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Nearly $4 million in charitable giving facilitated in 2020 through the Community Foundation

By February 18, 2021March 24th, 2021No Comments

Community donations facilitated through the Community Foundation more than double in 2020 to nearly $4 Million

 February 18, 2021 – In 2020, the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado infused $3,996,727 million into Southwest Colorado’s nonprofit community. Those grants are broken down as follows:

  • $2,299,518 was granted from Community Foundation Funds to nonprofits, of which 30% was disbursed from the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)
  • $1,553,264 was donated from the public to Community Foundation fiscal sponsorships and projects, including $987,427 to the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)
  • $54,000 was granted through Scholarship Funds for educational purposes
  • $89,945 was granted through Community Foundation projects, such as the 9-R school staff appreciation initiative, the Reimagined Community Concerts in Durango and the Rise & Recover grant in Pagosa Springs


Grants were disbursed across numerous sectors in all five counties of Southwest Colorado and beyond. The top three sectors that received funding were human services, education, and arts and culture.

“The generosity of our community members during the pandemic in 2020 was tremendously heartfelt and also quite effective and impactful for our local nonprofits,” says Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Many nonprofits in Southwest Colorado have benefitted from government relief efforts and philanthropic grant making, and they are managing well through this emergency. We are pleased to see many organizations landing solidly on their feet.”

Donations to the Community Emergency Relief Fund, both dollars held in reserve from 2020 and ongoing donations received in 2021, will continue to be disbursed to organizations as needed, particularly those assisting with housing and food security.

The human services sector received the most funds from the Community Foundation in 2020, totaling $1,284,321.

“The needs of our most vulnerable neighbors were amplified during the pandemic,” says Wrinkle. “Therefore, much of our rapid-response funding went to nonprofits assisting with basic needs, such as food and housing security. Those types of organizations will remain a focus of our funding, as well as supporting the recovery of a wide array of local nonprofits.”

The education sector received the second highest level of Community Foundation grants last year at $727,800. Education will continue to be a focus of the Community Foundation’s work in 2021.

“Our funders value educational endeavors as a priority, especially now, with schools so dramatically impacted by the changes the pandemic has brought to our educational systems,” says Wrinkle. “In 2020, we rallied our friends of the foundation to infuse $37,000 into local restaurants to purchase $50 gift cards for every staff member at Durango 9-R and Animas High School. These appreciation gifts were given to more than 700 educators and support staff and are just one creative example of how the education sector is benefitting from the Community Foundation. We will have other big education initiatives in 2021, including a youth internship program and facilities support for local schools. We are excited to share those plans soon.”

The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado manages $7.3 million in investments and is home to more than 60 donor advised funds, organizational funds, designated funds, scholarship funds, fiscal sponsorship funds and field of interest funds.

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

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