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1/10/2013 Non-profits to reap $253,000 from annual Spirit Campaign

Sixty-five local non-profit organizations will share the nearly $253,000 contributed during the ninth annual Community Spirit Campaign sponsored by the Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation.

Though the final numbers won’t be tallied for another few days, as of Wednesday of this week, 687 donors from here and throughout the country – and a number of foreign countries as well – contributed $252,689. Added to that total will be the $30,000 in matching funds provided by the Community Foundation ($20,000) and the Anschutz Foundation of Denver ($10,000). Of the funds contributed by individual donors, $7,054 was earmarked for the matching fund.

“The Spirit Campaign is a testament of the generosity of the people who live or visit in Custer County,” said Foundation chairman Jim Little. “Even during tough economic times, donors appreciate the good work performed within our non-profit community.”

“We don’t know of any other rural Colorado county that has a fundraising campaign like this, or of rural non-profit organizations that receive such overwhelming support from those in the community they serve,” he said.

This year’s annual campaign – which ran from mid-November through Dec. 31, 2012 – resulted in the largest amount raised since the Spirit Campaign started in 2004. This year’s distribution to the local non-profits is more than five percent greater than last year’s campaign total of $240,000. Since its inception nine years ago, and including this year’s total, some $1.7 million has been earmarked for the local non-profit community.

As of this week, donations per donor ranged from $10 to $16,000. The median donation was $100 and the average donation was $324.

The campaign adds matching funds to all donations up to $1,000, and prorates matches on donations greater than that amount. This year’s match will be approximately 22 cents on the dollar.

Though figures haven’t been compiled regarding how much will go to each non-profit organization, virtually every 501(c)3 organization headquartered here will receive some contribution. Donors determine which local non-profits are to benefit from their contribution.

The Community Foundation board is meeting today to finalize details of the campaign. Typically, a meeting with non-profit representatives is held in early February and the funds are distributed at that time.

A list of the recipient non-profit organizations and the amount each will receive should appear in next week’s Tribune.

The Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation was formed in 1999, thanks to the generosity of a local family. Since the foundation’s  inception, some $2 million has been distributed to local non-profits through direct grants or via the Community Spirit Campaign. Funds benefit locally based non-profits which work in human services, education and scholarships, public health and safety, sports and recreation, the arts, historical preservation, the environment, youth and senior services, animal welfare, and other programs and services that improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in Custer County and the Wet Mountain Valley.

For more information about the Community Foundation, contact any of its board members: Arlie Riggs, Randy Rusk, Don Kaufman, Vic Barnes, Butch Gemin, Don Hopkins or Jim Little.Staff members in the Custer County Treasurer’s office are busy getting 9,221 property tax notices ready to mail to property owners to collect a total of $5,893,334.95 in taxes.

Last year, the same number of property tax notices went out to collect $5,912,990.35 in tax dollars.

As always, the taxes collected are disbursed into a number of funds. Here is this year’s breakdown:

--$2,204,838.97 to C-1 School District general fund, and $394,442.79 to C-1 School District bond levy fund;

--$1,018,276.49 to county general fund, $149,088.80 to public welfare, $496,962.66 to county road and bridge fund, $149,088.80 to county self-insurance fund, $198,785.06 to emergency services;

--$182,581.90 to West Custer County Library District;

--$451,893.26 to West Custer County Hospital District;

--$43,412.77 to Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District;

--$55,554.87 to RE2J School District in Florence general fund, $36,088.53 to RE2J School District bond levy fund;

--$32,007.54 to Rye Fire Protection District;

--$23,540.23 to the town of Silver Cliff;

--$55,519.53 to the town of Westcliffe;

--$47,508.29 to Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District;

--$353,744.46 to Wet Mountain Fire Protection District.