The Function of Feathers
Feathers are essentialfor everything from flight to finding a mate

When Reading is Hard
Creating a centerto teach Silver City children with dyslexia

Fool's Gold
A brief history of New Mexico treasure.

Tracks of Time
Life before the dinosaurs at Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

Columns and Departments

Editor's Note
Desert Diary
100 Hikes
Henry Lightcap's Journal
The Starry Dome
Talking Horses
Ramblin' Outdoors
Guides to Go
Continental Divide

Special Sections

40 Days & 40 Nights
The To-Do List

Red or Green
Mexico Vijeo
Dining Guide
Table Talk

Arts Exposure
Silver City CLAY Festival
Arts Scene
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind
& Spirit

Getting Through
Take Your Body Back!

About the cover


Giving Until It Helps

Report shows effectiveness of giving in New Mexico.


The New Mexico Association of Grantmakers (NMAG) recently released a report highlighting the effectiveness and impact of organized philanthropy throughout the state. The report serves as an opportunity to increase the understanding of the role of philanthropy in society, according to the authors.

"Philanthropy in New Mexico 2012," authored by Sabrina V. Pratt, included primary data research by Arika E. Sánchez for data years 2009-2010. The report was compiled for 323 grantmakers, grants made and charitable giving by individuals (government sources were not included). The report showed total giving by New Mexico funders for 2009 was $59,004,182.

New Mexico total assets held by foundations were $1.3 billion in 2010, and total giving in New Mexico through grants for 2009 was $132.8 million. Giving by New Mexico grantmakers in the state increased by 11.28% between 2006 and 2009, and the average grant size of out-of-state funders in 2009 was three times larger than New Mexico-based funders.

In 2009, $655.7 million was given to charitable causes by New Mexico taxpayers who itemize deductions. That year, 26% of taxpayers who itemized returns made charitable contributions, compared to 27% in 2005.

The NMAG was founded in 1991 and is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and impact of organized philanthropy throughout the state. NMAG is a regional membership association that provides programs, research and educational resources and networking opportunities for grantmakers throughout New Mexico.


Here in southern New Mexico, the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM) serves as an independent charity that stewards philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations. It serves southern New Mexico including Doña Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, Otero and Sierra Counties. Founded in 2000, the foundation offers opportunities for local people who want to give back locally.

The CFSNM manages 35 nonprofit endowments and 40 private endowments, and has become a catalyst for significant community change by enabling people to create and help finance charitable funds that address a wide range of interests. In 2011, the CFSNM acquired and managed permanent assets of $10,409,000 and total invested assets of $5,059,206 through 178 endowments, of which 35 are local nonprofits.

The CFSNM awarded $102,325 of endowment earnings to local charities, $34,800 through designated and unrestricted endowment funds to local charities and over 32 scholarships totaling $32,474. The CFSNM also granted $115,768 in grant funds to local nonprofits, held the 19th Annual Estate Planning Institute, and funded 35 mammograms for underserved women.

Recent CFSNM grants in our area have included $2,000 to the Mimbres Region Arts Council in Silver City from the Devasthali Family Foundation Fund. The funds will be used for expansion of MRAC's Youth Mural Program to include two new multi-media mural projects in Grant County. And in January, SPIRIT of Hidalgo, a nonprofit agency in Lordsburg, received a $6,356 grant for projects to prevent childhood obesity.

In addition to managing funds and endowments, the CFSNM has several initiatives including the Unified Prevention! (UP!) Coalition for a Drug Free Doña Ana County and the Young Philanthropists. It is host to the Gen M Summer Science Institute and the J. Paul Taylor Symposium.

"As an independent charity that stewards philanthropic resources, we are dedicated to making a difference in southern New Mexico," says Luan Wagner Burn, executive director of the CFSNM. "Through the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, donors can create endowments, fund endowments and connect with causes that matter."


Donating to an endowment pays dividends both in the present and later for future generations, Burn adds. An endowment is set up with $5,000 minimum and five years to meet that minimum, either anonymously or with recognition. Once the $5,000 base is established, the endowment starts gaining interest. The more funds that are added, the larger the endowment becomes, and the more it meets current needs.

Nearly every type of asset, including cash, real estate, stock and artwork, can be contributed to a community foundation. Gifts come from living donors and bequests through various types of funds and giving vehicles.

"The beauty of the foundation is that you need not be wealthy to make a positive difference in the lives of people throughout our area," says Burn. "Through the establishment of permanent funds, you can sustain local charitable organizations, provide scholarships to area students and fulfill wishes that are close to your heart. Through our planned giving programs, you can honor loved ones or leave a legacy that benefits the people of southern New Mexico for generations to come."

The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico can advise you on how best to maximize contributions, no matter what size. For more information, see the website at www.cfsnm.org or call Luan Wagner Burn at (575) 521-4794.



The Tumbleweeds Top 10


Who and what's been making news from New Mexico this past month, as measured by mentions in Google News (news.google.com). Trends noted are vs. last month's total hits; * indicates new to the list. Number in parenthesis indicates last month's Top 10 rank. Let's hope this is the peak for wildfires on our list. Look for immigration to stay in the headlines, though, and we're watching for "border fence" to return to the Top 10. Plus: With Justin Bieber (below)signing up to go to near-space with Virgin Galactic, is it time to start a Biebermania watch in Upham, NM, home to the Spaceport?


    1. (4) New Mexico + immigration — 343 hits (▲)
    2. (2) New Mexico budget — 262 hits (▼)
    3. (3) Gov. Susana Martinez — 261 hits (▲)
    4. (10) Virgin Galactic — 240 hits (▲)
    5. (7) New Mexico drought — 218 hits (▲)
    6. (8) Sen. Tom Udall — 190 hits (▲)
    7. (9) New Mexico wildfires — 154 hits (▲)
    8. (6) New Mexico wolves — 145 hits (▼)
    9. (-) Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson + Libertarian — 143 hits (▲)
    10. (5) Ex-Gov. Bill Richardson — 142 hits (▼)



Steve Pearce vs. Steve Pearce


Whenever we Google Rep. Steve Pearce, the congressman for New Mexico's Second District, such as for our monthly Tumbleweeds Top 10, we have to work around spurious references to the other Steve Pearce — a player for baseball's Baltimore Orioles. We thought it might help us and our readers to develop this handy guide to keeping the two Steve Pearces apart:


Rep. Steve Pearce

RF/1B Steve Pearce

Born: August 24, 1947, in Lamesa, TX April 13, 1983, in Lakeland, FL
Bats/Throws: Far right Right
Salary: $174,000 $700,000
Team: Republican Party Baltimore Orioles
Former Teams: US Air Force, Lea Fishing Tools

Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Houston Astros

Position: US House of Representatives

Right field, 1st base, pinch hitter

Stats (2012): American Conservative Union 88%, US Chamber of Commerce 88% (2011), AFL-CIO 0% (2011), League of Conservation Voters 6% (2011)

.239, 4 HR

Education: New Mexico State University, Eastern New Mexico University (MBA)

University of South Carolina

First elected/signed:

November 1996

June 2005

Eligible for re-election/free agency: 2014 2016





Life in a State of Nature

Readers respond with a pack of widlife photos.

Last month, inspired by the reader response to our long-running "Postcards from the Edge" in Desert Diary, we kicked off another reader-photo feature. Here in Tumbleweeds, we invited readers to submit their best pictures of wildlife snapped in southwest New Mexico.

We expected that over the next few months we might get one or two print-worthy photos to share. Little did we know that we'd unleashed a horde of camera-wielding readers! We've been happily deluged with photos, and amazed at their quality and ability to capture candid moments in the lives of the critters around us. Here we sample a few of the first submissions, with more to come next month. And by all means, readers, keep them coming!




First up is Suzanne Thompson of Silver City, who sent this charming fox photo with a note, "This little guy stuck around for a photo shoot right outside our windows after he spent a while overturning our landscaping rocks looking for breakfast. Here he was right underneath the suet feeder; he may have garnered some crumbs dropped by the birds. I'm looking forward to more of this feature in your great publication!"


Water is apparently an irresistible draw this time of year. Witness this bobbing bobcat captured by Steven Shelendich of Silver City.


More watery attraction is seen in this photo of a hawk by Joel Chinkes of Hidden River Ranch near Columbus. He writes, "Here at HRR we leave water drippers going 24/7 into flat dishes outside our bedroom and living room windows. With this lovely drought we're having, it's often the only water for miles around, so we attract a lot of critters to this flat, treeless area. Our place only looks barren at first glance, but really it's like living in a zoo."


Dawn Gray of San Lorenzo writes, "This young raven thought the sprinkler hose was put there expressly for him. He drank and enjoyed the spray for quite awhile before he flew off."



Share your own photos of the Southwest's "zoo." Show us what you've seen out there, large or small, from hummingbirds and scorpions to eagles and elk. Send to editor@desertexposure.com or mail to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, and include your postal address for a little thank-you.



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