SWCO Non-Profits Receive Survival Help

07/27/2020

Non-profits in Southwest Colorado are suffering from the pandemic just like businesses. The Community Foundation and United Way have been able to provide a little help with grants this month.

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THE SOUTHWEST COLORADO ECONOMY HAS TAKEN A HARD HIT FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE REGION'S NON-PROFITS ARE NO EXCEPTION. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, SPONSORED BY NICE ELECTRIC IN CORTEZ AND THE PAYROLL DEPARTMENT IN DURANGO. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. WHILE COLORADO'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HOVERS AROUND 9 PERCENT AND MORE THAN 75 HUNDRED SOUTHWEST COLORADO RESIDENTS HAVE APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT SINCE MARCH 15TH, LOCAL NON-PROFITS SAY THEY'RE SUFFERING, TOO, WITH NEARLY A THIRD REPORTING STAFF LAY-OFFS, FURLOUGHS, OR PAY CUTS DURING THE PAST FOUR MONTHS. BUT NEARLY 50 ORGANIZATIONS IN THE FIVE-COUNTY SOUTHWEST COLORADO REGION RECENTLY RECEIVED A SMALL BOOST TO THEIR BUDGETS WITH A ROUND OF SMALL GRANTS FROM THE COLORADO EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND ADMINISTERED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SERVING SOUTHWEST COLORADO AND UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO. IN A JOINT NEWS RELEASE, UNITED WAY AND THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION RECENTLY DISPERSED A TOTAL OF A 175 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANTS TO 49 AGENCIES IN FIVE COUNTIES. THE COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND IS SUPPORTED THROUGH PRIVATE DONATIONS AND MATCHING DONATIONS FROM LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS. THE LATEST ROUND OF GRANTS IS THE THIRD DISPERSEMENT OF COMMUNITY DONATIONS SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN. THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF GRANTS TOTALING MORE THAN 200 THOUSAND DOLLARS PROVIDED STOP-GAP FUNDING TO 32 ORGANIZATIONS ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE PANDEMIC. IN A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE FOUNDATION AND UNITED WAY IN JUNE, MORE THAN HALF OF THE REGION'S 180 ACTIVE, REVENUE-GENERATING 501-C-3 NON-PROFITS REPORTED LOSSES OF MORE THAN 8 MILLION DOLLARS DURING THE PAST FOUR MONTHS. ALTHOUGH THEY'VE RECEIVED TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN EMERGENCY-RELATED GRANTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THAT STILL LEAVES A FUNDING GAP OF 6 MILLION DOLLARS.EVERY NON-PROFIT IS GETTING BACK TO BASICS. THEY'RE REDOING THEIR BUDGET, THEY'RE TIGHTENING THEIR BELT. AND SO WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LITTLE BIT MORE, BUT ANY WAY THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE NON-PROFIT CULTURE AND THE SECTOR WILL REALLY MAKE OUR COMMUNITY STRONGER IN THE LONG RUN.WRINKLE SAID THE THIRD ROUND OF FUNDING FOCUSED ON THOSE NON-PROFITS THAT SHOWED SIGNIFICANTS EFFORTS TO CUT COSTS. GRANTS RANGED FROM 13 HUNDRED TO 5 THOUSAND DOLLARS.IT'S VERY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO REWARD THOSE ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE GONE BACK TO BASICS WHO HAVE REALLY LOOKED AT THEIR FINANCIALS AND CUT ANY SORT OF TRIMMED, ANYTHING AWAY THAT THEY COULD. AND THEN TO BE ABLE TO SAY GOOD WORK, AND HERE'S SOME MONEY TO HELP YOU GET THROUGH. WE DON'T ANTICIPATE THIS TO SOLVE ANYBODY'S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, BUT IT'S WHAT WE CAN DO. AND UNITED WAY, AND THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAVE WORKED VERY CLOSELY. WE HAVE SPENT HOURS POURING OVER THESE APPLICATIONS TO MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE DECISION.IN THE MEANTIME, THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION RECENTLY RAISED ABOUT 000 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM A VIRTUAL THREE-CONCERT SERIES HELD EARLIER IN JULY TO BENEFIT TEN ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS. IF YOU'D LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO FUTURE EFFORTS TO SUPPORT THE REGION'S NON-PROFITS, YOU CAN MAKE A DONATION THROUGH THE FOUNDATION'S WEB SITE AT S W COMMUNITY FOUNDATION DOT ORG. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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