Program makes an impact in Steamboat
Fundraising group has given $49K to Routt County nonprofits in 4 years
Steamboat Springs — When Dana Duran and other representatives of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado arrive at Impact 100’s fall gathering Thursday, they will have to prove to the donors seated before them that the money they received from the philanthropy group last year was well spent.
To do this, Duran will describe to the audience a room swarming with middle school students.
“It was just an empty room with some big windows and gigantic trees outside before we received our grant,” Duran said. “But we’ve now turned it into a space that’s functional and fitting and really fun for middle school kids.”
In February, the Boys & Girls Club received a $6,000 grant from Impact 100, a local philanthropy program run by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The Boys & Girls Club used the money to improve its middle school program in Steamboat Springs by adding a room called the attic, which now is equipped with foosball tables and a Wii gaming system, to its downtown location.
“We’re now averaging about 30 middle school kids in the new space a day,” Duran said. “I don’t think that would be possible without the money we received.”
- Every year, Impact 100 selects and invites four local nonprofit groups to give a presentation to prospective donors at a quarterly dinner party. During the past four years, Impact has given local nonprofit groups $49,000 dollars in grants paid for by individual $150 donations from local community members.
“This idea of a giving circle brought quite a few members of the community together,” Impact 100 steering committee member Beth Bishop said. “It’s always very exciting, and it’s a great feeling to give money away.”
Bishop said the goal of Impact 100 is to engage young philanthropists in the community and teach them about local nonprofit groups they may not have heard of.
Since its formation four years ago, the group has seen its member numbers fluctuate with the economy. Impact 100 had 102 members in 2008, but last year, membership dropped to 62 donors. The group also has lowered the minimum contribution by $50 in response to the economy.
“One hundred dollars seems like a more attainable number for donors this year,” said Eliza Dodd, Yampa Valley Community Foundation program manager.
The Boys & Girls Club wasn’t the only recipient of Impact 100 funding this year. Routt County Search and Rescue received a $1,000 grant that it put toward the purchase of 20 800-megahertz radios.
“Without their help with that funding, we would have been pulling money from equipment maintenance and training funds and other things that are equally important to us,” Search and Rescue spokesman Darrel Levingston said. “Those radios are $3,000 apiece.”
Last year, Steamboat Springs Middle School received one of the largest grants Impact 100 has given, $10,000. Jeff Keller, who runs the school’s Everything Outdoor Steamboat recreation program, said a large portion of the grant was used to buy equipment.
“We got to take a lot of kids out on trips that we wouldn’t have been able to if we didn’t get the funding,” Keller said.
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