Philanthropy event coming to Edwards | VailDaily.com
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Philanthropy event coming to Edwards

Jill Beathard
jbeathard@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado – An event that connects nonprofit organizations to financial resources is coming to Edwards, bringing with it opportunities for local businesses, hotels and restaurants.

The Mountain Rural Philanthropy Days, which takes place every four years, will be held Wednesday through Friday at Battle Mountain High School. The event’s purpose is to connect nonprofits in a seven-county region to their local government officials and to fundraising opportunities from the Front Range.

“It’s a unique opportunity to bring your nonprofits together with funders to discuss all of the opportunities in our communities, and surround that with education for both,” said Jill Kovacevich, executive director of Doctors Plus Inc. and co-chair of the Mountain Steering Committee, which organizes the event for the region.

The Community Resource Center, which created the philanthropy event, did a study in the early ’90s that showed only about 3 percent of funds granted by private donors reached nonprofits outside of the Front Range. Kovacevich said the Community Resource Center decided to hold a Rural Philanthropy Days event every year, every four years in a given region. Eagle County is part of the Mountain Region, which also includes Clear Creek, Garfield, Gilpin, Lake, Pitkin and Summit counties.

Kovacevich said Mountain Rural Philanthropy Days also provides networking as well as classes to help improve business models.

“We have seminars where you present networking opportunities so that your nonprofits have a chance to meet and greet all of the Front Range grant writers, grant makers,” she said. “So what we do is we have a three-day event that ends in the grant seekers get to sit at a table and ask grant makers that are pointed at their area to support their projects.”

Something unique the Mountain Rural Philanthropy Days will offer this year is a resource fair that Kovacevich said will allow businesses that are related to the nonprofit community to showcase what goods and services they provide. Event Coordinator Jenny Lau said the resource fair has never been held at a Philanthropy Days event.

“It’s a way to showcase additional resources available to not only nonprofits but locals as well,” Lau said. “So this is new and exciting and has never been done before at this event. … There will be local businesses showcasing their stuff there as well as some nonprofits showcasing their organizations.”

Lau said she worked with area hotels to provide accommodation options for attendees. She also worked with local restaurants for the Dine Around Dinners Thursday, in which attendees can choose from discussion topics that will be held at 14 different restaurants in Vail, Avon and Edwards.

Rural Philanthropy Days Program Manager Lindsay Moore said the organization tracks giving from 14 key supporters. In the last four-year cycle, nonprofits in the Mountain Region saw a 202 percent increase in funding two years after the event, the most significant across the state. On average there was a 140 percent increase in a region two years after an event.

“It’s not just the dollar value that goes up, but also the number of grants,” Moore said. “There was a 33 percent increase in the number of grants as well.”

Contact Jenny Lau at mountainrpd@gmail.com or (970) 748-2951 for more information.

Jill Beathard is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments about this story to jbeathard@vaildaily.com.


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