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For Boulder County’s Nonprofits, Recovery’s a Long Road

Posted by olga
The nonprofits offering Boulder County a safety net of support continue to feel the added burden of new and exacerbated needs rushing in after the floods. While many continue their focus on rebuilding efforts, Boulder County nonprofits are working to dig out – and reset – the status quo in the wake of the storms. SVP keeps our social sector strong; read how we've been doing that post-floods, in this piece.

SVP keeps our social sector strong

September’s floods hit Boulder County in unpredictable ways, and for many, things feel almost back to “normal.” And yet, the nonprofits offering Boulder County a safety net of support continue to feel the added burden of new and exacerbated needs rushing in after the floods.

While many continue their focus on rebuilding efforts, Boulder County nonprofits are working to dig out – and reset – the status quo in the wake of the storms. Whatever their area of focus, these organizations exist to offer the Boulder County community a place to get what they lack, whether resources, connection, education, or more. These nonprofits don’t want to get back to “normal”; they want to change it.

Since its founding in 2000, SVP has quietly been working to progress one Boulder County nonprofit at a time. SVP exists to strengthen Boulder County’s nonprofits from the inside, out. They support area nonprofits by developing strong leadership, building on internal skills and strengths, and working to increase the organization’s capacity do get the job done, whatever its particular area of focus. And past SVP-affiliated nonprofits include many of Boulder County’s most important, and notable, social sector players.

SVP knew Boulder County’s nonprofits would feel the flood’s impacts compounded. As is common in times of emergency, charitable giving is focused on and often diverted to disaster relief, leaving existing social sector agencies high and dry. They feel a significant impact on operations as demand for services increases while donations decrease, and some organizations even risk going out of business as support evaporates.

When the floods hit, SVP Executive Director Jennie Arbogash became a hub of information for both local and national nonprofits and community groups that popped up in response to the floods, spending hours shuttling information and making connections to channel effort and resources where they could best serve the need. Staff audited all SVP-affiliated Boulder County nonprofits to find structural, programmatic, and financial impacts – like the loss of revenue due to agency closure for flooding, an increase in demand for services, and agency clients affected in unforeseen ways.

One SVP-affiliated nonprofit, Boulder County CareConnect, was the only nonprofit in the state to experience a complete loss of their physical office space while continuing to offer support services to its senior clients also feeling the flood’s devastating effects. SVP helped CareConnect secure resources, and made a cash grant of $1,500 to help with relocation expenses.

“SVP is amazing in their ability to respond quickly and their very personal individual involvement. They are like family to us – a family that expects growth and change, but will be there for you at the critical moments,” says Emily Ditty, CareConnect’s Executive Director. “We were displaced and worried – about CareConnect but more importantly our clients – when SVP called to ask what we needed most. They connected us to people, arrived with food for our tired staff and volunteers, provided funds to help us with immediate and unexpected expenses, offered moving assistance, and just a kindness that made us feel supported and cared for.”

Recognizing that rebuilding better and stronger will take time, SVP Boulder County will soon begin giving flood-recovery focused Opportunity Fund grants of cash and pro bono consulting to its highly-vetted group of nonprofits. Says Executive Director Jennie Arbogash, “We want to focus our flood relief on showing support to Boulder County’s strongest, most needed nonprofits, whom we’ve worked alongside, and know from the inside out. I know if we can help these leaders get back on their feet, Boulder County will be better than ever. And, all the more able to help beyond their former capacity, which was already formidable.”

Members of the community are encouraged to make donations of any denomination to SVP’s Opportunity Fund through their website. Dollars given through SVP result in highly leveraged grants to nonprofits in the form of financial support and pro-bono consulting time and expertise (often valued at twice the grant amount).

For more information, visit http://www.svpbouldercounty.org or contact Jennie Arbogash at 303-840-0165.