Cortez hosts Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days

Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 8:52 PM
Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days will be held Sept. 12-14 at the Cortez Recreation Center.

Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days will be held in Cortez this year on Sept. 12-14.

The sold-out conference provides information, networking and professional training sessions for community organizations that rely on fundraising and grants operate.

Thirty-five workshops and sessions will be offered, and 70 presenters have been scheduled. Other activities give participants time to network and learn what their colleagues are doing in other areas of the Southwest.

About 370 people plan to attend, said event organizer Kristi Smith.

“The goal of the conference is to increase access to resources to support sustainable rural nonprofits and encourage collaboration on a regional scale,” Smith said. “Local nonprofits meet one-on-one with funders from the Front Range and from the region.”

Sessions will focus on grant writing, building boards, ballot measures, messaging, surveys, fundraising, logic models for government grants and more. A presentation will be given on the results of the Southwest Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Statement.

In one exercise, grant seekers will get immediate feedback from potential grant makers. Each grant seeker will have two minutes to give a pitch in “speed-dating” style conversations with grant makers. Grant makers will then provide immediate feedback.

Cortez volunteers will provide tours of local attractions to attendees from out of town. A reception and tour of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center also will be provided.

A new feature will be the Southwest Regional Town Hall, in which small groups of community leaders and nonprofit professionals will discuss the strengths and assets of Southwest Colorado.

“Participants leave feeling motivated and ready to establish new partnerships and discover key opportunities,” Smith said.

Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days serves Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties.

According to the organizers’ post on Facebook, the conference is scheduled to take place at the Cortez Recreation Center from 1-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Thursday, and 7 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Friday.