantmaking for philanthropists in our region.

Community Emergency Relief Fund

The Community Foundation has activated the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) in response to the COVID-19 protective measures that are now in place in Southwest Colorado. These measures, such as closures, cancellations, self-quarantines and social distancing, are necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission, and particularly to preserve and protect the capacity of our local healthcare facilities.

Donations are now being accepted to deploy funds to community-based organizations directly responding to the most vulnerable members of our community. These resources will be disbursed as needed and as available.

Since March, CERF has infused almost $700,000 into the community. The first two rounds of CERF funding, totaling $201,000, were designated as rapid-response grants distributed in the first two months of the pandemic to 34 human service organizations responding directly to the immediate needs of our community. Another $175,000 was disbursed in July to address financial stability and recovery for 49 nonprofit organizations. $100,000 was utilized to purchase food for regional food pantries. Additionally, CERF funds have supported regional projects, such as Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (swcoda.org), Save the Food, Feed the People, and the distribution of protective equipment to nonprofits, such as no-touch thermometers.

Community stakeholders, including representatives from public health, local governments, school districts, businesses and nonprofits, will continue to prioritize available funds to meet immediate needs in our region, including public health needs and economic impacts.

To donate to the CERF fund, please click on the image below. Thank you for your generosity in supporting one another during this challenging time!

Rise & Recover Together, Pagosa Springs

Due to the COVID-19 public health restrictions, we have transitioned our 19th Hole Concerts grant opportunity into an online fundraiser for local nonprofits. Purchase merchandise (t-shirts, hats, yard signs, stickers, window clings) with the locally-designed Rise & Recover Together logo.

Raise community spirit in during this challenging time, while supporting local nonprofits. Shop at basintees.com/rise, scroll down to Pagosa Springs to support Upper San Juan Search & Rescue, Vets 4 Vets, Aspire and the Archuleta County Fund. Special thanks to our sponsors:

LAUNCH funding opportunity

Nonprofit organizations looking for new revenue streams will be interested in the Community Foundation’s new LAUNCH Fund.

LAUNCH (Loan Assistance Unpacking Nonprofit Challenges) is a revolving loan fund, meaning that as loans are repaid, the dollars will be recirculated to fund additional nonprofit loan requests.

The LAUNCH fund is an impact investing fund designed to provide access to capital for nonprofit organizations through micro loans. Loans are in the range of $5,000-50,0000 with a below-market interest rate and favorable terms. Nonprofits across SW CO (La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, Montezuma and Dolores) are eligible to apply. A LAUNCH loan can be blended with a traditional loan. Loans are designed for nonprofits to purchase equipment or real estate or remodel existing space to better serve the community.

“Essentially, the LAUNCH fund offers affordable financing options to nonprofits,” says Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. “And then for philanthropists, it provides a new avenue to donate money to the nonprofit sector that will continue to be reinvested in the community over the long haul.”

LAUNCH assists nonprofits in accommodating growth and keeping fiscal health a priority. The Community Foundation has partnered with First Southwest Bank, leveraging the bank’s CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) designation, to provide access to terms that appeal to nonprofit boards and staff.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado to offer this new resource to our local nonprofits,” said Cass Walker Harvey, Executive Director of First Southwest Community Fund. “We hope that offering this innovative model for access to capital, we will help nonprofits expand their impact in our community.

The LAUNCH fund was made possible by donations from local philanthropists who are excited to see their donation be reinvested in the community over and over. If you are interested in contributing to the LAUNCH fund, or you are a nonprofit leader interested in securing an affordable loan from LAUNCH fund, please contact Briggen Wrinkle [email protected]

100+ Women Who Care La Plata

We are excited to announce a new partnership with 100+ Women Who Care La Plata. This is a collective giving group of caring women who will certainly make a powerful impact on local nonprofits by pooling their donations to support La Plata County organizations.

The Community Foundation holds the Field of Interest Fund for 100+ Women Who Care La Plata. You can support this initiative by donating online and elevating the impact even more . Click here to learn more.


Almost $500,000 Donated in SWCO on Colorado Gives Day

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado announces $485,134 in d Read More...

$1.25 million in Emergency Grants through the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado has provided over $1.25 Read More...

Southwest Colorado Gives


CERF infuses $500,000 into community in four months


Resources for our Nonprofit Partners

In response to the COVID-19 Crisis NEW FUNDING OPTIONS Federal Payroll Prot Read More...


Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado tiny pinwheel
1309 E 3rd Ave., Smiley Building, Suite 20 Atiny pinwheel Durango, CO 81301
tiny pinwheel 970-375-5807 tiny pinwheel [email protected]