For the common good

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For the common good

In 2012, La Plata County’s residents gave almost $36 million to hundreds of local nonprofits
David Holub/Durango Herald illustration
Maiurro
Lander
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Sean Duran grills savory kabobs and James Ranch asparagus for the Ore House booth at Taste of Durango. The event, which features local restaurants and is organized by the Durango Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, benefits a local nonprofit each year to the tune of $18,000 to $20,000. Thousands turn out for the good cause and good food each year.
STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 08/19/14 - Sarada Leavenworth, director of the Volunteers of America Community Shelter, at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the shelter.

For the common good

David Holub/Durango Herald illustration
Maiurro
Lander
Fabula
Sean Duran grills savory kabobs and James Ranch asparagus for the Ore House booth at Taste of Durango. The event, which features local restaurants and is organized by the Durango Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, benefits a local nonprofit each year to the tune of $18,000 to $20,000. Thousands turn out for the good cause and good food each year.
STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald - DURANGO - 08/19/14 - Sarada Leavenworth, director of the Volunteers of America Community Shelter, at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the shelter.
Top outside funders to La Plata County nonprofits

Over the past five years, La Plata County nonprofits have received 300 grants totalling $10.219 million from 11 Front Range foundations. Almost all of these foundations have specific causes they support. Boettcher Foundation, for example, gives to “bricks and mortar” or building capital campaigns.
Top funders include:
1. Colorado Health Foundation: 24 grants for $4,627,264.
2. El Pomar Foundation: 114 grants for $1,309,500.
3. Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation: 27 grants for $985,105.
4. Colorado Trust: 7 grants for $694,991.
5. Daniels Fund: 26 grants for $616,500.
6. Gates Family Foundation: 9 grants for $603,000.
7. Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation: 25 grants for $392,500.
8. Boettcher Foundation: 15 grants for $392,000.
9. Anschutz Family Foundation: 45 grants for $265,500.
10. Caring for Colorado Foundation: 5 grants for $239,760.
11. Adolph Coors Foundation: 8 grants for $150,000.

Largest 15 nonprofits in La Plata County

Nobody denies that La Plata County has a lot of nonprofits. Many fall under the IRS limit of $25,000 in revenues for filing a Form 990 and are hard to track. Others, such as Mercy Health Foundation and Volunteers of America, which operates the Durango Community Shelter and Southwest Safehouse, fall under the umbrella of a larger organization.
Using the best information available, here are the 15 largest nonprofits in La Plata County by revenue:
Axis Health System: $9,159,792. (Includes payment for services from individuals, insurance companies, the state and federal governments.)
Southern Ute Community Action Programs, Inc.: $6,829,485
Southwest Conservation Corps: $6,653,215
Community Connections: $4,631,533
Fort Lewis College Foundation: $3,432,908
Durango 4-C Council (elementary/secondary education): $3,376,414
Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado: $2,061,233
La Plata County Humane Society: $1,593,947
Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4Core): $1,588,131
Mercy Health Foundation: $1,576,537
Housing Solutions for the Southwest: $1,451,320
United Way of Southwest Colorado: $1,186,339
Durango Education Center: $1,097,216
Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County: $1,046,371 (Includes sales to homeowners and proceeds from ReStore.)
Manna Soup Kitchen: $885,963. (Includes money raised in a capital campaign for the training and resource center.)

Nonprofits of the Year

In 2006, the Durango Chamber of Commerce began honoring area nonprofits. Each organization was nominated with an extensive overview of what it does and how effectively it does it for the selection committee to review.
The winners so far:
2006: United Way of Southwest Colorado (Finalists: Durango Education Center and Manna Soup Kitchen)
2007: Southwest Institute for Education and Conservation, better known as the Durango Education Center and Southwest Conservation Corps (Finalists: Trails 2000 and Women’s Resource Center)
2008: Community Connections (Finalists: Adaptive Sports Association and Women’s Resource Center)
2009: Southern Ute Community Action Programs (Finalists: San Juan Mountains Association and Sexual Assault Services Organization)
2010: Women’s Resource Center (Finalists: Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County and La Plata Youth Services)
2011: Manna Soup Kitchen (Finalists: La Plata Electric Association Round-Up Foundation and Volunteers of America)
2012: Durango Arts Center (Finalists: Boys & Girls Club and Regional Housing Alliance of La Plata County)
2013: Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County (Finalists: Axis Health System and Volunteers of America)

How generous are we?

Charity Navigator, which tracks the nonprofit sector, says Americans’ giving was up 13 percent in 2013. But the most recent data released by the Internal Revenue Service is for what income tax filers declared for charitable deductions in 2012.
The numbers, as compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, show that we don’t give at the same levels as Coloradans overall or Americans in general, nor are we one of the most generous counties in the country as a percentage of median income given, falling in the bottom 40 percent of all counties in the country:
As of December 2013, Colorado had 17,923 public charities and 1,661 private foundations, with 13,335 charities filing an annual return in the previous 24 months.
Of those reporting, 62 percent had revenues less than $250,000. Only 7 percent had annual revenues more than $1 million.
Coloradans gave $3.367 billion in 2012, with La Plata County residents claiming $35.825 million in deductions.
About 25.5 percent of filers in our county who donated claimed deductions, lower than the Colorado average of 28.9 percent.
La Plata County residents, with a median income of $60,267, gave a median contribution of $2,466, 4.1 percent.
La Plata County ranks 1,916 out of 3,115 counties nationwide in percentage of income given.
Colorado residents, with a median income of $55,577, gave a median contribution of $2,317, 4.2 percent.
U.S. residents, with a median income of $54,783, made a median donation of $2,564, 4.7 percent.
According to the recently released Colorado Civic Health Index Report, which used U.S. Census data, 33.1 percent of Coloradans volunteer, ranking us 12th in the nation. There is a 25 percent increase in volunteer rates for people with bachelor’s degrees compared to those who graduated only high school.
The civic health index also found we are ninth in the nation both for working with neighbors to solve community problems and for holding group membership in a civic or community organization.

In this series

Today: The big picture of the nonprofit scene.
Monday: What does it take to work with the needy?
Tuesday: Who are the donors and how do they give?
Wednesday: The future of nonprofits in La Plata County.

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