WCCF Local Community Funds recently awarded $114,640 to help our communities. Our Local Community Funds (also known as Geographic Funds) have grown over the years and now include six funds serving specific towns and counties in our region. While our organization manages the back office functions and administration for these grant funds, local community leaders raise funds, review applications, and distribute grants to benefit the place they call home. This year, our LCF steering committee volunteers were busier than ever, reviewing record numbers of applications and identifying highest needs to receive funding support. COVID increased community needs but also presented unique challenges to the committees who typically organize fund raising events and hold check presentations. Our committees rose to the occasion by creating fun, alternative ways to celebrate the work of local nonprofits and the impact of the funding (see Ouray County Community Fund Award Celebration video – this can be done by clicking the icon below).

The newest of these funds is the Surface Creek Community Fund. Established in 2019, this fund made its first round of grants in October, distributing over $10,000 to eight local nonprofits in the Cedaredge area. Several steering committees, including those in North Fork and Glenwood, chose to grant a portion of their available funds in the Spring to support emergency food and shelter needs in response to the COVID pandemic. All of the grant committees saw high requests as nonprofits struggled with increased needs and an inability to hold events and fundraisers. Notes Doris McGuire, a founding member of Surface Creek Community Fund, “This competitive grant process really shows that funding is needed for so many worthwhile projects in our area. The selection committee received over $23,000 in requests and we had a thoughtful and deliberate discussion in selecting these awards for the funding we had available. We are working to build this fund to create permanent support for the nonprofits who work to improve the quality of life for our communities.”

To learn more about supporting a geographic fund in your community, contact Kristin Lynch at (970) 243-3767.