Telluride Foundation Community Grants

The pie chart shows grant awards by category. (Image courtesy of Telluride Foundation.)

The Telluride Foundation recently announced its annual Community Grant awards, giving $929,900 to regional nonprofits. These grants will be distributed to organizations working every day to improve the quality of life in the communities of Nucla/Naturita, Norwood, Telluride, Rico, Ridgway, Ouray and everywhere in between, according to a news release.

“Our nonprofit community are some of the most hardworking, dedicated, and passionate people focused on providing critical services or improving our quality of life,” said April Montgomery, Vice President, Programs at the Telluride Foundation. “It’s an honor to be able to support the work they do because of our incredibly generous donors.”

The Telluride Foundation’s Community Grants are an annual financial boost to regional nonprofits, supporting many critical services for families and programs that enrich the community. Grants are used to help Rainbow Preschool provide scholarships to low income families, for Weehawken Creative Arts Center’s programming in Ouray County, for West End Family Link to keep its food bank open in Nucla, and to help One to One mentoring with general operating costs as well as to expand to Norwood. These are just a few examples of organizations receiving grants this December that will use funding to serve families in their communities.

Monday afternoon, the foundation’s board of directors met to finalize this year’s awards, which combined with other programs and initiatives, brings the total invested in our region in 2019 to just over $4M. Since its inception in 2000, the Telluride Foundation has provided over $60 million in grants and other financial support to the Telluride region. And, it has happened without an endowment.

“This was my ninth year as a member on the grants committee” said Megan McManemin, Telluride Foundation board member and committee chair. “I’ve really enjoyed my time on the committee and being able to experience the important work the regional nonprofits do. Over the last nine years I’ve seen such an improvement in the grant application process, the quality of the grant applications and how the grants committee thinks about awarding funds.”

In its 2019 annual community grants cycle, the foundation received 70 applications seeking almost $1.2 million. Grant awards ranged from $1,000 to $68,000, with 43 percent going to health and human services; 20 percent funding arts and culture; 13 percent to education; 13 percent to early childhood development; 7 percent to athletic groups; and 5 percent to the environment/animals. The Telluride Foundation supports regional organizations that serve San Miguel, Ouray, and west Montrose counties and the Town of Rico.

“With our 20th anniversary in 2020, we want to celebrate the work of community nonprofits and acknowledge the important work they do,” said Paul Major, foundation president and CEO. "We have come a long way from our first grant cycle in 2001, where we gave 16 organizations just over $150,000. We are committed to our nonprofit community and look forward to being able to support them into the future.”

The Telluride Foundation’s community grant award recommendations are drafted by a seven-member grants committee, all of whom sit on the foundation’s board of directors. The committee evaluates the grant requests against a rigorous set of criteria and then forwards their recommendations for funding to the full board for review and final approval. 

The grants committee is comprised of Megan McManemin, chair, Anne Andrew, Sara Bachman, Karen Conway, DeeDee Decker, Adam Max and Ximena Rebolledo-Leon. Their recommendations were reviewed and approved by the board of directors at its meeting Monday. The foundation’s next round of local grant applications will be accepted in October 2020 and announced at the end of December 2020.

The foundation’s generous donors not only enable its annual community grant awards but have allowed the foundation to expand its funding and the reach of its Impact Initiatives, including Telluride Venture Accelerator, Broadband Expansion, Local Food, family emergency Good Neighbor Fund, and Strong Neighbors. To learn more about the work of the Telluride Foundation, please call 970-728-8717.

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, workforce, and visitors of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprises. The foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation.

The foundation’s work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. Pease visit telluridefoundation.org.