S.T.E.P. Program

CFGV Nonprofits

Sustainable, Tough,
Efficient, Purposeful

Strong, transparent organizations command more knowledgeable boards, effective staff, and financial support. With these resources, they are better able to fulfill their missions. As part of its commitment to strengthen the nonprofits of the Gunnison Valley, The Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley is pleased to offer the Sustainable, Tough, Efficient, Purposeful nonprofits program.

This is our vision for every nonprofit in this valley. That each of you be sustainable, tough, efficient and purposeful.


To help you STEP up, a number of advisors have agreed to donate hours to a consulting “bank” that CFGV will manage. You may apply for up to 12 free hours of consulting time with an advisor. These hours may be spread over time. Ordinarily, you may apply for only one STEP in a calendar year.


Topics include advising on:

  • Michelle from Region 10 - facilitation exercise - photo cred Roberta MarquetteBoard development
  • Branding
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Coaching: Board president
  • Coaching: Treasurer
  • Coaching/Leadership: Executive Director
  • Community Engagement/Participation
  • Earned income development
  • Evaluation and Data
  • Excel/Record-keeping and Systems Development
  • Facility Development/Planning
  • Financial Investments
  • Financial Policies
  • Fundraising
  • Grantwriting
  • HR/Personnel Policy Development
  • Insurance Needs
  • Leadership/Team Building: Board
  • Marketing, Effective Communications
  • Measuring Outcomes
  • Meetings: Running Good Meetings, Facilitating, Retreat Planning
  • Mergers
  • Nonprofits 101 for New Organizations
  • Policy: General Governance
  • Quickbooks (All Levels)
  • Social Media
  • Strategic/Business Planning
  • Surveys, Focus Groups, Needs Assessments
  • Systems and Data/Record-keeping
  • Time/Management Efficiency
  • Volunteer Recruitment, Training, Retention
  • Website Coaching

The STEP program does NOT assist with:

  • Advising on legal or financial issues that are properly the purview of an attorney or a financial/tax advisor
  • Dispute resolution or mediation
  • Writing grants for you
  • Doing surveys or focus groups for you
  • Doing your website for you

Examples of recent STEPs:

  • An organization with a new director and a new president requested a board development workshop to ensure that board members understand their roles and that board and staff understand their relative responsibilities
  • An organization requested a facilitator for a strategic planning retreat.
  • An organization requested a quick review of their bookkeeping systems to ensure that they were using best practices.
  • A recently-hired executive director who had not before been an executive director requested coaching in how best to perform her job responsibilities.
  • A new board president requested coaching in how best to perform his job responsibilities.
  • An organization gifted with a large sum of money requested a board workshop in how to develop policy for responsible investment of these funds.
  • An organization requested assistance in crafting a capital campaign.
  • An organization didn’t want to use an outside facilitator for their annual retreat, so they requested a coach to help them craft a good agenda and process.

Click here for a list of advisors and their specialties.
Click here for a list of advisor skills.

Mark Ewing - difficult conversations - photo cred Roberta Marquette


Here’s how it works:

  • You consider your topic, and what you need – will the advisor meet with one or more of the staff, a committee, the entire board, the board and staff together? Several visits? You consider when you need the work to be done and whether you have a preference of advisor.
  • You submit an application to CFGV  –  Click here to go to the online application
  • CFGV will log your application, and pass it on to project coordinator Maryo Gard Ewell.
  • Maryo will tentatively match you with a advisor. She will try to give you your preferred advisor if you identified someone; but each is donating a finite number of hours to STEP, and that may mean that your first choice is not available.  Be prepared to be flexible!
  • Maryo will let you know who your potential advisor is. You contact that person and confirm with Maryo that a date has been set, and let Maryo know the date at which you expect the work to be completed.
  • You do the work with the advisor. After the anticipated end-date that you have given her, Maryo will request that you submit a very short evaluation and will ask the advisor to confirm the most important achievements of your time together.

That’s it!


“I can’t begin to tell you how helpful having Dave involved has been.  He brings a great deal of structure to our efforts to set our future direction.  He has a knack for cutting through to the core of the issues and helping us find solutions.”
Gunnison Valley Education Foundation

“Thanks for coordinating the STEP Program. Kelly’s facilitation of our Board of Director’s Retreat was outstanding and tremendously valuable for KBUT. We’re truly grateful for the resources you make available to nonprofits in the Valley.”
Eileen & Tyler


Click here to give!