Guest commentary: Yampa Valley Community Foundation works to build community through philanthropy |

Guest commentary: Yampa Valley Community Foundation works to build community through philanthropy

Jenny Campbell
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

When people hear the name, “Yampa Valley Community Foundation,“ they often ask, “I’ve heard of that … but what is it you do exactly?”

That’s a good question. While local community foundations exist in cities and towns across the country, and while they have a wide reach in the nonprofit landscape, they remain little understood.

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, or YVCF, is a nonprofit organization; at the core of our work is the belief that we can build a more vibrant, thriving community through the power of philanthropy.

So, how do we make a lasting difference in the Yampa Valley community? There are four pillars to our work:

We strengthen and sustain nonprofits — YVCF provides tools and training to nonprofit organizations in Routt and Moffat Counties to increase their effectiveness and sustainability and help them amplify their impact.

We encourage nonprofits to establish endowments, we provide programming to build fundraising capacity and we spearhead Yampa Valley Gives, one of the biggest fundraisers for many local nonprofits.

Former Executive Director of Routt County Council on Aging Meg Tully recalled, “YVCF’s Endowment Building Toolkit and Incentive Match Program gave us the motivation to open an endowment and the tools to inspire our donors to contribute. The organization is now well on its way to having a stable source of funding to carry it through hard times.”

We facilitate impactful grantmaking — Through our annual Community Grant Cycle, three Giving Circles, scholarships, Donor Advised Funds and other granting funds, YVCF awards grants to nonprofits year-round.

Our trusted partnerships with donors and nonprofits enable us to pivot during a crisis or a unique opportunity and to direct funds where needed most. For example, we were pleased to grant over $143,000 to Better Tomorrow (aka Advocates of Routt County) in 2021 to fund victim crisis services and support the construction of the new Child Advocacy Center, which provides wraparound services for young victims of violence throughout the entire judicial district.

In 2021 — in addition to $30 million granted to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority — we broke a record, granting over $6 million to nonprofit organizations.

We support meaningful philanthropy — Utilizing a range of programs and philanthropic tools, YVCF connects donors with nonprofits and charitable giving opportunities in the Yampa Valley.

Partnering with a professional investment manager, we offer a choice of three investment pools to help donors meet their philanthropic goals and maximize dollars available for distribution.

We can help create meaningful legacy plans for lasting impact beyond one’s lifetime. We pride ourselves on building relationships so we can assist donors in identifying organizations, programs and causes that align with their passions.

“It is a joy to work with an organization that truly lives its stated values and a team that is passionate about those values,” philanthropists Brian and Nancy Jackson said. “We are grateful to have YVCF as our primary resource in fulfilling our charitable giving goals.”

We build community — YVCF’s staff and board engage with organizations across the region, listen to community concerns, and provide resources and expertise to catalyze innovative and collaborative solutions to the most important unmet needs throughout the Yampa Valley.

We are proud to have facilitated a major anonymous gift to YVHA enabling the acquisition of the Brown Ranch, which will provide significant relief for the region’s affordable housing shortage.

Philanthropy is uniquely personal and extraordinarily impactful — The Yampa Valley Community Foundation is inspired and honored to be the hub of charitable giving in our region, protecting and enhancing what we all love about this place and its people.

Jenny Campbell is the scholarship program manager and communication coordinator at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, which provides leadership in raising funds, in partnership with precinct members, to support innovative programs benefiting the Yampa Valley. For more,

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