Roundtable aims to match funding with area agencies

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Winnie DelliQuadri wants to draw the shortest line between two points: funder and nonprofit organization.

As grants analyst for the city of Steamboat Springs, DelliQuadri formed the Nonprofit Excellence Project, a partnership with the Routt County United Way, to bring residents a monthly service called the Funders Roundtable.

The idea is modeled after a one-time project called Philanthropy Days that took place two years ago. Philanthropy Days offered three days of workshops that introduced funders and organizations that needed funding.

But Philanthropy Days only happened once.

The Funders Roundtable is sponsored by the Nonprofit Excellence Project. The goal of the project is to provide educational and organizational assistance to area nonprofit organizations.

The Funders Roundtable will happen every month into the extended future.

The premise is simple. Each month, a funding agency speaks at a brown bag lunch in Centennial Hall, presenting grants they offer and who is eligible.

"This is a chance for people who need money to learn what is out there and how to apply," DelliQuadri said. "It's a great thing for everyone, even if you don't need money right now."

The first roundtable took place in September with a presentation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Twelve Routt County nonprofit agencies attended, Beall said.

The next roundtable will be Thursday, featuring a presentation by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s Contributions Committee Grant Program.

Every year since 1985, Ski Corp. has donated $100,000 to the city of Steamboat Springs, DelliQuadri said. Of that amount, $25,000 is used to maintain the parking structure across from the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. The other $75,000 is granted to applicants from the community.

"Unlike most grants, you don't have to be a (nonprofit) to apply," DelliQuadri said. The only restriction is that money must be used to improve parks, recreation or cultural facilities in Steamboat Springs.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 24.

Past recipients include the Downtown Business Association, which used its grant to put flower buckets on Lincoln Avenue. The Lions Club received money for the Lions Club Park, and the Rotary Club received the same for the Rotary Club Park. Strings in the Mountains received funding for new sound equipment and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council was funded for the purchase of public art.

The Funders Roundtable will continue with one meeting each month. On Nov. 12, a representative from the Department of Local Affairs will speak and on Dec. 11, the El Pomar Foundation and its EPYCS program will present funding options.

The EPYCS program teaches students how to be philanthropists by giving $8,000 to each high school, which the students in turn grant to the community. Hayden, Steamboat and for the first time this year, Soroco, participate in this program.

Organizations or individuals interested in receiving automatic e-mail notices of upcoming events should e-mail the Nonprofit Excellence Project listserv: www.steamboat-springs.net/

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