Community Foundation serving SW Colorado and the United Way of SW Colorado partner to support the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)

Working together to accept donations to support local nonprofits 

March 23, 2020 – Community Foundation serving SW Colorado and the United Way of SW Colorado partner to support the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). As with other disaster response initiatives, the objective is to provide leadership and collaborative funding to support those who face the greatest need.

The COVID-19 coronavirus is taking its toll on every individual and organization, including our community’s nonprofits. To help respond to this unprecedented challenge, this effort will provide funding to local nonprofit organizations that work with people disproportionately affected by the consequences of COVID-19. Initially, these recipients include human service organizations that address food insecurity, especially for youth and older adults, rent and mortgage assistance, utilities, and behavioral health.

“We are powering philanthropy to make a difference in SW Colorado,” said Briggen Wrinkle, Community Foundation Executive Director. “Between the United Way and the Community Foundation, we have the infrastructure, relationships, and experience to convene community resources and respond rapidly when action is needed.”

“The building blocks of a good life:  health, education, and financial stability, are all being challenged right now for so many. Our local human service nonprofits are experts at helping people through crisis, and they need our support to do their work,” said Lynn Urban, United Way of SW Colorado President and Chief Executive Officer. “Please join our united effort.”

To seed the fund, the Community Foundation and the United Way are each contributing $25,000.

To donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund visit or send a check payable to United Way of Southwest Colorado with CERF in the memo line to P.O. Box 3040, Durango, CO  81302.  Alternatively, you can also text “credit’ to 40403 to pay with your phone.

Grants will be distributed to nonprofit organizations throughout SW Colorado through the course of the crisis. The goal is to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs. The CERF grant committee expects to disburse an initial round of grants by March 31, 2020.  

The Community Foundation and the United Way are both 501(c)(3) public charities; gifts to this effort provide donors with the maximum tax deductions allowed by law.  

For More Information

Lynn Urban, President & CEO, 970.903.3815

Briggen Wrinkle, Executive Director, 970.375.5807


About the United Way of SW Colorado:  We envision a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential. We improve lives by nurturing the collective caring of our community.  Through our partnerships, we help approximately 21,000 people annually in Southwest Colorado to live better lives.

About the Community Foundation serving SW Colorado: We envision a generous, vibrant and inclusive SW Colorado, with opportunities for all to thrive. The Foundation manages more than $6 million in investments for philanthropists in our community, offering invaluable resources to ensure that donors can be impactful with their giving, making a difference in the lives of others.