Since began writing about specific non-profits in Boulder County, the question has been asked: What are the selection criteria for deciding which non-profits to highlight?

The question is a complex one given the high number of non-profits operating in Boulder County. There is a clear distinction that can be made between non-profits not on community needs, but rather on organizational annual revenues. Non-profits based in Boulder County with annual revenues of less than $100,000 represent some seventy-five percent of the total number of 2,007 non-profits, while the remaining twenty-five percent have annual revenues above that figure.

Under these circumstances, the question asked is whether only non-profits with high revenues are featured? Or are there other criteria used in conjunction with revenue, such as organizational management, membership in regional non-profit organizations, and a subjective attitude as to the need that a non-profit is addressing.

This question highlights a divide between those in Boulder County who are of the opinion that the concentration of revenue in a limited number of organizations is reducing the ability of smaller organizations to fund raise and meet specifically defined community needs.

The flip side of this argument is the position that the large number of non-profits are draining attention and needed revenue from the well established non-profits that have a well defined and well supported donor base. Those with this position argue that there currently exists no meaningful barriers to entry into the non-profit sector and that this is affecting the delivery of needed programs.

This local concern reflects a national concern that was recently highlighted by the action of the IRS in reducing the application for non-profit status from $400 to $275. (See, Form 1023-EZ: The Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.)

In response to the question posed above, the process of to highlight certain non-profits is based not just on revenue statistics. Rather, is it based on a process that selects organizations that: (a) have successfully received grants from recognized foundations in Boulder County; (b) are member agencies of either of the two main non-profit membership organizations in Boulder County, being the St. Vrain Community Council and the Human Services Alliance of Boulder County; (c) have Agency Endowments with either the Longmont Community Foundation or the Community Foundation Serving Bolder County; (d) have met the strict criteria for being enrolled on; and (e) are foundations or corporate entities that donate to non-profits.

In the end, the purpose of the Non-Profit of the Week is to highlight the overall status of non-profits in Boulder County and county giving trends. In doing so, it is intended that the community’s awareness of non-profits is highlighted and that those non-profits that engage in “best practices” can be brought to the attention of viewers of