The Yampa Valley Community Foundation awards over $280,000 to local nonprofits

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) announces the recipients of over $280,000 in community grants to support Arts & Culture, Health and Human Services, Education, Recreation, and Environmental causes in Routt and Moffat Counties.

“Thanks to the generosity of many people across the region, we are thrilled to significantly increase our grant funding this year,” said Tim Wohlgenant, Executive Director of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. “With COVID-19 impacting the entire community, this is a vital year for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation to provide support to the nonprofit organizations who remain committed to improving well-being in the Yampa Valley.”

Through the 2020 Community Grant round, the Foundation awarded $281,780 in grants to 61 organizations.  This is an increase of $77,767 from 2019 and is the largest Community Grants round in the history of YVCF.

“We have arrived at that proverbial ‘rainy day’ when we all need to come together in support of our community,” explained Traci Hiatt, Donor Engagement Manager at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. “We are thankful for our fundholders and donors who recognized the enormous challenges faced by Yampa Valley nonprofits in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and who generously supported the Community Grants round.  This support shows the trust that donors have in YVCF and in the Grants Committee to vet grant requests and distribute funding to the organizations where it is most needed and will have the greatest impact.”

“Because traditional philanthropy overwhelmingly favors program grants over general operating, nonprofit organizations were struggling with obtaining funding for operations even before the COVID-19 pandemic.  With the pandemic, funding was needed that allowed nonprofits the flexibility to adapt their programming while continuing to serve our community, no strings attached,” said Helen Beall, Community Impact Manager at the Community Foundation. “We adapted our 2020 grant cycle to meet this need and, as a result, funding from the grant cycle support 26 nonprofit organizations for general operating support.”

YVCF received applications from sixty-three nonprofit organizations requesting a total of $331,114. Sixty nonprofit organizations received full or partial funding toward their requests.

The annual Community Grant cycle is an opportunity for YVCF to educate itself regarding the current needs in the Yampa Valley.  Grant proposals are researched and analyzed by the Grants Committee, which is comprised of local community volunteers and YVCF Board of Trustees members. Grants are awarded to organizations and programs that best demonstrate an impact on community needs.

Highlights of the 2020 YVCF Community Grant Cycle

Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) received a grant for $16,000 to launch and implement the Yampa Valley Climate Action Collaborative. The Collaborative is modeled after similar, proven efforts on the western slope and capitalizes on the Yampa Valley’s unique cultural and natural heritage and YVSC’s staff capacity. YVSC, in partnership with Routt County, the City of Steamboat Springs, and the Towns of Oak Creek, Hayden, and Yampa, are creating the first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan for Routt County, developing strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across key sectors.

“Collaboration is key to overcoming one of the great challenges to climate action, that is, feeling like individual efforts don’t make a difference given the scale of the problem,” says Michelle Stewart, Executive Director of YVSC. “The Collaborative will convene community partners through Sector Working groups so that YVSC and partners can develop, implement, track and report emissions reductions to make climate action count while building community.”

The Collaborative will serve as the valley’s hub and engine for education, action, reporting, and communication to reduce GHG emissions and foster resilience in the Yampa Valley. The Collaborative will regularly convene local governments, Chamber, Steamboat Ski Corps, CMC, schools, businesses, utilities, and others to identify goals, monitor, track, report, and communicate about GHG emissions reductions across sectors. YVSC staff will facilitate the needed educational training, stakeholder workshops, and reporting services offered through the Collaborative.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps received a grant for $15,000 to expand programming to Moffat County and for general operating.

RMYC has increased its youth corps impact and capacity by 500% in northwest Colorado’s ten rural counties over the past five years, resulting in 281 “local youth on local projects” in 2019. RMYC is excited to expand programming into Moffat County and increase options for youth services, which are currently limited. RMYC will allocate $10,000 of their community grant award toward youth development in Moffat County, enabling RMYC staff to spend significant time, energy, and resources to develop strong relationships in Craig. RMYC will work together with Moffat County partner agencies to implement their youth corps model, with appropriate adaptations to meet the community’s unique needs. This will increase opportunities for Moffat County youth to gain significant personal and professional assets while completing priority community and conservation projects that enhance outdoor recreation amenities and contribute to the local economy.

For a complete list of nonprofits and organizations funded through the grant cycle visit:  https://yvcf.org/non-profits/grants/

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.