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The Buena Vista Board of Trustees unanimously voted during its May 14 meeting to let the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) manage its 2020 grant funding process.

Trustee Lawanna Best moved to instruct the town administrator to execute the agreement. Trustee Mark Jenkins seconded the motion.

“I think [the CCCF] will be able to devote more time and effort, and be able to [grant funds] to who really needs it the most,” said Trustee Cindie Swisher. “I think it’s definitely worth pursuing to see how it comes out [in 2020].”

Michael Hannigan, representing the CCCF, presented an overview of the CCCF’s Donor Advised Fund to the board during a routine meeting in March. The Town of Buena Vista will contribute its community grant budget to the Donor Advised Fund, and allow the CCCF to determine non-profit recipients.

The CCCF has final fiduciary authority over the fund and final decision-making authority. It was confirmed that the CCCF will not select grant recipients that are not supported by the Board of Trustees.

“[The Foundation] is the fiduciary responsible party, per the agreement. They have the final say-so, but they clearly don’t want to grant something the Board isn’t fully behind,” said Town Administrator Phillip Puckett.

Handing the funding process over to the CCCF has numerous benefits. Not only will the trustees lighten their workload, but the non-profits seeking funds will enjoy a streamlined system.

The CCCF will handle all the paperwork, including writing checks to non-profits selected as grant recipients.

The Donor Advised Fund is an annual agreement. The Town of Buena Vista can evaluate the process during the 2020 grant cycle and determine its effectiveness before next year.

The CCCF charges a fee of 2 percent of the amount placed into the Donor Advised Fund. The Town of Buena Vista allots 1 percent of sales tax revenue for its grant fund. According to Puckett, the annual grant fund amount “falls anywhere between $25,000 and $30,000”.

Additionally, the CCCF is collaborating with Marijuana Excise Tax Advisory Board (METAB) and Chaffee Common Ground to employ a management software package that allows non-profits to use one system.

“All of the non-profits of the valley will have, literally, one system,” said Hannigan to the trustees. “All of the non-profits will have one entry to any grant proposal to these three entities.”

The software will also allow the Town of Buena Vista access to review proposals, create a rating system and view the Donor Advised Fund.