History & Programs

Community Resource Center (CRC) was founded in 1981. CRC’s initial mission was to assist organizations that used community organizing to promote social change in Denver’s inner city. By 1984, the mission expanded to encompass the broad range of nonprofit organizations and community groups that provide services throughout Colorado. CRC has responded to the needs of the sector by continually developing new ways to serve Colorado’s nonprofits. Below is a brief history of our current programs:

Rural Philanthropy Days

Established more than 30 years ago

 CRC organized the first Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD) event in partnership with nonprofits in Mesa County. Today, RPD conferences are held annually in two of the eight rural regions across the state and continues to expand resources for our rural communities.

Nonprofit Leadership

Established in 1990

CRC initiated its unique Colorado Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. This statewide program has built professional and personal leadership capacity of more than 700 emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector over the past 25 years.

Colorado Grants Guide

Established in 1991

CRC published the first edition of the Colorado Grants Guide, providing the first comprehensive guide to funding sources for Colorado nonprofits. In 2001, CRC established an online version of the Colorado Grants Guide with a searchable database that is continuously updated.

Colorado Participation Project

Established in 2010

The Colorado Participation Project was founded in 2010 as its own stand-alone 501c(3) organization and was adopted by CRC in 2016. Through the Participation Project, CRC partners with human service nonprofits that work directly with marginalized communities in Colorado to register and engage those communities in elections.

Other Major Benchmarks

  • CRC continued its focus on innovation and community change throughout the 1980′s. In 1986, CRC founded Community Shares of Colorado to challenge United Way’s workplace giving monopoly and to provide fundraising opportunities for the vast majority of nonprofits. In 1987, CRC founded the Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations to provide a unified voice for the nonprofit sector.
  • In 1995, CRC received The Samaritan Institute Award from the Colorado Ethics in Business Awards Committee for illustrating the importance of ethical values in its community work.
  • In 2001, CRC took the lead in creating Save Our Section 8 (SOS 8), a coalition of tenants of Section 8 housing, to press for the preservation of current subsidized housing and the creation of new low-income housing initiatives.  By 2003, SOS8 had become an independent 501(c)(3), led by a board of Section 8 tenants, with its own staff and office.
  • In 2003, CRC launched NPower Colorado in 2003 as a technology resource center for nonprofit organizations. At the time, NPower Colorado was one of twelve affiliates of the national NPower movement, which aims to put technology know-how in the hands of nonprofits. This partnership between CRC and NPower Colorado continued through April 2009.
  • In December 2006, Steve Graham, CRC’s Executive Director, passed away unexpectedly.
  • In 2008, CRC started a $105,000 Endowment through the Denver Foundation, using funds created by the Steve Graham Memorial Fund.