The West Elk Community Fund (WECF) announces the formation of a local philanthropic fund to serve the areas in and around Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford. The WECF is partnering with the Western Colorado Community Foundation (WCCF) to help donors establish endowed funds to benefit these communities. Founding members are committed to the needs of the area and to build a funding source for the community for the long term.
The WECF is building a permanent funding source that will be here for our community well into the future. A small group of citizens formed to get the fund started. "Giving through the WECF allows our long term contributions to apply to a broader geographic area, and greatly enhances the quality of life in our community," said Mark Walsh, one of the founding members.
The fund, which includes a generous donation from WCCF, is launching with over $70,000 in this first year. The advisory team plans to make grants available annually to local nonprofits in our area. Community members can participate and make tax-deductible donations of cash, stock or other investments to the fund by contacting WECF or the Western Colorado Community Foundation. "The endowment aspect sold me on the community fund. The contributions we make now will help sustain our beloved nonprofit organizations for years to come," said Kathryn Thompson of Paonia.
This summer, WECF will begin taking applications from local nonprofits within the geographic area. Any local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in good standing may apply. The local advisory team will announce grant awards in December. Sarah Bishop, longtime North Fork Valley resident, said, "We love this community. How better to show our love than to share our treasure. WECF will spread the love and the treasure." For more information, about the application process, or to view the online application, visit http://wc-cf.org/nonprofits/grantmaking/
The West Elk Community Fund is working with the Western Colorado Community Foundation (www.wc-cf.org) to work with donors to establish and build charitable legacy funds and endowments to benefit Western Colorado. Celebrating more than 20 years of service, the Western Colorado Community Foundation is a tax-exempt charity comprised of many funds established by separate donors. Based on the philanthropic model of endowed funds invested to grow over the long-term, with the earnings available annually for charitable giving, WCCF pools funds to provide sustained long term support for our region through grants, scholarships and more.