Southwest Coloradans are known for coming together to solve problems, but sometimes more money is needed than can be raised locally.
Enter Rural Philanthropy Days, which, every four years, brings the large foundations from the Front Range down to see the good work we are doing. They are familiar names – El Pomar, Anschutz, Gates Family and Temple Hoyne Buell among them.
And 2014 is Southwest Colorado’s turn out of the eight regions in the state, with more than 350 leaders and staff of nonprofits attending the Pagosa Springs-based event.
“It’s just been a spectacular year,” said Susan Lander, who served on the event’s Steering Committee for 20 years and is on hand this year just to present workshops. “Wednesday, the workshops were packed, and we had a stunning dinner in the Pagosa Folk Festival’s Tent that night, watching the sun go down at Reservoir Hill.”
In 2010, Mancos had the honor.
It’s also a time for nonprofit leaders to garner new skills. And after all the workshops and advance training, today is the culmination with the roundtables, where various charities get to introduce their particular organization to the funders.
The outcome is not small change.
“I remember, in 1998, we topped $1 million coming back to area organizations, and we were over the moon,” said Lander, former executive director of the Women’s Resource Center and Music in the Mountains. “In 2008, it was $8.5 million, and in 2014, it was easily over $10 million.”