On November 1, 2007, the Gunnison Area Community Foundation (founded in 1997) and the Crested Butte Community Foundation (founded in 2002 and also known as Friends of Paradise) officially merged to create the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley. Since then, CFGV has been serving the nonprofits in the Gunnison Valley and the greater community though engaged philanthropy, thoughtful grantmaking, strategic education and collaborative leadership.
The first 15 years…
CFGV has accomplished so much since the merging of the two foundations. Since 2007 we’ve:
And we’re just getting started!
As you can see, we’re not your typical community foundation. While we engage in the usual philanthropic services that community foundations offer, early on we realized that we could and should do more to give back to the community. As experts in nonprofit administration, we concluded that serving nonprofits themselves, beyond providing them grants, was one area we could specialize in, and the core of our mission became to educate and strengthen nonprofits so they can more effectively and efficiently deliver their programs. When we have a strong and vibrant nonprofit community, everyone benefits!
As we’ve gotten to know our local nonprofits and really honed in on identifying community needs and issues, we’ve also grown into a community leadership role as local governments and other leaders have looked to us for advice and guidance. We regularly find ourselves at the center of the most important conversations our community is having, and we have intimate knowledge of what our community needs and who is working to address the various issues we face. No one knows the big picture quite like we do! We work tirelessly to grow our understanding of the complex problems we face and connect the people and resources needed to find creative solutions.
The next 15 years…
As we celebrate all we’ve accomplished since 2007, we recognize that our work is far from done. There are still many issues our community is grappling with, but we are committed to finding solutions. To help guide our work over the next few years, we adopted a new vision to “inspire and connect people so everyone can thrive” and formulated our 2022-24 Strategic Plan, which centers around three key elements:
- Connect resources to community needs: We work with donors to identify their interests and connect them with community needs. The funds we manage amplify the impact of individual donors and support the members of our community who need it the most. We empower community members to come together and help fix some of the challenges we face.
- Be a community leader: We’re in a unique position to bring a wide array of perspectives to the tables where local leaders are tackling our community’s challenges with a focus on the future, and we’re there to represent your interests. We also convene and connect nonprofit organizations, building solidarity and collaboration within the sector and providing educational opportunities for all as well as individualized support.
- Provide stability to meet long-term community needs: We’re uniquely positioned in the Gunnison Valley to be both steady and agile. Fifteen years ago, the Gunnison Area Community Foundation and the Crested Butte Community Foundation officially merged to create the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley and their collective work started before that. We have been around long enough to see the cycles we’ve experienced as a community and learn how to best respond to challenges. We’re also nimble and can move quickly without needing to negotiate red tape when immediate, urgent needs and innovative solutions arise.
We invite you to join us on this journey over the few years as we continue to learn more about our community’s needs and how we can address them together to create a community in which everyone can thrive.
A huge thanks to our current and former members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council, current and former staff, and, of course, our donors who have made this milestone possible. Below is a list of everyone who has served on the Board or Advisory Council over the years (a * indicates they are a founder of either GACF or CBCF):
Board of Directors
Maryo Gard Ewell
Fred Field *
James Gebhart *
Tom Havens *
Aaron “Huck” Huckstep
Anne Lamkin Kinder *
Jo Ann Macy
Michael Miller *
Julia Shoup *
Bob Simmons *
John Spencer *
Mike Stone *
Cynthia (Peatross) Wolff
Rose (Tocke) Zealand
Maryo Gard Ewell
Aaron “Huck” Huckstep
Anne Lamkin Kinder
Susan Lawhon Padon