2023 Year In Review
What a year 2023 was! You were with us every step of the way last year. The highlights listed below would not have been possible without your support. Thank you.
New Director of Philanthropy
Our team expanded in the spring as Jessica Wurtz came on board as the new Director of Philanthropy. Before joining CFGV, Jess served as the executive director of Project Hope of Gunnison Valley. Jess has already made such an impact on the team, broadening our work connecting generous people with the many critical and enriching organizations, projects, and initiatives underway in the Gunnison Valley. If you missed it, we did a short profile of her in May.
Basic Needs Resource Guide
The Gunnison County Community Health Coalition led the creation of the original Gunnison Valley Basic Needs Resources Guide in 2020. Since then, the guide has been reprinted several times. In 2023, 1,500 English copies and 1,000 Spanish copies were printed and distributed. We’re grateful for every partner, including the Community Health Coalition, the GRASP Consortium, the Gunnison Valley Health Foundation, and the Colorado Health Foundation, who has supported this project over the years and every business and organization who helps distribute the guides in the community.
You can access digital versions of the guide in English and Spanish here.
Resiliency Project Music Cruises
For the third year in a row, the Resiliency Project organized music cruises on the streets of Gunnison. They started as a way to safely enjoy concerts during the socially distanced summer of 2020, but they’re so popular that we’ve kept them going. Each year, more people show up to hear the music. Now it’s quite the scene with dozens of bikers cruising along behind the musical trailer on the streets of Gunnison before ending at IOOF Park for a short set. We were happy to sponsor the first of four concerts in 2023.
Health Equity Learning Sessions
In partnership with Hispanic Affairs Project, the City of Gunnison, the Gunnison Cultural Connection, and Gunnison County, we co-hosted three half-day Health Equity Learning Sessions. These community conversations brought together members of the community to learn from one another, share stories of heritage, and better understand the ways in which we can build bridges and increase belonging so that everyone in the community can thrive.
We awarded over $174,000 in Community Grants in 2023 to incredible organizations doing vital work in our community. Thank you to everyone who attended our annual Here for Good event in July to celebrate the people doing the work to help our community thrive.
DOLA’s Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program
We collaborated with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to select and administer the Nonprofit Infrastructure (NPI) Grant in Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties. Statewide, DOLA selected us and seven other Regional Access Partners to administer $33 Million in grant funding. We look forward to seeing the impact of those grants on local and regional nonprofits as grant awards are announced early in 2024.
New Agency Endowments
Two local organizations established Agency Endowments in 2023. Congratulations to Tough Enough to Wear Pink on the Dean Dillon Gunnison Tough Endowment and Six Points Evaluation and Training, Inc. on the Six Points Endowment Fund. Agency Endowments are component funds of CFGV that provide local nonprofits a stable, ongoing source of funding for operations and programs. To contribute to either endowment, please contact Tough Enough to Wear Pink or Six Points directly.
STEP Program Added New Advisors
In 2023, demand for our nonprofit STEP Program more than doubled over 2022. To continue to support this important program that helps nonprofits finetune their operations, we expanded our pool of STEP Advisors adding more than a dozen new individuals with a wide range of expertise.
Thank you to all our current and former STEP Advisors. Your gifts of time and wisdom make such an impact.
Our Community Impact team offered a great line-up of nonprofit programming in 2023. From Sandbox Sessions to workshops and networking events, it was great to see so many faces, both familiar and new, participate. Our nonprofit sector provides vital services to so many members of our community and we’re proud to support their efforts.
Maryo’s Retirement and the Creative Community Fund
In August, our esteemed colleague Maryo Ewell stepped back from her role as our Director of Community Impact. While we were (and are) sad she retired from her role with us, we are happy for her to have a little more free time.
In her honor, we launched the Creative Community Fund and so many of you gave generously to honor Maryo’s years of service to the Gunnison Valley. We are still accepting gifts to the Creative Community Fund and are planning, with Maryo’s input, how to best invest that funding to support out-of-the-box solutions to community challenges. Stay tuned for more about the first grants from the fund!
In September, the Gunnison Cultural Connection hosted the second annual Welcoming Week. Each day celebrated a different theme of ways that immigrants contribute to our community. We wrote a bit about it for our October monthly newsletter and you can also follow the Welcoming in Gunnison page on Facebook for more information.
A Second Year of TICtalks
In 2023, we hosted two additional rounds of TICtalks. Four Gunnison Valley elders took to the stage in July for TICtalks: Wisdom of the Elders. We heard from Ronda Connaway, Glo Cunningham, George Sibley, and Doug Tredway about their ideas to transform the community. You can find recordings of their talks on the Gunnison Valley Audio Journal anywhere you listen to podcasts, including Spotify.
In September, we partnered with Western Colorado University to host TICtalks: These Wild Lands featuring four individuals with connections to Western. We heard from James Calabaza, Anna Coburn, Jonathan Coop, and Quincy Knight. These talks are available both via the Gunnison Valley Audio Journal and on our YouTube channel.
Record-Breaking Colorado Gives Day
This year, a generous local donor offered a $25,000 matching grant for our Colorado Gives Day Campaign and you all rose to the occasion. Your gifts secured the full match during the early giving period before it was even Colorado Gives Day. Thank you so much for your support of the Gunnison Valley. Whether it was your first gift to CFGV or you are a long-time supporter, your donations keep us moving forward toward a brighter future.
This is just a brief overview of some of what your gifts of time, talent, and money made possible in 2023. We’re in the middle of conducting interviews for more in-depth stories for the 2023 Annual Report, which should be ready a few months from now. We can’t wait to share it with you.
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