Group creating initiative to help increase funding for local nonprofits |

Group creating initiative to help increase funding for local nonprofits

Matt Stensland

— A group of current and aspiring leaders in the Steamboat Springs community has created Yampa Valley Gives, an initiative to make it easier for people to donate to local nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties through the ColoradoGives program.

Nonprofits that are interested in becoming eligible to be part of the initiative are invited to a kick-off party at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Chief Theater in Steamboat. The event, which is hosted by Yampa Valley Gives, will offer information about how nonprofits can qualify for the program and boost their online giving potential.

Those interested in attending are asked to email

“We definitely felt that there is a need for this in the community,” Yampa Valley Gives Board President Glen Traylor said. “I brought the idea to Leadership Steamboat. They thought it was a great idea and rallied behind it.”

Traylor is also a member of Leadership Steamboat, a class designed to foster community leaders that is taught by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Colorado Mountain College. Each class of 20 students is required to do a project, and this year’s class chose to develop Yampa Valley Gives. Traylor said the initiative has been a significant undertaking.

“This class has bit off a big one,” Traylor said. “A majority of the group has been active and involved in the production of this.”

Yampa Valley Gives has been working closely with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation to launch the program. Yampa Valley Gives recently was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Boettcher and El Pomar foundations. The money is being used for marketing and also to offer incentives for people to give and for nonprofits to participate in the program.

Traylor said the group is contacting 80 nonprofits initially, and participation will grow because Yampa Valley Gives is being set up to last in perpetuity. On the ColoradoGives website, donors will be able to choose exactly which group they want to donate to.

Tarsha Ebbern, with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, said there is a process for nonprofits to become part of the Yampa Valley Gives and ColoradoGives initiatives. This is to help assure donors that the groups are certified as being legitimate.

“This is just the first year of a really big campaign,” Ebbern said. “Not all of the nonprofits will be able to be on the website this year. It will grow in the future. If they don’t qualify right now, we will tell them what they need to do in the next 12 months to be on the site next year.”

People can give year-round through ColoradoGives, which was started by the Community First Foundation and has raised more than $81 million for nonprofits. Colorado Gives Day is Dec. 9.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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