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More than 230 posts tell the story of Chaffee County nonprofit groups

Chaffee County Community Foundation posing with the local nonprofits and members from Community First Foundation (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

Readers now know that the five-year-old Ark Valley Voice has just completed its first fiscal year of operating as a nonprofit digital media publisher. Under the banner of the Truth Has A Voice Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit and civic outreach corporation, AVV  is guided by the fiscal sponsorship of the 501(c)(3), Institute for Nonprofit News (INN),

Chaffee County Community Foundation: We Are Chaffee. Image courtesy Joe and Kimmie Randall

To support its mission, AVV operates on a lean budget and depends on donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships. In November, 2022 the Truth Has A Voice Foundation, doing business as Ark Valley Voice applied for and was awarded, yet another competitive grant from the grant review committee of the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF).

The goal of this grant request: to focus on covering the messaging, events, and missions of fellow nonprofits; to raise awareness of their work. Recently, Ark Valley Voice completed the required annual CCCF grant report which notes:

During the 10-month grant period, Nov. 2022 through Aug. 2023 Ark Valley Voice posted a record 231 news stories in support of Chaffee County nonprofits

Truth Has a Voice Foundation President Merrell Bergin, and Ark Valley Voice Publisher and Managing Editor Jan Wondra give remarks during the AVV Donor Thank you party on March 31, 2023. AVV file photo.

“The CCCF grant enabled us to pay a portion of reporters’ compensation for nonprofit coverage. Without this grant we would have had to cut back on the time and effort spent on nonprofit stories and focus on core local government accountability and transparency work” noted Merrell Bergin, President of the Truth Has A Voice Foundation.

Chaffee County currently has more than 150 nonprofits, most of whom provide services for the health, education, food, shelter, and humanitarian needs of the more than 20,000 residents of the county.

News stories include those about the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Chaffee Hospitality, Achieve Inc, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County, Chaffee Arts, and Mini Blessings, to name a handful.

Each applicable story is “tagged” in the online press room to the nonprofit category and easily tabulated. To read any of the hundreds of articles, just follow this “nonprofits” link.

“Building nonprofit capacity is a key mission of the Chaffee County Community Foundation,” Bergin said. “We are grateful for their support of our mission even though we do not ourselves provide direct social services to clients. Our work does allow nonprofits to expand their programming and capacity, which in turn benefits all of Chaffee County. It is also a key to our mission to give voice to those who have none.”

“We look forward to continuing our consolidated mission with Ark Valley Voice and providing ongoing coverage of Chaffee County nonprofits.”

Ark Valley Voice is the six-day-a-week fact-based and nonprofit provider of original and locally produced news and information covering Chaffee County and beyond. It brings free, full-edition coverage of local, international, national, and statewide interest to readers here and across all 50 states.

AVV began and remains a digital news organization, firmly on the leading edge of the national move away from the centuries-old, for-profit “print newspaper” model, while following long-established rules and ethics of professional journalism, as outlined by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Colorado Press Association and the Institute for Nonprofit News.