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Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days conference expected to sell out quickly

By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Kristi Smith Members of the Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days steering committee gather at the April monthly planning meeting. Those in attendance include, front row, left to right: Cheryl Bowdridge, Kumella Aiu, Peggy Tennyson, Laurie Knutson, Carmen Hubbs, Briggen Wrinkle, Bev Rich and Pauline Benetti. Second row: Mark Douglass, Michael Whiting, Kirsten Le Roux, Dee McPeek, Mary Jo Coulehan and Suzette Collard. Third row: Chris O’Shea Heydinger, Lynne Bridges, Joanne Irons, Jaynee Fontecchio-Spradling and Natalie Howard. Fourth row: Teresa Malone and Leah Rausch.

Photo courtesy Kristi Smith
Members of the Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days steering committee gather at the April monthly planning meeting. Those in attendance include, front row, left to right: Cheryl Bowdridge, Kumella Aiu, Peggy Tennyson, Laurie Knutson, Carmen Hubbs, Briggen Wrinkle, Bev Rich and Pauline Benetti. Second row: Mark Douglass, Michael Whiting, Kirsten Le Roux, Dee McPeek, Mary Jo Coulehan and Suzette Collard. Third row: Chris O’Shea Heydinger, Lynne Bridges, Joanne Irons, Jaynee Fontecchio-Spradling and Natalie Howard. Fourth row: Teresa Malone and Leah Rausch.

Registration is now open for the 2014 Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days (SWRPD) conference to be hosted by Pagosa Springs from June 11-13.  The conference is expected to be a sell out, with a recent RPD closing registration after just the first month. Delegates are encouraged not to delay in securing their conference seat, and to take advantage of the April Early Bird Special of $30 off the full-priced ticket. Registration will be online through the website www.southwestrpd.org.

SWRPD is a collaborative program that builds excellence among the nonprofit and social service agencies that support our communities. It also brings financial support and professional development opportunities to community, arts and environmental organizations in our region of Southwest Colorado, including the counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan.

The conference convenes representatives of foundations and nonprofits from the Denver metro area with local foundations and government leaders for three days of capacity-building workshops and funder roundtables. This conference, coordinated in collaboration with Community Resource Center (CRC), allows grant seekers from our region to build partnerships with foundations based out of the Front Range of Colorado.

Event coordinator Kristi Smith commented, “It’s not surprising to me that SWRPD is anticipating a quick sell-out as it’s one of the most unique opportunities available to regional and rural not-for-profits. To be given a stage to some of the most significant and effective funders on the front range could mean an injection of support and resources that could change the immediate future for that organization.”

Besides access to funders, delegates will also have the opportunity to network with other government officials and not-for-profits with the potential for collaboration and sharing of ideas, as well as attend valuable development sessions and presentations on issues that affect the not-for-profit sector.

In order to make the RPD experience as effective as possible, CRC and the Anschutz Family Foundation is offering pre-conference training with registration. All nonprofit delegates are urged to attend these critical three-hour workshops to maximize their organization’s exposure to the right funders. Details of the sessions will be highlighted in the registration and are on the website www.southwestrpd.org.

SWRPD will be offering 25 scholarships of $100 (one per organization) to anyone needing financial assistance to attend. Scholarship application deadline is May 5 at 5 p.m. Applications can be downloaded from www.southwestrpd.org.

If you are not attending the SWRPD in your capacity as a not-for-profit operative, government official or funder. Please consider offering your time as a Pagosa Springs ambassador and volunteer at the conference. Please contact southwestrpd@gmail.com or call Kristi Smith, event coordinator, at (402) 417-3585 if you can help. For more information, visit the website www.southwestrpd.org.

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.