Western Colorado Community Foundation celebrates 25th anniversary by donating to the local endowment fund

Anne Wenzel the president and CEO for the Western Colorado Community Foundation announcing the $25,000 donation check to be matched for the Two River Unrestricted Endowment fund
two rivers com found

The Western Colorado Community Foundation is celebrating its 25-year anniversary by donating more funding to the local Two Rivers Unrestricted Endowment fund. 

“It’s a great opportunity for us because we don’t do a whole lot of aggressive fundraising,” said Amber Wissing, president of the Two Rivers Community Foundation. “When this actually came up, it was like, ‘Oh, gosh — we really have a chance that we don’t usually have.’”

As one part of the celebrations for the anniversary, they received a donation from an anonymous donor who is willing to match up to $25,000 as a donation to a local fund called the Two Rivers Unrestricted Endowment Fund. 

Two Rivers Community Foundation will have until December 31 to raise money for the match. 

Community foundations can help bridge the gap between nonprofits and people looking to help with the community, with donors or philanthropists who wish to give to their local community but want to trust their funds will be spent exactly where and how they wish it to be spent. 

“Two Rivers Community Foundation is like an umbrella that lets little community projects come under them, and, then, we do the administrative piece for them,” Wissing said. 

Which is a lot of the appeal for all community foundations. 

She went on to explain that there is no requirement for these community-driven groups to have a 501c3 status because the community foundation handles the administrative and tax work for them. 

This leaves the community work to the individual groups and the heavy paperwork for the community foundations. 

“Then, during our grant cycle, we open it up, so any little projects can apply. And, we have a section of our board form a committee, and they go through and vet those projects and distribute however much money we have to give away,” she said.

Community foundations are also able to honor the wishes of the donor and distribute those donations accordingly. 

Locally, there are two main community foundations that work together on some projects. There is the Western Colorado Community Foundation, which covers seven counties in the western regions, including Garfield, Eagle and Mesa counties, and there is the Two Rivers Community Foundation, which covers Carbodale to New Castle and some of the areas outside. 

Two Rivers Community Foundations works under an umbrella of the Western Colorado Community Foundation. 

“We provided the challenge to them last week with our money, so we’re helping ourselves build a fund that the whole community can both give to and then go to to get grant funding,” said Anne Wenzel, president and CEO of Western Colorado Community Foundation. 

The endowment fund was created by the Western Colorado Community Fund and is maintained by the Two Rivers Community Foundation. The funds are specifically determined to be spent within the community of the region by the Two Rivers Community Foundation. 

“Because it’s an endowment, and it’ll go on and on,” Wenzel said. “And, because it’s a grant fund, and nonprofits and other groups can apply; there’s a lot of administrative work to maintain that.

She said that that is where the majority of the Western Colorado Community Foundation comes back into the picture. They have the staff, the systems and the online application system. 

“We provide all that support to them, those volunteers, so that they can focus on both the fundraising, and the fun part of giving the money away,” she said. “We manage the process, but people in Glenwood review the requests and pick what to support.”

This year’s 25th anniversary grant theme for the Western Colorado Community Foundation is Dreaming Forward.

“It’s really a beautiful way for lots of people to come together, pool their money and then provide financial support to a lot of great causes,” Wenzel said. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.