Friends of Wilderness Opens Endowment Fund to Facilitate Legacy Giving

With the launch of the 2019 summer season, Friends of Wilderness took a large step in its future by announcing the Friends of the Wilderness Endowment Fund to be managed by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF). A percentage of the interest accumulated from this fund will be used to sustain and support the ongoing, annual needs of this organization.
The fund was established with an anonymous $10,000 donation.

“This donation represents a timely investment in the evolution of FOW.  Our membership numbers have quadrupled in the last six years, and as we become a more active and valuable partner with the Forest Service, our financial resources must grow to keep pace,” explained Dan Schaffrick, FOW Board President.

“This is a big step for a growing organization.  It shows that the donor not only appreciates the importance of our mission, but has faith in the future of our group. For a moment, we can shift our focus from the day-to-day operations of the group and look toward a more stable future.”

FOW is an all-volunteer group with no paid staff. Funding from the endowment will be used to support:

  • Creating a trail presence
  • Providing a source of information
  • Performing trail maintenance
  • Reporting trail problems that need attention
  • Checking trailheads
  • Monitoring campsites
  • Identifying invasive noxious weeds
  • Encouraging LEAVE NO TRACE practices


Nonprofits with endowments held at YVCF are eligible to earn .25 cents for every dollar donated to support their fund.  Nonprofits can earn up to $10,000 through the incentive matching challenge.

YVCF created this challenge as a way to aid nonprofits to secure their future and ability to serve their community.  Nonprofits with endowments can provide stability today and into the future.  For example, a nonprofit with a $100,000 endowment will be able to receive approximately $4,500 annually in perpetuity.  Nonprofit endowments held at YVCF benefit from being pooled and invested, currently over $16 million dollars in YVCF assets.

“It’s a secure funding source for your organization, and we believe endowments are beneficial for an organization to have financial stability,” explained Mark Andersen, Executive Director of YVCF. “It is a great way for nonprofit organizations to show financial security and have a dedicated funding source.”

In addition to the FOW the following nonprofit organizations also have endowments held at YVCF that are eligible for the YVCF Nonprofit Endowment Matching Challenge.

  • Advocates in Routt County
  • Community Agriculture Alliance
  • Tread of Pioneers Museum
  • Yampa Valley Sustainability Council
  • South Routt Education Endowment
  • Steamboat Art Museum
  • Routt County Council on Aging
  • Historic Routt County

Nonprofits can join the challenge by opening a fund at YVCF with a $10,000 investment. YVCF will match this initial gift with $2,500.

Additional information about YVCF Nonprofit Endowment Matching Challenge is available at


The Yampa Valley Community Foundation is the primary source for philanthropic resources and education for both donors and nonprofit organizations in Northwest Colorado. We promote thoughtful, individualized, charitable giving and create endowments that have meaningful impact in the Yampa Valley. In all that we do, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation operates with the highest integrity. We are the gold standard in client services and a trusted resource to the community. Our work is impeccable, impactful and transparent to those we serve.

The mission of Friends of Wilderness (FOW) is to assist the United States Forest Service (USFS) in managing and protecting wilderness areas in the Routt National Forest and parts of the White River National Forest. In 2018, 92 volunteers contributed 7,062 hours, cleared 1,543 trees and rehabbed 116 backcountry campsites. Additional information about Friend of Wilderness is available at