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Money available for small local nonprofits

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Nonprofit organizations in the Cedaredge area need to make sure the Western Colorado Community Foundation knows who they are.

The Western Slope Community Foundation of Grand Junction hopes soon to have $6,000 available to nonprofit organizations in the Cedaredge area.

The foundation wants to make "small grants" in the $500 to $1,000 range to Cedaredge area nonprofits and has announced a matching funds program to raise money for doing so, according to Anne Wenzel, foundation director.

The foundation board has contributed $2,000 of its own funds to the Cedaredge area project. A challenge donation of $2,000 from an anonymous community benefactor will be added to the fund, but only if the community can come up with another $2,000 in donations to make a total of $6,000 available.

People wanting to donate for a match to the $2,000 challenge must hurry -- the opportunity to give money will end Oct. 9.

"Donations of any size are appreciated. Donations should be made prior to Oct. 9 to be included in this matching program," say the guidelines of the program.

The deadline for applying for grants is Oct. 15. Grants will be awarded Nov. 3.

Checks should be made payable to Western Colorado Community Foundation and sent to P.O. Box 4334, Grand Junction, CO 81502. Donations can be made online via PayPal at wc-cf.org-Donate.

"To be considered for funding, Cedaredge nonprofits can submit an easy, one-page organizational summary at wc-cf.org/nonprofits/ourgrantmaking. Funds can be used for either general operating support of programs and/or projects that benefit Cedaredge area residents. To be eligible for funding, nonprofits must have a current IRS tax exempt status and be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State," state the guidelines.

The Western Colorado Community Foundation is well-known to a number of area charitable organizations. The foundation has in the past made money available to the Community Garden, Cedaredge Music Boosters, Cedardege Public Library Foundation, Surface Creek Community Services food bank, Surface Creek Valley Historical Society, and to the Town of Cedaredge for its tennis courts.

The foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1996, serving a seven-county region of Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray and Rio Blanco counties.

"The Western Colorado Community Foundation started with engaged citizens, but virtually no funds. We are growing steadily and now manage over $44 million in total assets and more than 250 funds," states the organization's 2014 report.

The foundation has two board members from Delta County -- Aaron Clay and Elaine Brett.

According to foundation director Wenzel, the WCCF today has some $50 million in assets and made $2 million in total awards last year. The foundation donated $2,500 to the Cedaredge Community Garden last spring.

The foundations' report states that the late Don Petersen of Cedaredge "was one of the (WCCF's) first donors to establish a fund at the community foundation. He set up two designated funds that support the Cedaredge Public Library and the Surface Creek Valley Historical Society for the Chapel of the Cross."

Both buildings were constructed with money provided personally by Petersen and his wife, Inez.

The WCCF has a dozen different funds including scholarship funds that have benefited the Cedaredge area in various ways.

Unlike other granting agencies, the foundation's guidelines allow grants for program and operations costs as well as capital expenses.

"Let us know who you are," Wenzel encourages area nonprofit organizations.

"Our (Cedaredge) donor's gift and the community will really increase the funds we can make available to Cedaredge nonprofits," said Wenzel in a statement released by the foundation. "We would love to encourage the same kind of partnerships in Delta and our North Fork communities."

Elaine Brett said that some 50 WCCF grants have been awarded to projects in the North Fork Valley area.

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