Mission

The mission of the Western Colorado Community Foundation is to promote charitable giving, build and manage charitable funds for community good, and provide grants, scholarships, and other resources to benefit the residents and communities of western Colorado.

History

Colorado Gives Day

The Western Colorado Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public charity established by local community leaders in 1996. We serve a seven county region that includes Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, and Rio Blanco Counties.

The Western Colorado Community Foundation started with engaged citizens, but virtually no funds. We are growing steadily and now manage over $118 million in total assets and more than 350 funds.

A number of donors have made provisions for a future gift to the Western Colorado Community Foundation through their will or estate plan. We have over 130 members of our Legacy Society; with planned gifts at an estimated value of $75 million.

2022 is our Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary year and we have a lot of exciting programs and celebrations planned. The focus for our Community Foundation this year will be on Dreaming Forward and will include plans to expand our nonprofit capacity-building work, strengthen our regional infrastructure through our local community funds, and expand our leadership work in hunger, conservation/outdoor recreation/environment, and youth mental health.

Vision

In 2022, our Board of Directors undertook a visioning and strategic planning process to chart a course for our future and define a vision for 2026. five broad organizational goals for 2026 came out of this planning process:

Donor Cultivation and Asset Development: We will provide highly effective donor relations strategies to further engage current donors and implement strategic donor cultivation efforts to build assets and engage donors, new and future.

Expand and Deepen our Regional Presence: We will be strengthening and deepen our work in local communities, through strengthening WCCF’s Local Community Funds and other donor development strategies.

Community Leadership Work: WCCF will strengthen, deepen, and expand Community Leadership Work as a way to broaden donor engagement in crucial community issues, facilitate collaboration across community sectors and organizations, and attract long term donors to WCCF.

Nonprofit Capacity-Building: We will invest in strengthening the governance, leadership, and management of our nonprofit organizations so our grantees are better equipped to fulfill their own missions providing direct services and improving life in the communities we serve.

Organizational Development and Sustainability: WCCF will strengthen and grow our own organization to meet the increased demands associated with being a $150+million Community Foundation. This will include a diverse and equitable board of directors; hiring and retaining strong staff; developing shared goals and clear accountability structures, right-sized processes and institutionalized operating procedures; and full use of technology in order to fulfill our vision.

Milestones

1996 – Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in the State of Colorado
1997 – First donor-advised fund created by Harold and Ruth Moss
1999 – First end-of-life legacy gift received from the estate of Jane Quimby
2001– Community Grants Fund established with a 3-year challenge grant from the Boettcher Foundation
2002 – First scholarship fund established in memory of Lew Goodhart
2005 – First real estate gift donated
2006 – First million dollar fund established
2006 – N*STAR nonprofit training program endowed by the Bacon Family Foundation
2007 – $10 million in total assets
2008 – First affiliation partnerships established with Two Rivers Community Foundation and Rifle Community Foundation in Garfield County
2010 – $1 million annual grants and scholarships awarded
2012 – 15th anniversary celebrated with over $1.5 million annual grants and scholarships awarded and $35 million in total assets
2015 – Record breaking $2.1 million in annual grants and scholarships awarded
2016 – $50 million in total assets
2017 – 20th Anniversary celebration with over $2.5 million in annual grants and scholarships awarded and $60 million in total assets
2019 – $80 million in total assets
2021 – $100 million in total assets
2022 – 25th Anniversary year

Fast Facts

Ouray Colorado
  • Established in 1996
  • Tax Status – WCCF is a classified as “tax exempt” under the section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Governance – 15 member volunteer board of directors
  • Accreditation – Confirmed in compliance with national standards for U.S. community foundations

As of year-end 2021:

  • $4.7 million in grants and scholarships distributed
  • $7 million in new donations
  • 23 new donor funds established
  • $118.8 million in total assets under management, an 18% year-over-year increase