Cortez to host Rural Philanthropy Days

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 5:06 PM

Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days will be held in Cortez this year Sept. 12-14.

The sold-out conference provides information, networking and professional trainings for community organizations that rely on fundraising and grants to operate.

Thirty-five workshops and sessions will be offered, and there will be 70 presenters. Other activities give participants time to network and learn what their colleagues are doing in other areas of the Southwest.

About 370 people are attending, said event organizer Kristi Smith.

“The goal of the conference is to increase access to resources to support sustainable rural nonprofits and encourage collaboration on a regional scale,” Smith said. “Local nonprofits meet one-on-one with funders from the Front Range and from the region.”

Sessions focus on grant writing, building boards, ballot measures, messaging, surveys, fundraising, logic models for government grants and more. A presentation will be given on the results of the Southwest Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Statement.

In one exercise, grant seekers get immediate feedback from potential grant makers. Each grant seeker will have two minutes to give a pitch in “speed-dating” style conversations with grant makers. Grant makers will then provide immediate feedback.

As the host city, Cortez volunteers are providing tours of local attractions to attendees from out of town. A reception and tour of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center also will be provided.

A new feature is the Southwest Regional Town Hall, in which small groups of community leaders and nonprofit professionals will discuss the strengths and assets of Southwest Colorado.

“Participants leave feeling motivated and ready to establish new partnerships and discover key opportunities,” Smith said.