Archuleta nonprofits receive $25,000 in CERF funding

By Briggen Wrinkle
Community Foundation serving
Southwest Colorado

The third round of funding from the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) was distributed recently, addressing nonprofit recovery and stabilization for 49 organizations across southwest Colorado. A total of $175,000 was granted, with disbursements ranging from $1,300 to $5,000. The average grant was more than $3,500 per organization.

A nonprofit needs assessment conducted in conjunction with CERF Round 3 funding demonstrated significant financial worries across the nonprofit sector due to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. More than one-third of organizations surveyed reported having to lay off, furlough or reduce pay to staff members over the past four months. Revenue streams for nonprofits have been highly impacted from the COVID-19 crisis, with program and event revenue losses this year estimated to be more than $8 million dollars in southwest Colorado. Offsetting emergency-related grants is expected to cover just 25 percent of the losses in the region.

“Uncertainty in future funding is the primary concern expressed by our local nonprofits,” said Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. “The CERF grant committee designated these recovery funds to support and strengthen nonprofits during these lean times.”

Round 3 emergency funding included matching donations from the Town of Pagosa Springs ($12,000) and the city of Cortez ($10,000). Archuleta County nonprofits received $25,000, Montezuma County and Dolores County nonprofits received $32,500, and La Plata County nonprofits received $117,500.

CERF has infused $500,000 into the community over the last four months. The first two rounds of CERF funding, totaling $201,000, were designated as rapid-response grants distributed in the first two months of the pandemic to human service organizations responding directly to the immediate needs of our community. Another $100,000 was utilized to purchase food for regional food pantries. 

Additionally, CERF funds have supported other projects, such as Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (swcoda.org); Save the Food, Feed the People; and the distribution of protective equipment to nonprofits, such as no-touch thermometers.

“Distributing half a million dollars in just four months has been astounding, inspiring and a little exhausting,” added Wrinkle. “Witnessing the generosity of our neighbors is so encouraging; it is what keeps the Community Foundation motivated to tackle the big issues and ensure our vibrant community will land on its feet when this is all over.”

This story was posted on July 26, 2020.