Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: Editorial
Bray Real Estate’s announcement that it’s establishing an endowed, donor-advised fund to tackle housing issues in Mesa County is notable for several reasons.

First, it’s fitting for a homegown company synonymous with real estate transactions to make a commitment to help peoplesecure basic housing, which is an obvious area of need in the community.

Bray, with a stable of residential real estate agents and a commercial division, facilitates millions in sales annually. The newly established fund is a thoughtful acknowledgment that a small segment of the population struggles to find an affordable place to live.

Second — and somewhat surprisingly — Bray Real Estate is the first business to set up such a fund through the Western Colorado Community Foundation. The foundation will manage Bray Cares, saving Bray the cost of establishing its own nonprofit arm. The foundation will also lend its expertise in granting Bray’s fund to organizations that assist with housing displacement and homelessness.

Hopefully, Bray’s relationship with the Western Colorado Community Foundation will open more eyes to the work the foundation does. We’re blessed to have such an organization “connecting
people who care with causes that matter.”

That’s the foundation’s mantra. Established in 1996 by community leaders, the Western Colorado Community Foundation manages nearly $75 million in total assets, making it one of the largest
community foundations this side of the Continental Divide.

Last year, the foundation distributed $3.5 million in grants and scholarships across the Western Slope including Mesa, Garfield, Eagle, Delta, Montrose, Ouray and Rio Blanco counties.

As the Sentinel’s Joe Vaccarelli reported in Saturday’s newspaper, the Western Colorado Community Foundation manages assets from 280 different funds. Donor-advised funds, like Bray’s,
allow donors to direct their gifts to organizations and causes they wish to support. Others let the foundation decide where the money can do the most good.

Since its inception the Community Foundation has awarded more than $12.5 million in grants, including scholarships to young people to help them fulfill their college dreams.

Through endowments, donor gifts are invested in a well-diversified portfolio to grow over time. Usually, only the earnings are distributed. Donor funds are designed to exist in perpetuity, to enhance the quality of life in their communities for generations to come.

The Community Foundation supports basic needs and a range of health and human services. It provides educational opportunities, promotes arts and culture and preserves the environment in
accordance with donors’ wishes.

Thank you, Bray, not just for your commitment to the community, but for further exposing the good work of the foundation.