Philanthropy can be splashy and loud—think donor names on ballroom walls or corporate logos wrapping football fields—but more often, philanthropy is unassuming. Quiet contributions are often the lifeblood of nonprofits, discreetly moving missions forward.
This month, we share a story showcasing how philanthropy, in its many forms, can intersect behind-the-scenes to impact a community in meaningful ways.
Local nonprofit organization, ChildSafe, provides therapy and support for victims of childhood abuse—primarily child sexual abuse. The organization has greatly expanded over its 37 years, serving more than 900 clients from across Northern Colorado in 2022. However, despite this considerable reach, demand for ChildSafe’s services has outpaced growth. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem of child abuse, and ChildSafe’s waitlist grew to a record of more than 100 individuals seeking help.
Recognizing this need, ChildSafe applied for funding from the Community Foundation’s competitive grant cycle. In spring of this year, the Fort Collins Community Fund Committee awarded the organization nearly $19,000 to support the increased demand for child abuse treatment. Just six months earlier, ChildSafe received a generous two-for-one matching grant from an anonymous foundation. ChildSafe opened a capital campaign fund at the Community Foundation using these funds to triple donor impact.
Over the past nine months, multiple fund holders at the Community Foundation have contributed to this fund. According to ChildSafe’s Executive Director, Kathleen Baumgardner, at the time the matching grant was awarded, ChildSafe’s mortgage balance was $612,000. Today, as a result of the matching grant and the donors who have stepped up to support their campaign, the mortgage stands at $371,000. “Already we have seen an impact after reamortizing the mortgage, which has freed up about $1,500 monthly, helping us whittle away at our waitlist, which is now less than 40 survivors,” shares Kathleen.
This is a philanthropy success story in-the-making. The need is clear— child sexual abuse has occurred, and is occurring, in our community. Survivors are seeking counseling services to heal from their trauma. ChildSafe is using layered philanthropy to create additional capacity to provide these services… and it’s working. Kathleen reminds us there’s a long way to go until the need is fulfilled, but ChildSafe is making headway.
“Our mission is one we wish there was no need for,” says Kathleen. “No child should experience abuse, but while there are children and families in need of help, it is our responsibility to provide it. Our community is generous, they understand the need, and in the near future, I believe we will have built the capacity to serve many more child and adult survivors in Northern Colorado.”