By Todd Chamberlin
Last December, I received a promotion to become the executive director of The Sopris Sun. To be honest, I wasn’t all too sure what I was getting myself into. The Sopris Sun never had an executive director and, although I had plenty of nonprofit experience, I had never been an executive director. A few short weeks after I took the executive director position, Raleigh Burleigh was hired as the new editor.
Over the past year, Raleigh and I, along with our hard-working board, employees and freelancers, tackled many new initiatives. Some of these initiatives include the launch of our Spanish-insert el Sol del Valle, relaunching our radio show Everything Under the Sun on KDNK and launching a youth journalism program for local high school students. In addition to those successes, our weekly newspaper has grown in size from a 16 to 20 page paper to an average of 24 to 28 pages each week.
Throughout the year, one of our goals was to look for ways in which The Sopris Sun could help other local nonprofits. For example, Dave Taylor at Cool Brick Studios has , for years, graciously donated a quarter-page ad space each week to a nonprofit. I wanted to expand upon that great idea.
So, one of the first things I did as executive director was to approach Alpine Bank and they graciously agreed to pay for a half-page of advertising space for nonprofits to utilize each month. I also approached RJ Paddywacks who agreed to sponsor the Pet of the Week ads for Colorado Animal Rescue. But, as a nonprofit ourselves, we still wanted to do more.
So, this month we are launching a new program where you can donate to The Sopris Sun and earmark that donation to support paying for ad space for the nonprofit of your choice. Nonprofits appreciate it as a way to get the word out about their programs and events. The way this works is pretty simple. If you donate $1,000, for example, we will give the nonprofit of your choice $1,000 in ad space. It is a simple way for you to support The Sopris Sun and a nonprofit, or multiple, of your choice.
But that is not all we are doing. In this issue, we are celebrating Colorado Gives Day which is on Tuesday, Dec. 7. For those unfamiliar with Colorado Gives Day, it is a special day sponsored by the Community First Foundation that encourages charitable giving throughout Colorado. With the special 28-page section inside, we are highlighting over 40 local nonprofit organizations that are collaborating to promote local charitable giving. From Aspen to Parachute, each of these nonprofits help to elevate our communities.
Charitable giving is one of the most fulfilling things we can do. It is an easy way to support many great causes and help our communities. As a nonprofit executive director, I know that no matter how much you give, your donation is very much appreciated by each of the organizations that receives it. Another thing I have discovered this year is how recurring donations really help a nonprofit with cash flow. So, if you can, think about setting up recurring monthly donations for your favorite nonprofits.
One of the many pleasures I have had over this past year is to get to know many of the nonprofit executive directors and employees of our local nonprofits. They all work hard and are passionate about their organizations and what their organizations do for our communities.
However, for many of these organizations to continue to do good work they need help from you. For more information, check out the guide or find out more about each of these local organizations at: www.ColoradoGives.org/MountainWestGives
On behalf of these organizations and other local nonprofits that are not a part of Colorado Gives Day, thanks for your generosity!