Non Profits Prove Profitable


Zoe Viana Furer, Reporter

Durango is a small town with a tight-knit community and lots of nonprofit organizations. Ranging from Trails 2000 to the Powerhouse to the Manna Soup Kitchen, each one makes Durango a better place to live in. For students, these nonprofits can be a fun way to learn new skills outside of a classroom environment.

The Stillwater Foundation has given Fr. Benjamin Deblina the opportunity to learn bass and other instruments.

“When I learned music at school they taught me rhythms in a way that didn’t make sense… Stillwater taught rhythms in a way musicians actually use them. [The school version] you could never use in the real world,” said Deblina.

Another local non-profit that played a big role in keeping the community of Durango thriving this summer was The Community Foundation. They stepped in after the spill and helped various local companies (such as all the raft groups) complete their seasons economically.

“They take money from private donors, like super wealthy people within Durango and they redistribute that. They put on ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ and they put on a series of concerts to raise awareness for local bands and also local causes, like the river,” said So. Corbin Reiter.

The Community Foundation does not focus on kids (like many nonprofits in Durango) but instead tries to make local companies and local groups stronger.

The Maker Lab, a local almost-nonprofit,  is applying for a 501(c)(3) which means it doesn’t have to pay taxes.

“A 501(c)(3) organization is one that is said to be ‘charitable,’ a broad term to mean that their purpose contributes to the public’s benefit: educational, scientific, literary, public safety, religious, charity etc,” said Sarah Margoles, one of the founders of the MakerLab.

The Maker Lab is an educational program for toddlers to adults that gives them an opportunity to learn about science outside of a classroom environment.

Durango benefits from nonprofits. The community grows stronger as a whole and can lead as an example for other small communities. Nonprofits can fill educational gaps that the schools fail to teach such as Stillwater’s music program or the Maker Lab, which gives young kids the opportunity to learn about science in a way that may not be taught until middle school or high school.