Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley residents tend to be much more generous toward nonprofit organizations than the rest of the country, and there continues to be an increase - 65 percent over the past 10 years - in the number of local nonprofits to donate to. Those are just two of the findings of a recent report about local nonprofit organizations published by Yampa Valley Partners.
"Boy Scouts, United Way, you name it, there are a lot more nonprofits than there used to be," said Mike Larson, chairman of the Yampa Valley Partners board, a nonprofit organization itself that aims to foster communication, cooperation and collaboration among the nonprofit groups in Routt and Moffat counties.
This is the first time Yampa Valley Partners has compiled such a report. It is a supplement to the extensive Community Indicators Project report the group publishes every few years.
"We realized that the nonprofit sector, which is really not reflected in that report, is becoming a bigger factor here," Larson said.
The report was compiled using information collected from surveys that were sent to 200 of the 256 nonprofit organizations registered in Routt and Moffat counties. Fifty-six of the surveys were returned. Data also was collected from the Internal Revenue Service.
Key findings in the report include a 40 percent increase in the number of number of nonprofit organizations in Moffat County and a 65 percent increase in Routt County over the past 10 years. Colorado as a whole experienced a 44 percent increase.
Routt County residents also give almost twice as much money to nonprofits - an average of $5,058 per itemized IRS return - compared to the U.S. average as a percentage of gross income. It is unclear what portion of the local contributions goes to local charities.
"We know that the Yampa Valley is a very generous community," said Audrey Danner, Yampa Valley Partners' executive director.
The report also measured the economic impact of nonprofit organizations. Local nonprofits have revenues of nearly $100 million, employ more than 650 people and hold more than $120 million in assets.
Of the 56 survey respondents, 92 percent reported their organizations were growing or maintaining steady levels. The remaining 8 percent reported their organizations were struggling.
The entire report is available at www.yampavalleypartners.com.
The report stemmed from the need for information about what services nonprofit organizations offer, Danner said.
"The whole intent is to offer this information and to foster the information that follows," she said.
As the valley continues to grow, the findings also may help organizations look at services with a regional approach in mind.
"We can create some economies of scale to increase the efficiencies of all our nonprofits," Danner said. "They can understand who offers similar services and where they fit into the scope of services offered in the Yampa Valley.
Partnering with Yampa Valley Partners to compile the report were Moffat and Routt County United Way, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Colorado Mountain College and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.