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Community Foundation infuses almost $1 million into Southwest Colorado

2015 giving added new impact grants to mix
At lunch at Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County are, from left, Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, Jan Johnson, a foundation board member, and Gwen Bartley, vice president of the board of Loaves and Fishes. Loaves and Fishes received an unsolicited Impact Grant of $4,000 from the foundation along with a matching $4,000 grant from the foundation partner Bank of the San Juans to purchase two new upright freezers.

In 2015, the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado invested almost $930,000 in the nonprofits in five counties in Southwest Colorado it benefits.

Another $250,000 in grants were arranged in 2015, but the checks weren’t issued until January.

The contributions included:

More than $208,000 in grants facilitated through the foundation.

More than $680,000 in grants from fund holders and Friends of the Foundation.

$8,500 in scholarships for local educational opportunities.

More than $14,000 in grants by the foundation itself.

“We strive to bring value to our community,” said Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the foundation, “through grantmaking that is both strategic and impactful.”

The community foundation spent much of the year researching and developing a new Impact Grant. The grants are unsolicited and are intended to address special community needs not already funded by other philanthropic sources.

The community foundation awarded three Impact Grants in 2015:

Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County received $4,000 to buy a new upright freezer. The foundation partnered with Bank of the San Juans to match the grant, allowing Loaves and Fishes to buy a second freezer.

The organization provides a warm, safe and caring environment where it serves a hot meal once a week, delivery to home-bound people on Thursdays and hot to-go meals for guests.

“This grant gives us a huge boost in eliminating our existing chest freezers that are aging out and make it difficult to rotate meat,” said Gwen Bartley, vice president of the board of Loaves and Fishes. “The new upright freezers will improve our process of storing meat, increase efficiency and decrease electricity costs.”

Sexual Assault Services Organization was awarded a $6,000 Impact Grant to directly support advocacy services for victims of sexual assault in the community as well as providing prevention education programs to students in the area’s school districts.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado received the final Impact Grant, $8,000 to help solidify the organization moving forward.

In 2015, BBBS experienced unusual costs in transitioning to a new executive director, hiring new staff and introducing a new fundraiser – the Suitcase Party – that didn’t meet fundraising goals in 2015 but promises to grow to be a large contributor to the organization in the future.

“This grant will help us get off on the right foot in 2016,” Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Anita Carpenter said. “We appreciate this vote of confidence from the community foundation.”

abutler@durangoherald.com

On the Net

Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado: www.swcommunityfoundation.org/

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