Over $900,000 awarded to community organizations

The Telluride Foundation Board of Directors awarded $901,200 in Community Grants to 70 regional nonprofits today, bringing the total grants given in 2011 by the Foundation to over $2.2 million.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors and the leadership of the Board, the Telluride Foundation is able to distribute over $900,000 in grant awards. The Board was able to  match the 2008 levels of grant awards, which is a considerable goal during these difficult economic time.  We are extremely grateful to these generous donors who support the vital work that our community nonprofits and organizations do for all of us,” said Brian O’Neill, Chair of the Telluride Foundation.

 In its 2011 annual Community Granting cycle, the Foundation received 86 applications seeking $1,597,694 . The Foundation awarded grants to 71 of the 86 groups that applied, and awards ranged from $1,900 to $40,000, with 28 percent going to human services, 22 percent of the grants funding early childhood development, 19 percent to arts and culture, 18 percent to education, 8 percent to athletic groups, and 4 percent to the environment/animals. Local groups receiving grant awards included organizations serving Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway, Norwood, Nucla and Naturita.  The Telluride Foundation supports many types of organizations in the community that serve the people who live or work in San Miguel County

“The Grants Committee was again faced with some very difficult decisions this year, as the economy continues to take its toll on our western slope communities.Across the board, grant requests generally increased from last year, mainly a result of the economy. We reviewed and discussed every grant in detail, giving each request great consideration. We believe the decisions we made are reflective of the true need of our nonprofits in these challenging economic times,” said Patricia Maxon, a member of the Grants Committee and last year’s chair.

“The all electronic grants application system went very smoothly this year” said April Montgomery, Programs Director at the Telluride Foundation, “Most applicants appear to have gotten used to the system, and we will continually upgrade the system as the software improves.”

The Foundation plans to send out an electronic survey to all grant applicants during January to better understand how the Foundation can continue to improve the electronic application system and grant making process.

The Telluride Foundation’s Community Grant award recommendations are drafted by the seven-member Grants Committee, all of whom sit on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The committee evaluates the grant requests against a rigorous set of criteria and forwards their slate of recommendations to the full Board for review and final approval. The Grants Committee is comprised of Chairman Brian O’Neill, Patricia Maxon, Dan Tishman, Allan Gerstle, Susan Saint James, Richard Betts, and Megan McManemin. Their recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on December 29th. The Foundation’s next round of local grants will be announced in December of 2012, with applications due October 29, 2012.

In addition to its annual Community Grant awards, the Foundation has continued to expand its funding and the reach of its initiative-based granting programs such as the Tri-County Health Network, Bright Futures Early Childhood Development Fund, the family emergency Good Neighbor Fund, the Immigrant Integration Initiative – One Telluride, and the Special Initiatives Grant Program.

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the cultivation and promotion of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and/or working in the Telluride region for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region.

For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit

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