Western Slope

Through the Rural Action Network™ Community Resource Center (CRC) convenes a powerful network of nonprofits, community leaders, funders, and changemakers to tackle persistent issues, develop and cultivate rural leadership, align and increase the giving of philanthropy with the needs of rural nonprofits to support thriving and just communities across rural Colorado.

Rural Philanthropy Days™ (RPD) is a statewide program that provides nonprofit leaders the resources they need to lead effective and sustainable organizations. Western Slope RPD™ serves nonprofit organizations in Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, and Pitkin counties. To become involved in the Western Slope’s Regional Leadership Committee to help plan interim programming please contact Natalie Georgalas at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Upcoming Opportunities

Western Slope New Challenges, Stronger Organizations

The Regional Leadership Committee of the Western Slope invites you to a gathering of nonprofit leaders seeking to strengthen organizations and regional collaboration during a day of exploration, skill building and opportunities to build you, your staff and the region!

CRC’s Regional Leadership Committees work together to support collaborations that result in stronger nonprofits throughout their regions. Local communities decide on projects and events to bring to fruition, and seek to ensure the flow of information, resources and opportunities to all nonprofits.

In preparation for the 2024 Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days, New Challenges, Stronger Organizations is designed to highlight some of the important trends in the region, including

  • Learnings from the Western Slope Capacity Building Program of 2022
  • Successful trends in retaining staff
  • The latest news on funding opportunities from Western Slope funders
  • How organizations are building strength by sharing resources
  • The opportunity to discuss ideas and build momentum for the 2023 Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days Conference

We will start the day with an interactive panel that will explore the ways in which the Western Slope Capacity Building Program made a difference in the lives of the people who participated and their organizations, with an eye toward what this might mean for the future. There will be morning and afternoon participatory workshop sessions with topics on Retaining Staff, Sustaining Nonprofit Leaders, the Funding Landscape and Resource Sharing Among Organizations. The end of the day will allow for networking and discussion and a synthesizing presentation about what will come out of our time together. Throughout the day, talented performance artist and teacher Merrily Talbot will enliven our bodies and our hearts with exercises to put us all in the mood for learning!

Morning Breakout Sessions:

This session will focus on the urgency of more effectively sustaining our leaders, particularly Executive Directors. Sarah Amberg, ED of ED will share their experiences, and then participants will work in small groups to assess how supportive your organization is, or could be, in supporting your key leaders. 


  • Sarah Amberg, Executive Director, Youth Power365
  • April-Dawn Knudsen, Consultant and Executive Director, Summit Habitat for Humanity

This session will explore some of the creative ways that nonprofits are finding to retain staff in an era of high turnover. Two EDs will share their experiences and reflect on how new ways of creating work cultures and structuring organizations can build thriving organizations without high end salaries.

Facilitator: Lisa Duran, Assistant Director of Statewide Education, CRC


    • Hali Nurnberg, ED, Western Slope Counseling and Education Center
    • Michelle Stecher, ED Mountain Youth

Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

A Western Slope funder and her colleague will share how the funding landscape is changing and changing again. Information will include how to access new government funding, where information can be found and how funding and fundraising might become a shared endeavor.

Facilitator: Rebecca Gorrell, Chief Program Officer, CRC; 

Speaker: Tedi Gillespie, Western Colorado Community Foundation

Nonprofits have always been creative about sustaining themselves on a shoe string. This workshop will explore how some Western Slope organizations have created successful partnerships through sharing functions, resources or space, and other assets.

Facilitator: April-Dawn Knudsen, Consultant and Executive Director, Summit Habitat for Humanity

Previous Opportunities

Western Slope Capacity Building Program

The Western Slope (WS) Regional Leadership Committee (RLC) seeks to build the capacity of small, regional nonprofits to strengthen their organizational practices, programs, and approaches to meet their missions in this moment of profound transition and challenge.

Members of this Capacity Building Program will participate in six hours of one-on-one coaching, three meetings, ongoing professional development and evaluations, will receive a $500 stipend to the organization, and a $500 stipend to apply to any CRC training, roundtable, or a Colorado Grants Guide subscription.

Applications are due November 17th and the program will begin in January of 2022 and go through December of 2022. 

Please email Elaine Brett at email hidden; JavaScript is required with any questions.


  • Over $118,000 economic impact between the communities that hosted the conferences
  • 630 attendees between the two conferences
  • 93% of grantseekers reported that RPD increased their personal & organizational capacity
  • 96% of funders felt that the roundtables established a relationship between grantmakers and grantseekers
  • 90% of RPD participants attended a Funder Roundtable Session
  • 97% of funders agreed that as a result of RPD they have a better understands of the assets and collaborations in the region

Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days

June 12 – 14, 2019 | North Fork Valley, Colorado

From June 12 – 14, 2019 over 300 nonprofit professionals, grantmakers, community leaders, distinguished speakers, and elected officials united in Paonia to exchange knowledge and expand professional networks at the Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days conference.

This opportunity only occurs once every four years in the Western Slope region which is composed of Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa and Pitkin counties. To become involved in the Western Slope’s Regional Leadership Committee to help plan interim programming please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required.

About the Program

The goal of RPD is to bring increased access to resources to support sustainable rural nonprofits, increase the engagement of funders in rural communities, and encourage effective collaboration on a regional scale.

Meeting the needs of rural Colorado communities is what RPD is all about. Western Slope nonprofit professionals in attendance at the 2019 conference were able to participate in more than 30 professional development opportunities over the 3-day conference.

In addition, the Western Slope RPD Conference provided a powerful opportunity for the state’s most influential funders to meet one-on-one with local and regional grantseekers in a series of Funder Roundtable discussions. This exchange helps to break down barriers and ultimately results in stronger partnerships, increased access to resources and the development of long-term relationships.

Regional Steering Committee

RPD conference activities are collaboratively coordinated by a Regional Steering Committee comprised of rural nonprofit, government and business leaders, Community Resource Center, and local foundation staff.

For more information, please contact:

Nellie Stagg, Senior Program Director, at email hidden; JavaScript is required.