What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a public, nonprofit organization established to promote and facilitate philanthropy in a specific geographic area, created by and for the people in that area. Read more from the Council on Foundations here.

Why a community foundation?

In over 1,000 other counties, towns, and cities around our country, community foundations have become a philanthropic focal point, serving donors, nonprofit organizations, and the overall community. But Chaffee County didn’t have a community foundation. Then, the teams working with Envision Chaffee County imagined it.

A small group of dedicated community members has already established the legal framework for the Chaffee County Community Foundation. We believe the time has come to create a powerful force for philanthropy in our mountain community.

Now we need the right people and the right partnerships to make it thrive. That includes you.

Who came up with this idea?

The idea for the community foundation resulted from Envision Chaffee County, a collaboration among county citizens, local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the local government concerned about the challenges of undeniable growth in our community. Participants overwhelmingly agreed that a Community Foundation would support the initiatives that were conceived to address issues identified during the process. And we believe a foundation can do much more.

What will CCCF do for chaffee county?

The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) will increase overall philanthropy in our region. It will support our nonprofit organizations, connect donors to community needs, build permanent charitable funds, and bring people together to solve community problems.

That’s a tall order. How will CCCF do it?

CCCF will do this by helping individuals, families, and businesses establish a wide variety of charitable funds. Grants made to nonprofit groups from these funds will reflect the charitable goals of the donors. Donors and their families will have an opportunity to be actively involved in the selection of these nonprofit groups.

Here’s an example: Jane Donor is passionate about young people and keeping them here in the valley. In fact, she feels that in Chaffee County there should be an avenue for students who are interested in the trades to get help attending a community college. With CCCF’s help, she sets up a charitable fund and each spring awards scholarships to deserving individuals. Mission accomplished.

That’s just one example. But imagine the possibilities: more scholarships, funds that care for our environment, support for nonprofits already doing good work here. The list is as fantastic as your imagination.

In addition, CCCF will provide leadership and expertise to address other community issues and serve as a knowledge resource for nonprofit, civic, government and philanthropic organizations. We have an untapped bank of intellectual property in our retiree population here in Chaffee County. The foundation will help link those who have expertise and experience to those who need information and assistance.

Working closely with community leaders, CCCF’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board will develop a broad perspective of Chaffee County. With this in-depth understanding, CCCF will be alert to emerging needs in order to respond quickly and effectively. CCCF will convene groups including donors, nonprofit leaders, and elected officials to work together on community problem-solving.

Evidence shows, time after time, that community foundations across the country foster greater giving and volunteering in their communities.