Donations to a Southwest Colorado Foundation More Than Double During Pandemic

3/31/2021

The Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado experienced unprecedented support from donors in 2020 in response to the needs that arose during the pandemic.

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If the pandemic had a

silver lining at all,

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it could be found in the generosity

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of donors whose contributions

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to the Community Foundation

serving Southwest Colorado

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helped support small businesses,

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nonprofits, and education in 2020.

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You're watching the Local News Network,

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brought to you by Tafoya

Barrett and Associates

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and Fast Signs of Durango.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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While the pandemic devastated

the region's economy,

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the Community Foundation

serving Southwest Colorado

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reports that the amount of

money it was able to give

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to small businesses, nonprofits,

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and educational organizations

more than doubled in 2020.

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Well, we gave away $4 million last year.

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It's double what we typically do,

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and a lot of it went to non-profits

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who were struggling through the COVID-19.

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So 2.2 million was granted

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from the Community Foundation nonprofits

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or from the Community

Foundation to nonprofits,

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30% of which was from CERF.

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So what that means is that people

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were very generous to CERF,

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but they were also very generous.

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And so we were giving from

all different pipelines

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to make sure our nonprofits

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got what they needed to stay stable.

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CERF is the Community

Emergency Relief Fund

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that the foundation administers

to support individuals

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and organizations affected by emergencies

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in the five county region nine area.

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Last year, Wrinkle said the foundation

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wanted to establish a

creative giving strategy

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that would support small businesses

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while at the same time benefit nonprofits,

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particularly those that

address food security.

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So one of the things that we think

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is so important at the

Community Foundation

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is really doing programs

that are sustainable

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and really feed the business,

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as well as the nonprofits,

as well as the members.

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So with this food for purchasing program,

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we are paying the farmers

who are local businesses

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and making sure that they

plant and grow what we need.

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They will then give it to, or

they will buy it from them,

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and they will give it to the food pantries

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who will then in turn make

sure that all of our members,

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all the people who are food insecure,

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have fresh fruits and

vegetables in their food boxes.

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This is the kind of programming

that's so important to us

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because it's really 360 degree

benefiting the community,

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benefiting the small farmers

and the small businesses,

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as well as the nonprofits,

as well as our members

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who are in so much need during COVID.

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This past winter the

foundation also purchased

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bread from local bakeries

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and dairy and meat products

from local providers

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to give to area food pantries.

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It also purchased $37,000 worth

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of $50 gift cards from area restaurants

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to give to stressed out employees

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at Durango School District 9-R.

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In addition, cultural arts organizations

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received $50,000 from revenues

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raised from the foundation's virtual

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Concerts in the Park series last summer.

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You can support small businesses

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and nonprofits that the

pandemic continues to impact

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by making a donation to the foundation

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through its website at

swcommunityfoundation.org.

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Thanks for watching

the Local News Network,

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serving Montezuma County,

Durango, Pagosa Springs,

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Telluride, and Farmington, New Mexico.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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