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Non-profit budget cuts

Hank Shell
hshell@skyhidailynews.com

In the aftermath of Grand County’s 2016 budget process, some local non-profits found their county funding cut drastically.

Mind Springs Health, Grand County Historical Association and Headwaters Trails Alliance all saw their funding cut.

Mind Springs, which received around $29,000 from the county last year, will receive no money in 2016.

The organization, which operates across Colorado, used county funding for its free mental health crisis services.

Tom Gangel, Mind Springs’ regional director, said the cuts wouldn’t immediately affect the services Mind Springs offers.

“Right now there’s not going to be any major change, but it makes us tighten our belt,” Gangel said. “We have to make sure we manage our dollars very carefully, but we are not going to have to make any cuts to services this year or, at least, at this moment. I can say that in confidence.”

But Gangel said the reduction does make the organization more vulnerable to future funding reductions from other supporters.

“What this does to us as an organization is that it, in the immediate future, it doesn’t put anything at risk, but it could eventually put at risk our ability to do free crisis services across the county for anyone who needs them,” Gangel said. “In the future, every few years, we’ll have that discussion – can we still provide services for free.”

While larger organizations like Mind Springs may be more resilient to funding cuts, smaller ones often aren’t.

Funding for the Grand County Historical Association dropped from $50,000 in 2015 to $25,000 in 2016.

The cut hasn’t struck an existential blow to the organization, but it has significantly increased its burden to find funding, said Michael Turner, GCHA’s vice president of ways and means.

“I do believe that the county has now affected the Historical Association to the point that it’s going to be a tough road,” Turner said. “I’m not saying we’re failing, but I’m saying that there’s not a lot of money out there.”

The organization, which operates multiple museums across the county, receives roughly 30 percent of its revenue from attracts, 30 percent comes from fundraising and the rest is county funding, Turner said.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.


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