Give, But Wisely To Established, Leadville Non-Profits
The charitable giving season is underway! If you haven’t already, you will be receiving donation solicitations from your favorite organizations, many of them Lake County nonprofits. So give generously, but when you do give, be assured that the group or entity that you are writing a check to is a verifiable Lake County nonprofit.
To that end, Leadville Today (LT) did a bit of research and spent some time talking to the nice folks at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to develop a list of charitable organizations that are not only in good standing, but have gone through the process of establishing themselves as a viable Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax-deductible entity; and any more, that’s real important.
LT strongly recommends giving to a group that has done its homework, gone through the process, regardless of how arduous it is. The checks and balances these organizations are held to, are healthy for any entity that is accepting donations, particularly on behalf of local residents.
According to officials from the Secretary of State’s Office, a loosely formed group or organization that solicits contributions may not only be breaking the law, but places the local community’s fundraising reputation at risk. This is also a cautionary tale for those individuals who are putting themselves at a personal liability risk for participating in such efforts. Better know the facts and do the research yourself, rather than take someone else’s word for it.
In addition, LT cannot recommend those “non-established” entities which are not registered with the Secretary of State’s Office, using a “pass-through” fiduciary agent. Initial interviews with some of these you-can-use-our-nonprofit-status-to-pass-through-your-money-and-we’ll-take-a-percent” foundations. Interviews with a couple of these organizations found the staff to be ill-prepared to answer even some of the most basic questions about how they operate.
Additionally, these “pass-through” agents do not appear to really understand or know the communities and entities they represent. Besides, even the non-profit world is beginning to take a closer look at the pitfalls of “fiduciary agents,” especially as the IRS commits to taking a closer look at these models which have popped up in recent years as the process of establishing “nonprofit” status has become more involved and costly.
In a recent local meeting , it was stated that “people who want to donate to the Leadville community generally don’t necessarily have a mechanism to do that?” What?
The truth is that, Leadville has two of the OLDEST nonprofits in Colorado, not to mention a host of others who have long-term, proven track records of not only fiduciary responsibility but programs that are thoughtful, sustainable, and actually make a difference.
So in case, for some unknown reason, you want to make a donation and are having a hard time finding a mechanism to do that, LT has put together a list. These are not only REGISTERED agents in GOOD STANDING, but many have been approved and monitored by GuideStar, a nonprofit that gathers and disseminates information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization.
Please consider donating to their cause. Thanks for giving!
Advocates of Lake County – Established in 1983, the Advocates of Lake County’s mission is to assist any victim of crime, violence, or other traumatic event, primarily victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Full Circle of Lake County – Full Circle provides opportunities, education and caring relationships to help Lake County become a place where youth make healthy choices, families thrive and the community is united.
Friends of the Lake County Public Library – Friends of Lake County Library raise money that enables our library to move from good to great– providing the resources for additional programming, much needed equipment, support for children’s summer reading and special events throughout the year.
Helping Hands of Lake County – A privately held company in Leadville, CO. Awards small grants for food, clothing, rent, utilities, medical assistance, and medication. Applicants must be a US citizen and a resident of Lake County for at least one year. – This group is an arm of Lake County Human Services. Contact Joann Cirullo for assistance: 719-486-2887.
Partnership for Lake County Recreation (PLCR) – A small, community organization committed to quality improvement of community culture, education, parks, and recreation. The mission of Partnership for Lake County Recreation (PLCR) is to support the development of diverse recreational opportunities in Leadville, Lake County, and surrounding areas. PLCR believes these opportunities will result in a healthier, more unified community and an enriched quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Lake County Search and Rescue – is a non-profit volunteer backcountry Search and Rescue organization serving Leadville and the surrounding area of Lake County, Colorado.
High Mountain Institute (HMI) – has been the school “where nature and minds meet” in Lake County since 1998. HMI has a strong commitment to Lake County. Since 1998, HMI has awarded over $550,000 in scholarships to students enrolled in Lake County public schools. Each year, HMI offers two full scholarships to our semester program to juniors at Lake Country High School. We also offer a full scholarship to a student at Lake County Middle School for our High Peaks Adventure summer program, and we run a free, week-long introduction to the wilderness for 20 Lake County middle school students each summer
Lake County Civic Center Association – Founded in 1971, the LCCCA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation. They own and operate the Heritage Museum, the Old Church, Heritage Park, and the Colorado Mountain History Collection. LCCCA operating funds are generated through membership dues and revenue from the museum and the Old Church.
Leadville Trail 100 Legacy, Inc. – In 2002, the Leadville Legacy Foundation was created as a nonprofit foundation, the charitable arm of the famous Leadville Trail 100 race series. Their mission was to address the ever-increasing needs of the Leadville and Lake County communities. The Legacy fund thrives through generous contributions from individuals and corporations, as well as a portion of the Leadville Race Series entry fees with every dollar going directly to meet the needs of the community.
Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery (FLNFH) is a Lake County nonprofit. All donations are used for improvements and projects at the LNFH such as the construction of the picnic pavilion.
Leadville-Lake County Sports Hall of Fame – The Leadville-Lake County Sports Hall of Fame (SHF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2002. Governed by a nine member board, the organization strives to those who have been outstanding in athletics or have given meritorious service to the athletics and/or recreation within our community.The SHF serves as the official sports Hall of Fame for the City of Leadville, County of Lake, and the Senior High Schools of Climax, Leadville, and Lake County.
Leadville Arts Coalition – The Leadville Arts Coalition, promotes the arts in Leadville/Lake County. Contact the group via email at: email@example.com.
National Mining Museum – The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is a federally chartered non-profit corporation. Their operations and growth depend entirely on contributions, memberships, admissions, and gift shop sales. Support goes toward conserving the great heritage of the mining industry, and to inform and educate the public on the importance of mining in everyday lives.
Leadville Boom Days – is a Colorado Mountain Festival and historical celebration of the Old West, with gunslingers, burro races, contests of mining skill, and a street fair with over 100 food and craft booths. It is always the first full weekend: August 5 – 7, 2016. Three days of fun, food, arts and crafts, and activities for the whole family! Donations help offset the costs associated with putting on this event.
Leadville Elks, aka: Lodge no. 236, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America – The Elks are community.
No matter where you go in the country, an Elks Lodge is right around the corner. With more than 850,000 members and 2,000 Lodges nationwide, Elks are providing charitable services that help build stronger communities.
St. George Community Meal Program – A community of nourishment and faith by serving 5 free meals a week, providing a food bank and helping many people in need.
- First Baptist Church of Leadville
- First Presbyterian Church of Leadville
- Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Leadville
- Leadville Assembly of God Church
- Community Church of Leadville
- Leadville Holy Family Parish in Leadville operates under the Diocese of Colorado Springs
- Leadville Colorado Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness
It’s worth noting that two of the oldest non-profits registered with the Colorado Secretary of State are in Leadville! Any guesses to which groups they are? Answer.