Ouray Named Host City for Rural Philanthropy Days
by Watch Staff
Sep 27, 2012 | 620 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OURAY – The Ouray Chamber Resort Association announced earlier this month that Ouray was officially selected as the host city for the 2013 Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days.

The RPD Steering Committee voted Wednesday, Sept. 12, after bid presentations from Montrose and Ouray. Six of the region’s seven counties (Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel – Hinsdale was unable to attend) were represented at the meeting, and each county voted as one entity for the 2013 host city.

“It’s exciting when your community is vetted and selected by a majority vote of your peers, and we can’t wait to represent our entire region here in Ouray,” said Kat Papenbrock, OCRA Operations Director. “Some of the main considerations for this year’s conference site selection were: a diversity of conference, networking, cultural, recreational and lodging opportunities, an authentic ‘local’ Western Slope economy, walkability, connectivity, and sustainability.”

Rural Philanthropy Days is an opportunity for non-profit organizations to meet and network with funders from Denver and the Front Range. For 16 years, the event has helped regional non-profits develop relationships, get feedback on grant requests, and receive valuable educational training directly from the biggest funders and foundations in the state.

Each region hosts an RPD event every four years. The RPD Steering Committee (composed of volunteer non-profit members from all seven counties) in collaboration with the Community Resource Center and the Anschutz Family Foundation, work to organize, market and fund the event. It has a clear and proven event outline, Papenbrock noted, one that allows the flexibility to highlight the key issues in the region every four years. This year, it all seems to be centering on “The Journey” – whether it’s traveling through and working within our interconnected region, or moving toward a more efficient and effective organization.

“When Heidi (Pankow, OCRA Marketing Manager) brought this opportunity to OCRA’s attention last year, the staff and board jumped on the chance to put our hat in the ring to host our nonprofit partners and funders here in Ouray,” said Papenbrock. “It is a perfect fit for our town and will be both an economic benefit to our community – about 350 attendees will be traveling here in early June 2013 – and our local non-profits, who will have the chance to interface with funders, educate themselves on best practices and find common ground and collaborative opportunities with other regional non-profits right here in our backyard.”

RPD has a significant philanthropic and economic impact on the Western Slope. In the years following an RPD event, nonprofits report a major funding increase across the region. Plus the host community gets an economic boost from the people traveling to the area for the conference, Papenbrock said.

“We look forward to featuring Ouray and our entire region as we move forward in our planning, and invite interested nonprofits, businesses and individuals to get involved on one of the sub-committees to plan the event,” she continued. “Heidi and I have both been to most of the steering committee meetings and will be actively involved with the planning and execution of the event.” Watch for more information about the conference dates, planning session dates, and other event specific details. For more information about Rural Philanthropy Days and the Community Resource Center, please visitwww.crcamerica.org.  For more information about the Anschutz Family Foundation, visit anschutzfamilyfoundation.org. 
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