CRAFT Case Study: Guidestone Colorado, Chaffee County

Guidestone Colorado was awarded a CRAFT Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2019. The objective of the program was the development of a fundraising plan that led to a 200% increase in end of year giving to the organization.

Located in Chaffee County, Guidestone Colorado’s mission is to grow a vibrant agricultural future through education, community building and partnerships. Guidestone’s programmatic approach provides services to farmers, educators, youth, and community members through four cornerstone programs:

  • the Farm to School Initiative
  • Farmhands Education Program
  • Colorado Land Link
  • the Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center
Woman with kids at table

CRAFT Mentor Program Results

The Colorado Tourism Office matched Guidestone Colorado with Kristie Nackord, a CRAFT Mentor with experience providing business development, strategic communications, public relations, and community engagement to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Developed a comprehensive fundraising and communications plan. Conducted a development and communications audit that identified and clarified target stakeholders. Revitalized existing messaging and communications platform to better express organizational impact. Developed a giving pyramid and giving strategies. Engaged board of directors in the creation and implementation of the plan.
  • Engaged in fundraising activities. Increased end-of-year giving from $2,000 in 2018 to $6,000 in 2019. Implemented a donor dinner event to raise awareness and increase the organization's donor base. Board members hosted two events in 2019 that 20 couples attended. Raised $800. In partnership with Chaffee County Public Health, received a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation for $47,000 to develop a communication and strategic plan to create a local food system. Received a Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Grant for $100,000 to build a 40 person size classroom with a kitchen onto the existing visitor center. A local private foundation committed $50,000 to the project, Chaffee County committed $10,000, and the Gates Foundation committed $20,000 contingent on raising all of the funds.
  • Hired a consultant using implementation funding to enact the marketing and fundraising initiatives identified during CRAFT Mentor.
  • Expanded their partnership with Hutchinson Homestead to provide educational add-ons and kid programming during weddings.
  • Featured in an hour-long PBS episode in February 2020, along with Hutchinson Ranch.

“Our mentor was personable, accommodating, positive, and supportive. She was both a great listener in understanding Guidestone's goals, and also able to provide valuable and insightful feedback to our language and program 'storytelling' to be more impactful.”

Get inspired to visit Guidestone by exploring

Nostalgia Tour of Salida: Feel Like a Kid Again


About CRAFT Mentor Program

CRAFT Mentor provides up to 50 hours of mentoring for tourism-related entities wishing to advance a specific tourism-related goal or strategy. Participants receive $1,000 of implementation funding upon completion.


Guidestone Colorado