Group to study local nonprofits


Yampa Valley Partners is using the success of the Community Indicators Project to clear the way for a second ambitious project.

On Thursday, 25 members of nonprofit arts and social service organizations gathered in the Steamboat Pilot & Today conference room to celebrate Colorado Nonprofit Week, discuss the results from the Indicators Project and create momentum for a new, comprehensive study of the economic effect the nonprofit sector has on Routt and Moffat counties.

Audrey Danner, executive director of Yampa Valley Partners, showed the nonprofit representatives how they could use the Community Indicators Project when applying for funding. She said the proposed nonprofit economic impact study could be used in similar ways.

According to the results in the 2005-06 Indicators Project, published in January, the nonprofit sector has grown by 70 percent in the past decade.

"If you're looking for funding, there is a lot more competition," Danner said.

Since last spring, representatives from the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Routt and Moffat County United Ways, Colorado Moun-tain College and Yampa Valley Partners have been meeting to design a survey of area nonprofits.

The survey will measure everything including the tax-dollar effect of nonprofits' involvement in the community and employment figures.

"It will also give us an idea of who is out there," Danner said. "I've heard estimates that there are 80 to 120 nonprofits out there."

Yampa Valley Partners hopes to publish the results in the fall and eventually produce the results as an extension of the Community Indicators Project.

The Community Indicators Project has been published five times since 1997. Its goal was to identify issues within the Yampa Valley by breaking down census data according to economic and social indicators. Among the information revealed by analysis of census data is that the average age of Northwest Colorado residents has gone up, that there are more people living paycheck to paycheck, and that the Hispanic population has grown.

Danner and those involved with organizing the economic impact study hope to have a similar analysis at their fingertips concerning the place of nonprofits in this area.

Any organization interested in participating in the study should call Danner at 824-8233.


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