The Telluride Foundation is a philanthropic organization committed to enriching quality of life for the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride, Colorado region. Founded in 2000 by owners of the Telluride Ski Area, development of the Foundation was driven by love for and desire to preserve the unique beauty and character of the Telluride region, and interest in investing in its future. With the support of the community locally and nationally, the Telluride Foundation has invested more than $40 million in the Telluride region over 17 years. Although it is a small organization in a city with only a few thousand residents, the Telluride Foundation is the fifth most active grant maker in the United States.
The Telluride Foundation focuses on four core pillars: 1) community grant making and safety net support; 2) impact initiatives in community infrastructure and human and social capital; 3) convening summits and facilitating nonprofit capacity; and 4) donor stewardship and partnering with donors on directed giving. Community Grants are an annual competitive grant program awarding cash grants to more than 80 regional non-profits each year. And, the Non-Profit Capacity Building program offers coaching, workshops, and technical assistance to improve the capacity and effectiveness of local non-profits.
Recognizing the evolving need in the region and seeking to find innovative solutions, the Foundation operates several impact initiatives, including Tri-County Health Network, the Paradox Community Development, Telluride Venture Accelerator, STEM Education, Local Food and Broadband. The Tri-County Health Network is a regional public health program to improve access, care, quality, and outcomes for residents of the Telluride area. The Paradox Community Trust maintains a local, permanent trust fund for the benefit of the rural poor and indigent in the Telluride community. Telluride Venture Acceleration creates an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which local businesses receive capital, mentorship, and other resources to help them thrive.
These resources and programs have improved quality of life, strategically invested in the future of the area, and provided resources and help to vulnerable people throughout the Telluride region. Telluride is particularly dear to PGDF founder Peter Dodge, who maintains a residence there.
The Peter G. Dodge Foundation (PGDF) supported the Telluride Foundation with a $50,000 Community Grant, disbursed over 2015 and 2016, to support the Tri-County Health Network. The grant expanded the capacity of the program by allowing for long-term planning and the addition of new mental health resources. The PGDF grant also supported the Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families program, which provides resources to underserved families supporting early childhood education and parenting skills. The PGDF grant allowed Bright Futures to expand to serve the 30 families on its waiting list, ensuring that all families who sought help could receive it through the program.