The power of a Community Grant Cycle
While reviewing financial documents submitted by the Community Budget Center (CBC) in their 2023 Community Grant application, a Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) committee member grew concerned about a projected budgeted loss for the year, due to one large outstanding expense. The Community Budget Center is a thrift store that also provides important financial assistance to Moffat County residents. Through a follow-up phone call from YVCF’s Finance Director Karen O’Connor and a site visit from Greg Hamilton, Program Officer, YVCF learned that the thrift store had sustained major damage from last winter’s heavy snow and ice load and would be unable to remain open this coming winter without major repairs to their roof, external brickwork, internal sheetrock and insulation, and more. Having secured $23,000 from insurance, they faced a $77,000 gap in funding toward the projected $100,000 replacement cost and were contemplating alternate sources of funding including a GoFundMe page.
YVCF rapidly engaged its donor outreach and granting gears. After requesting a semi-formal “Nonprofit Needs Request” to collect additional information from CBC, we then reached out to a select handful of donors who might be interested in assisting. A generous anonymous donor quickly stepped up to fully fund the need. “We pride ourselves with being able to connect donors with needs in the community, and this is such a rewarding example of what we get to do in our everyday work” says Traci Hiatt, Donor Engagement Manager at YVCF.
Genevieve Yazzie, who has been Executive Director of CBC just since the beginning of May, says, “Learning about this donation was the best stress-relief I’ve ever had. It was extremely enlightening talking to YVCF staff and hearing about how much community support is out there.” CBC is working with a local contractor and believes the majority of the work will be completed in October.
The annual Community Grant Cycle at YVCF distributes funds to nonprofits in the Yampa Valley and also opens doors for conversations about how YVCF can further support nonprofits with training and capacity building. “Our committee of 20 community members does an incredibly thorough job vetting grant applications including financial review and site visits to every applicant. This process connects us with every nonprofit that applies and gives us insight into successes they’re having and issues they’re struggling with,” says Greg Hamilton, Program Officer.
This grant will enable CBC to remain open through the coming winter and continue to provide essential services in Moffat County.