Telluride Foundation: $1Million in Community Grants

Revised Telluride Foundation logo

Telluride Foundation: $1Million in Community Grants

72 local organizations benefit from generosity of Telluride Foundation donors.


Seventy-two regional nonprofits will end the year happy to know they will have more funding for their critical programs and projects. 

The Telluride Foundation announced its Community Grant awards on December 30, following recommendations by its Board of Directors. In its 14th year of giving Community Grants, the Foundation awarded $984,650 to nonprofit organizations serving the region, bringing the total grants given in 2015 by the Foundation to just under $4 million. The Foundation has provided over $38 million in grants to the region since its inception in 2000, without an endowment.

“The Community Grants program is a fundamental program of the Telluride Foundation, which supports a vibrant community and a strong safety net,” said Davis Fansler, Chair of the Grants Committee. “Our region is fortunate to have such committed and generous donors that appreciate and support the important work of our local hardworking nonprofits.”

In its 2015 annual Community Granting cycle, the Foundation received 82 applications seeking over $1.3 million.  The Foundation awarded grants ranging from $1,900 to $90,000, with 28 percent going to human services; 18 percent funding arts and culture; 18 percent to education; 16 percent to early childhood development; 15 percent to athletic groups; and 5 percent to the environment/animals. Local groups receiving grant awards included organizations serving Telluride, Rico, Ouray, Ridgway, Norwood, Nucla, Naturita, and Paradox. The Telluride Foundation supports regional organizations that serve San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose, and portions of Dolores counties.

 “After two years of planning, this year the Foundation instituted a new policy having applicants take one in five years off for applying for a grant,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “About 13 organizations volunteered to take this round off, providing additional funding the Grants Committee could allocate to new programs and projects as well as to capital applications. This policy’s primary intent is to reinforce nonprofit sustainability and financial health by encouraging financial reserves, diverse revenue streams, and earned income opportunities, in addition to reducing dependency on a single funder, such as the Telluride Foundation.” 

“Also as a new policy, the Foundation is funding capital projects.

“This year we awarded three capital grants totaling $135,000” said April Montgomery, Programs Director. “From a commercial kitchen in Naturita, a new bus for Paradox Charter School students, to a new snow cat for grooming Nordic trails, these capital projects will be a lasting, substantial benefit to the region, helping to address critical needs for local communities.” 

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 Davis Fansler, Ann Andrews, Richard Betts, Kevin Holbrook, Megan McManemin, Joanne Brown, and George Glasier. Their recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on December 30th. The Foundation’s next round of local grant applications will be due in October 2016, and announced at the end of December 2016.

In addition to its annual Community Grant awards, the Foundation has continued to expand its funding and the reach of Impact Initiatives such as its Telluride Venture Accelerator, broadband initiative, workforce housing initiative, STEM professional development initiative, family emergency Good Neighbor Fund, and Paradox Community Development Initiative.

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

Organization 2015 Award Grant Award For
7th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, DBA Dolphin House $12,000 to support victims of child abuse in the San Miguel watershed area.
Basin Clinic, Inc. $12,500 to provide sliding scale indigent care for primary and urgent care patients.
Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families $30,000 to support Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visitation program.
CASA of the Seventh Judicial District Inc., d/b/a Voices for Children $5,000 for general operating support.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) $5,000 to support the San Juan avalanche education and forecasting program.
Colorado Mountain Club $4,000 to facilitate trail maintenance and restoration projects in the BLM Burn Canyon trail system.
Dolores County School District RE-2J $3,000 for general operating support for the Rico preschool program.
EcoAction Partners $3,000 to support the Energy Outreach weatherization program.
Friends of the Wright Opera House $5,000 to grow the Wright’s theater program.
Haven House of Montrose, Inc (dba Haven House) $2,000 to support Transitional Housing and Child Development programs for the homeless and their children.
Hilltop Health Services Corporation $7,500 to increase accessibility to advocacy, shelter & safe-house services for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in Ouray and San Miguel counties.
Hispanic Affairs Project $9,000 to provide community education, outreach and affordable immigration legal assistance to low-income individuals and families.
Lone Cone Library District $5,000 to support GED and adult programming.
Many Hands Fiber Arts Festival $2,000 to increase advertising and support the Arts Festival.
Midwestern Colorado Mental Health Center $15,000 to support 24-hour no-cost crisis services and the income-based sliding fee scale program.
Montezuma Land Conservancy $5,000 to support the San Miguel Conservation Program that protects open space and Gunnison Sage-grouse habitat while increasing conservation easement awareness.
Mountain Munchkins Child Care and Preschool $30,000 to help support infant care operating costs, continuing education costs, and the scholarship fund.
Mountain Sprouts Preschool $10,000 for tuition assistance and program development.
Mountainfilm, Ltd. $20,000 for general operating expenses for the 2016 Mountainfilm festival.
Norwood Fire Protection District, EMS Service $3,000 to offset the revenue lost from treating indigent and uninsured patients.
Norwood School District $7,000 to purchase video and lighting equipment for the video production program.
One to One San Miguel Mentoring $40,000 to support the general operations of the organization, equipment, and contract labor.
Ouray and San Miguel County WIC Program $2,500 for the 2016 Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program.
Ouray County Food Pantry, Inc. $4,000 to purchase food to support the operation of the pantry.
Ouray County Performing Arts Guild $4,000 to partially cover the a salary for an administrative assistant.
Ouray County Schools Community Resource Consortium, Inc. $15,000 to provide enrichment and prevention programming in Ouray County.
Paradox Valley Charter School $9,500 for arts and academic focused after school programs.
Paradox Valley Charter School – Capital $30,000 to help purchase a replacement school bus.
Partners of Delta, Montrose and Ouray $3,000 to support mentoring for at-risk youth in Ouray County.
Rainbow School and Daycare Center  $30,000 for tuition assistance.
Reach Out And Read Colorado $1,900 to promote literacy and school readiness in San Miguel County.
Region 10 Economic Assistance and Planning $62,000 for a  partnership among 6 organizations that supports the independence of older and disabled adults in the West End of Montrose County, San Miguel and Ouray counties.
Ridgway Composite Mountain Bike Team $2,000 to pay for coaching licensing fees, team equipment, and travel costs.
Ridgway School District R2 $7,000 to support the “Learn to Ski” program, for approximately 186 students in grades 3-8.
Rimrocker Historical Society Of Western Montrose County Inc $6,500 to purchase museum collections management software, hire a collections documentation intern, and develop technologically enhanced local history programs.
San Miguel and Ouray Counties Juvenile Diversion Program $10,000 for general operating.
San Miguel Educational Fund    KOTO $25,000 to enhance local radio programming and support daily news, public affairs broadcasting, and live broadcast programming.
San Miguel Resource Center (SMRC) $44,000 for general operating support to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
San Miguel Watershed Coalition $10,000 for water quality monitoring and administration of environmental and recreational water use needs assessment and Stream Management Plan for the San Miguel River.
Sheridan Arts Foundation $20,000 for nonprofit rental subsidies, scholarship funds for the Young People’s Theater, and for West End students attending Wild West Fest.
Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center $2,500 to fund scholarships, for 8th-10th grade students from Ouray, San Miguel, and/or West Montrose Counties (and Rico), to attend the 2016 Health Careers Camp.
SPARKy Productions Inc $3,500 for production expenses of the Telluride Playwright Festival.
Telluride Academy $25,000 for tuition assistance for summer and after-school experiential education programs.
Telluride Aids Benefit $4,500 for local outreach and education, including promotion of free HIV testing.
Telluride Avalanche Dogs $5,000 to secure dogs’ medical costs, assist with additional training/education of dogs and handlers.
Telluride Choral Society $6,000 for generating operating support.
Telluride Community Television $10,000 for equipment ($5,000) and general operating support ($5,000) for media arts education.
Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities, dba Telluride Arts $25,000 for implementation of the Telluride Cultural Master Plan.
Telluride Lizard Heads $6,000 for organizational support and coaching.
Telluride Mountain Club $10,000 for the Regional Trails Inventory and Mapping Initiative.
Telluride Mountain School $10,000 to support the financial assistance program.
Telluride Nordic Association, Inc. $6,000 for general operating support for trail maintenance.
Telluride Nordic Association, Inc. – Capital $90,000 to help purchase a Pisten Bully 100SCR snow cat for grooming Nordic ski trails.
Telluride Preschool $12,000 to offer scholarships, maintain teacher salaries and general operating support.
Telluride R-1 School District $10,000 to provide English language classes for non-native-English-speaking adults, including parents of Telluride R-1 students.
Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club $25,000 for financial assistance to families in need (50%) and to expand existing programming and to add new programs (50%).
Telluride Society For Jazz $18,000 for general operating support and to help promote the 40th anniversary of the Telluride Jazz Festival.
Telluride Theatre $18,000 to support theatrical performances, interactive community events, and drama education programs.
Telluride Youth Lacrosse Association $4,000 for general operating support.
Telluride Youth Soccer Club $9,750 to cover the difference between the cost of the soccer program and tuition ($8,000) and  to buy an equipment storage trailer ($1,750).
The Pinhead Institute $21,000 to fund the Internship, No School Science Project, Scholars in the Schools, Punk Science, and First Lego League robotics programs.
The San Juan Independent $2,500 to fund investigative journalism and mixed-media-driven stories.
The Trust for Public Land $10,000 to preserve scenic vistas along the San Juan Skyway and conserve water resources and wildlife habitat by securing a conservation easement on Sawtooth Ranch.
The Watershed Education Program (WEP) $8,000 to expand number of field trips and implement experiential curriculum in the watershed school districts.
Top of the Pines, Inc. – Capital $4,000 to purchase equipment and construct a low ropes course.
Tri-County Health Network $20,000 for general operating support.
Uncompahgre Volunteer Legal Aid $5,000 for general operating support.
Weehawken Creative Arts & Ridgway Chautauqua Society (Jointly) $22,500 for two organizations, coming together, seeking general operations and programming support to further strengthen their shared management arrangement.
West End Economic Development Corporation WEEDC $15,000 for renovations to a building to be used as a co-working space and community kitchen.
West End Family Link Center $13,000 for general operating support.
Western Colorado Council, Boy Scouts of America $2,000 for general operating support for Scouting programs, including membership, camp, and uniform/curriculum cost assistance.
Wright Stuff Foundation d.b.a. Prime Time Early Learning Center $40,000 for general operating support.



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