What does Boulder Community Alliance actually do? I must admit that, before I started working for them, I had absolutely no idea. Yes, I knew they were involved in the removal of Russian olive. I suspected there was more. I pictured them as the Boulder version of a benevolent, mysterious Knights Templar.
And, apparently, I’m not the only one experiencing some confusion about BCA’s role in our community. For the past three weeks, I’ve asked a few local folks (you know who you are) to answer the following question: “What is Boulder Community Alliance?” Their answers appeared in the form of more questions:
Thank you to everyone who participated in this interview. I will now attempt to clear up some confusion, beginning with the most frequently asked question:
Boulder Community Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit organization headed by a volunteer Board of Directors. They employ two part-time staff members and sometimes they hire me to write articles like this one. Their mission is to “actively champion the unique and vibrant community of Boulder and its spectacular, fragile landscape.”
They support everything and everyone—musicians and moqui marbles, ranchers and riparian zones, artists and beaver dams—that requires the assistance of a legal non-profit.
“Wait . . . aren’t they part of the town government?”
BCA is not associated with town, state, or national governments nor are they affiliated with a religious organization. They have no scary secret agenda, and they are not watching you with hidden cameras.
“There is no such thing. Maybe you’re thinking of Boulder, Colorado.”
Yes, there is such a thing. I will use this as an opportunity to describe the difference between non-profits in small and large cities.
Large cities host a variety of non-profit organizations. For example, our sister city Boulder, Colorado has 85 locally operated 501c3 non-profit organizations including Colorado Horse Rescue, Community Cycles, and even a Brewers Association. Our town is too small to sustainably support multiple organizations operating as separate, legal non-profit entities. That is why BCA is here to act as a financial and organizational umbrella under which smaller organizations can blossom and thrive.
“Never heard of them. What have they done?
It’s a long list. BCA is involved in more than most of us realize. Here are a few examples:
They also helped give financial or organizational birth to the following programs: Boulder Arts Council, Friends of the Boulder Community Library, Hospice, the new science curriculum at Boulder Elementary, and the Oral History Project.
And much more . . .
“Don’t they make a lot of money?”
The organization is not making money; they actually give away money by helping interested individuals and organizations apply for grants and accept donations.
BCA has the ability to apply for grants on behalf of other entities. For example, many of the grants to the Boulder Arts Council over the past several years are actually administered through BCA as the fiscal agent. Likewise, individuals who want to donate to specific activities, such as the Library or recycling effort, can direct charitable, deductible contributions to those activities via checks written to Boulder Community Alliance.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
If you want to bring your community oriented vision to life, BCA can help make that happen. CONTACT US for more information.