How the Ballantine Family Fund Prioritizes Southwest Colorado

Photo: WorldPictures/shutterstock

Photo: WorldPictures/shutterstock

The Ballantine Family Fund is one of the most well-established foundations focused on local giving in Southwest Colorado. This foundation has been on the philanthropic scene since 1957 and has broad goals to benefit the human condition in the region.

Here are some details about this Durango-based funder and how it distributes grants in Southwest Colorado.

How It All Began

Upon moving to Durango in 1952, Morley C. Ballantine and Arthur A. Ballantine Jr. purchased the weekly Durango News and the daily Durango Herald-Democrat and then merged the newspapers. They were dedicated to the region both in their writing and later through their philanthropy, advancing community issues in a place with limited philanthropic resources. Arthur Ballantine was particularly interested in promoting education, while Morley was very involved in women’s rights and issues.

Recent Ballantine Giving

Since those early days, the Ballantine Family Fund has evolved to provide a wide range of support to local nonprofit causes. Topics of interest include arts and culture, animal protection, the environment, education, youth and human services.

Recently, arts and culture organizations have been receiving a lot of support from the foundation—approximately 26 percent of the total grants in 2019. Topping that are human services grants, which made up about 29 percent of total grants last year. Early childhood organizations are also an emerging priority for Ballentine. At the beginning of 2020, the foundation’s trustees announced that the foundation had awarded over $310,000 in grants to 128 nonprofits in 2019.

Specific Geographic Interests

The Ballantine Family Fund is a regional funder with grantmaking extending beyond just Durango. Recently, it has been a philanthropic funder in La Plata County, Colorado, which received approximately 56 percent of total grants last year. The next most-funded place is Montezuma County, and a few grants have also gone to the Colorado counties of Archuleta, Dolores and San Juan.

How to Get Involved

This is a tight-knit foundation with Ballantine family members serving as president, vice president, and trustees. Nevertheless, local nonprofits should know that getting involved with the Ballantine Family Fund is a very straightforward and accessible process.

The funder has an online grant application process that welcomes unsolicited requests and has four deadlines per year. The due dates are March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31. Organizations can apply for either program/project support or general operating support and receive notification of their application status within six to eight weeks after submission.

Check out IP’s Mountain States funding guide to learn more about the Ballantine Family Fund and other foundations that make Colorado their top priority.