The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) has awarded 28 local nonprofit organizations with $42,155 in funding from its Fall Grants Cycle. The average award size for each nonprofit was approximately $1,500.
“On behalf of CCCF and all those who donated to these funds and contributed to the selection process, we offer our sincere congratulations to all the recipients of this year’s Fall Grants,” CCCF Executive Director Betsy Dittenber said. “It’s so important to support the nonprofits that are providing critical services to our local communities.”
For this cycle, CCCF partnered with Sangre de Cristo Electric Association to administer up to $25,000 in funding to nonprofits from Lake, Chaffee, Fremont and Custer Counties. An additional $18,755 in funding was awarded to Chaffee County nonprofits from the CCCF Community Grants Fund, which is supported by donations from local businesses, individual donors, and BlueTriton Brands.
The organizations receiving funding from the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association’s Annual Community Grants program are:
Mini-Blessings; Colorado Farm To Table Inc.; Arkansas Valley Advocates for Dyslexia; Ark Valley High Rollers; Canon City Police Department Disaster Preparedness; Uncaged Today, Inc.; Foodshed Alliance; Ark-Valley Humane Society; Wet Mountain Fire Protection District; Chaffee County Search and Rescue North; Chaffee County Childcare Initiative; Shining Mountains Montessori School; The Alliance; Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County; Custer County Community Sharing Center; Achieve, Inc.; Chaffee Housing Trust; Chaffee County Hospitality Inc.; Full Circle Restorative Justice; ElevateHER; JJs Helping Paws; Cloud City Conservation Center; and Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments WIC.
The organizations awarded funding from the CCCF Community Grants Fund are:
Arkansas Valley Advocates for Dyslexia; Mini-Blessings; Colorado Farm To Table Inc.; Foodshed Alliance; Ark-Valley Humane Society; Ark Valley High Rollers; Collegiate Peaks Chorale; Shining Mountains Montessori School; Chaffee County Search and Rescue North; Chaffee County Childcare Initiative; Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County; The Alliance; Achieve, Inc.; Truth Has A Voice Foundation DBA Ark Valley Voice; Chaffee Housing Trust; Chaffee County Hospitality Inc.; KHEN 106.9fm Community Radio; Full Circle Restorative Justice; ElevateHER; Greater Arkansas River Nature Association; and Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation, Inc.
The CCCF Community Grants Fund is made possible by donations from local businesses and individuals including Bluebird Day Mercantile and Lofts; Deerhammer Distilling Company; The Trailhead outdoor sports store; Wood’s High Mountain Distillery; BlueTriton Brands; Diesslin Structures, Inc.; and The Wool Family Foundation.
The recipients were determined by the CCCF Grant Review Committee, which consisted of 11 volunteers who contributed at least 25 hours each to review applicants and make funding recommendations. Dittenber said, “The time, energy, and dedication of our review committee volunteers was incredible. We are always grateful for individuals who help us provide a fair and balanced community review process to steward available funding to high-impact programs and organizations.”
CCCF formed a partnership with Sangre de Cristo Electric Association in 2020 to conduct a community-reviewed, impact-focused process for distributing community grants. CCCF also administers the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association’s matching grant program that allows non-political, 501c3 nonprofit organizations in the four-county region to submit donations for a 100% match, up to $1,000 per calendar year.
The SDCEA annual grant awards funded 23 organizations this year to eight organizations serving Fremont County, four serving Lake County, two serving Custer County, and 17 serving Chaffee County. Dittenber said the 2022 Fall Grant Cycle process shifted from project-based funding to operating funding, which helps the nonprofit sector cover “difficult to pay for” expenses that are inherently necessary for the program to exist.
Launched in 2020, the CCCF Community Grants Fund program is an area of interest fund to which local businesses are encouraged to donate one percent of annual profits to support the community. Since the fund’s creation, 12 local businesses and individual donors have contributed to the Community Grants Fund, allowing CCCF to administer $18,755 to 21 organizations as part of the Fall Grants Cycle.
“We are so appreciative of the local businesses and the individual and family donors who are giving back to our community through CCCF’s Community Grants Fund,” said Dittenber. “We hope that new businesses in the area will join our 1% initiative so that we can continue to fill funding need gaps in the community.”
Founded in 2018, Chaffee County Community Foundation is a public, nonprofit organization established to promote and facilitate philanthropy in Chaffee County, created by and for the people in that area. CCCF acts as a catalyst to inspire positive change through the power of philanthropy to enrich the lives of all people within the county. Its goals are to make informed philanthropy accessible to all, build local nonprofit capacity, and enable community conversations. Since 2018, CCCF has actively supported nonprofit organizations for the betterment of Chaffee County and the local communities. To learn more, visit www.chaffeecommunity.org.