Nonprofit Beat: Bucking the trend? |

Nonprofit Beat: Bucking the trend?


The good news amid the recession is that the wealthy are still giving. The bad news is that they’ve

giving a lot less.

According to a survey conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, 98.2 percent of high net worth households in the U.S. made charitable contributions in 2009. Unfortunately, the average amount of charitable contributions sank from $83,034 in 2007 to $54,016 in 2009 – a 34.9 percent dip. Ouch!

Summit County does not lack in high net worth individuals – though most of them don’t live here full-time. But in my month and a half of covering nonprofits in Summit County, I don’t believe we’re following this trend.

No doubt local nonprofits are struggling, but perhaps not to the degree we’re seeing nationwide. As you can see today’s story about the Friends of the CAIC, they’re expecting to beat last year’s efforts at their annual Benefit Bash by a wide margin. The Summit Foundation – the granddaddy of nonprofits in Summit County – increased its grant total from $1,002,344 in 2008 to $1,176,552 in 2009 despite the teeth of the recession biting down on Summit County.

That’s not to say we couldn’t do more for our local nonprofits, but it’s nice to see Summit County citizens continuing to support nonprofits when the needy are at their neediest.

On another bittersweet note, the Keystone Science School was beat out by the Youth Foundation in Edwards for the El Pomar Foundation’s Charles L. Tutt Award for Excellence in Education. The school received a $7,500 grant from the Colorado Springs-based foundation for being a finalist in its category, but missed out on doubling the grant. The overall winner – Denver’s Road Home – netted a $50,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation. Still, $7,500 will go to great use at the Keystone Science School.

The CAIC Benefit Bash is the major fundraising event going on this weekend (see story this page), but don’t miss out on the Fill the Van Food Drive on Saturday at the City Markets in Dillon and Breckenridge and the Walmart and Safeway in Frisco. Colorado Mountain Express puts on the event, which aims to fill vans with non-perishable food items to distribute to area food banks, including FIRC in Dillon. Vail Resorts Echo is a sponsor, along with Lift Up, 9 Cares Colorado Shares and the Salvation Army.

Next Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the High Country Conservation Center will host a Zero Waste-Ware Party. Per their press release, it “isn’t your typical Tupperware party, but we promise it’s a party your great Aunt Betty would approve of.” Well that’s comforting. The event will feature the latest in zero-waste ware – cups, plates and other place settings and party goods that are recyclable. For more info, contact Erin at HC3 at

SDN reporter Drew Andersen

can be contacted at (970) 668-4633


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