February 2022
Continued Growth Despite Challenges
2021 Community Foundation Highlights

As we close out 2021 and head into 2022 - our 25th anniversary year - we have much to celebrate, including the continued growth of our Community Foundation and positive impact in our communities. We are pleased to share some highlights from our last fiscal year. These numbers are preliminary and have not been audited.

2021 Highlights

  • $4.9 million in grants and scholarships distributed
  • $8.3 million in new donations
  • 20 new donor funds established
  • $118 million in total assets under management, an 18% year-over-year increase

Looking Back, Dreaming Forward
Celebrating 25 years in 2022
The board and staff of the Western Colorado Community Foundation are thrilled to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2022! Since 1997, we have been proud to help our donors build and manage their charitable legacy funds, while providing grants, scholarships, and leadership to benefit the residents in our seven county region.

In honor of our 25th year, we invite you to join us in Looking Back On 25 Years, to celebrate our Community Foundation’s history, milestones, and the people who made it possible.

As part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration, our Community Foundation will be making "Surprise Grants" of $2,500 across our region. Our regional board members will identify and award a total of 16 grants. Look for these announcements every month and join us in celebrating the great work of our nonprofit partners.

Join us as we celebrate and Dream Forward for the next 25 years! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check our website frequently to keep up to date on our plans throughout the year.
By The People,
For The People

The Western Colorado Community Foundation was incorporated in late 1996 by a group of civic leaders who wanted to create a charitable foundation to benefit the people and communities of their community. Herb Bacon, Pat Gormley, Joe Prinster, Bob Denning, Peggy Foster, Dave Wood, and many other founders had a vision of building a home-grown philanthropic institution that would receive funds from many people across western Colorado, all to benefit the people of western Colorado. 25 years later we are a successful $118 million foundation which provides almost $5 million in grant and scholarship funding every year. Hooray for our founders and their vision!
Grantee Spotlight
Construction Underway
Food Bank of the Rockies' New Etkin Family Distribution Center
Sue Ellen Rodwick, Director of Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope; Amanda de Bock, Director of Meals on Wheels Mesa County; Anne Wenzel, President & CEO of the Western Colorado Community Foundation at a groundbreaking event on January 27th
Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies and Meals on Wheels Mesa County are closer than ever to bringing a shared vision to reality. On January 27, Food Bank of the Rockies (FBR) publicly announced its campaign for the Etkin Family Distribution Center which will be the new home for FBR’s Western Slope operations, moving from Palisade to Grand Junction. The new distribution center will be nearly double the size of the current warehouse, meeting growing needs from the 12-county region Food Bank of the Rockies serves. Construction and the fundraising campaign are underway, and doors plan to open in late summer 2022. Meals on Wheels will be operating out of a newly designed commercial kitchen within the new warehouse and distribution center, enabling them to make up to 1,000 meals for at-risk seniors daily, which is over double the amount they can make now. Like FBR, Meals on Wheels (MOW) has experienced tremendous growth, going from providing 120,000 meals in 2019 to providing nearly 190,000 meals in 2021.

The Mesa County Blueprint to End Hunger was released in July 2021. Collaborations such as this are key goals of the Blueprint. President and CEO of Western Colorado Community Foundation, Anne Wenzel, noted, “Mesa County is known across the state as a community that is highly collaborative. People and organizations work across sectors and work together to solve problems in creative ways. This is an exciting collaboration between Food Bank of the Rockies and our local Meals on Wheels – two organizations coming together to build and share this new commercial kitchen. Collaboration is a hallmark quality of our community. This project exemplifies that.”

To learn more about FBR’s new distribution center, see the Daily Sentinel article here and the Business Times article here.
Community Foundation Updates
Scholarship Applications Now Open!
Deadline March 4
Our annual scholarship application process is now open! Students can apply for one or more of the 33 scholarship funds managed by our Community Foundation through a single application. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $5,000, and many are renewable for up to four years. Criteria for scholarships vary and may include GPA, chosen field of study or college, financial need, and other factors. Scholarships are available for vocational training programs as well as two- and four-year college degree programs.

The deadline to apply is March 4th for graduating high school seniors.

In 2021, our regional Community Foundation distributed a total of $755,466 in scholarships to 306 students.

For more information visit the WCCF scholarship page.

Colorado Nonprofit Week
Community Foundation to Host Virtual Celebration
Inspiring Nonprofits
to Dream Forward

Colorado Nonprofit Week is celebrated every March across our state to recognize the nonprofits who work to improve our communities. This year, our Community Foundation is pleased to host a virtual event to recognize this occasion and officially kick off our 25th Anniversary. Please plan to join us for Inspiring Nonprofits to Dream Forward, a virtual event to celebrate Colorado Nonprofit Week. Paul Lhevine, new President and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association (CNA), will share CNA's plans for 2022. Anne Wenzel, President and CEO of Western Colorado Community Foundation will kick off the celebration and share a few "surprises" as part of WCCF's plans for celebrating 25 years!

Western Colorado Community Foundation
Inspiring Nonprofits to Dream Forward
A Virtual Celebration for Colorado Nonprofit Week
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
100% online
Please RSVP, and we will send you a calendar invite to join us via Zoom

Welcome Erin

Please join us in welcoming our new Accountant, Erin Doebele. Erin is a CPA and has over 15 years of experience working in accounting, both in the public and private sectors. Her experience has allowed her to assist in the daily financial operations of multiple businesses, perform audits and review engagements, and provide tax services. She is excited to use the knowledge and skills she has gained to strengthen the financial management of our Community Foundation.

Away from work, Erin enjoys kayaking, hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing with her family and friends.

To contact Erin, email edoebele@wc-cf.org
Colorado Gives Day- THANK YOU!

Colorado Gives Day was an extraordinary success because of you! Thank you to everyone who supported us on #COGivesDay! We raised over $16,000 for the Western Colorado Community Foundation's work to help youth across our region with tools to recover academic loss and gain skills to increase resiliency.
Reflections from the President & CEO
The theme for our 25th anniversary this year is Looking Back, Dreaming Forward. It’s great fun to look back on two and a half decades of success and growth for the Western Colorado Community Foundation. 25 years of working with community-minded donors to encourage charitable legacy gifts. What a great community of donors we work with every day to improve our communities for those who live here! 25 years of grants and scholarships totaling $36 million in total investments in our communities. What an incredible amount of financial support for our nonprofits! 25 years of promoting local philanthropy and building our own permanent funding institution for communities here on the western slope.

Earlier this month, our board of directors engaged in a strategic planning retreat to outline our path forward, for the next five years and beyond. Our Dreaming Forward plans are exciting and ambitious! We are eager to share those plans and the new programs and projects we envision to achieve them more fully in the coming months.

Decades ago I earned a Masters degree in City Planning. I’ve always loved a quote from a leader in that field, Daniel Burnham, founder of the City Beautiful movement in the late 19th century: "Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work." Make no small plans! Go big or go home! 

To all of you that have been involved in our community foundation over the past 25 years – founders and donors, nonprofit partners, board and staff, community champions - a big THANK YOU for helping us get to where we are today. Come celebrate with us this year! And let’s keep working together towards an even bigger, more impactful organization we can all be proud of and excited to support as we promote philanthropy and caring in our community. Onward in dreaming forward.

-- Anne Wenzel

The Western Colorado Community Foundation is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations by the Council on Foundations.
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