Philanthropy Days provides opportunities

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Representatives from more than 20 nonprofit organizations in Moffat County spent three days in Granby networking for dollars from some of the state's largest foundations.

It's a chance they haven't had since 2001 and won't have again for three years.

The annual Philanthropy Days was Monday and Tuesday. Philanthropy Days provides nonprofits the opportunity to meet funders face-to-face, to network with those who offer similar services and to learn how to better run their organizations. The event is held in two of the state's seven regions every year. Nonprofits can attend only when it's held in their regions.

"I think the people who attended felt it was very beneficial to them and well-worth their time," United Way Director Corrie Scott said.

She estimates that Moffat County organizations secured $3 million in grants because of connections made at Philanthropy Days in 2001.

"It really is a great opportunity," Scott said. "It's not just about money -- though that's important -- it's about networking and meeting others who provide similar services and learning from them."

Although several Moffat County groups were represented -- The Memorial Hospital, Community Budget Center, the dental coalition and Love Inc., to name a few -- Scott thought participation was down this year.

"I don't know if that's a sign of the times," she said. "Everyone's so busy, short-staffed and facing budget cuts."

She said she was approached by foundations looking to fund drug- and alcohol-prevention efforts.

Scott was able to connect the them with those representing Communities Overcoming Methamphetamine Abuse and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

Others were looking to enhance outreach services to Latino communities.

Craig Parks and Recreation Department Director Dave Pike attended, hoping to find funding for a recreation center, and he found two organizations open to the idea.

"I got to talk to funders and find out who would and wouldn't do certain things," he said. "This was a really good opportunity to get some one-on-one time with these particular foundations."

That saves time, he said. Now he knows where to concentrate his efforts.

Evelyn Tileston, director of the Independent Life Center had good experiences after the 2001 Philanthropy Days and expects this year's event to net more positive results.

"I was more comfortable this time," she said. "Last time, I was scared to death."

She was invited to submit proposals to five different funders -- all of them new to the ILC.

Although the Boys & Girls Club of Craig has connections with several state agencies and private foundations, Director Jonathan Godes said the event was a good chance to strengthen those ties and make new ones.

"You would have a very hard time finding a nonprofit that went from Moffat County that didn't benefit," he said. "By going, you can only help yourself."

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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