Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 10 encourages six weeks of giving
By Shelley Widhalm
As Larimer County nonprofits gear up for the 10th annual Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 10, two Colorado foundations encourage local donors to begin giving Nov. 1.
This year the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado aims to generate $2 million for more than 200 nonprofits in the county. The foundation is the regional champion and local partner for Colorado Gives Day, sponsored by the Community First Foundation with FirstBank.
Colorado Gives Day is the state’s largest one-day online giving event, and since its beginning has raised more than $217 million in donations.
“It’s a celebration of giving across the state of Colorado,” said Ella Fahrlander, chief engagement officer for the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. “Nonprofits are celebrating their donors, and they can keep an eye on giving to see if they are meeting their goals.”
Colorado Gives Day generates donations; helps nonprofits find new, and connect with current, supporters; and spreads awareness about their missions and the work they do. The day falls in the month of December to help them meet their end-of-year fundraising goals.
The giving event also enhances the ability of nonprofits to accept donations, especially if they did not have a way for donors to give online, Fahrlander said, adding that in the last 10 years there has been a shift away from traditional check-writing to online giving.
“Colorado Gives Day is an annual initiative to inspire and unite Coloradoans to ‘give where they live,’” as stated on ColoradoGives’ website, ColoradoGives.org.
Colorado Gives Day launched in the Denver metro area in 2010 and needed a regional champion, selecting the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado as the first one. Now there are 12 regional champions across the state and 2,200 nonprofit participants.
In its role as a regional champion, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado markets Colorado Gives Day to local nonprofits, provides them with educational resources and seminars, and creates marketing campaigns to promote the day to local donors.
ColoradoGives.org is a year-round, online giving platform that includes online profiles of more than 2,500 Colorado nonprofits explaining their missions, programs and finances. A kid-friendly version of the platform is available at KidsforColoradoGives.org, launched in September 2016.
Colorado Gives Day is the platform’s signature event. Donations that count toward Colorado Gives Day are accepted in November through the actual day of the event. The $1 Million Incentive Fund will increase the value of every dollar donated, and FirstBank will award various cash prizes worth $100,000.
Last year donors gave Larimer County nonprofits $1.97 million and $35 million statewide. Locally, more than 9,200 people gave a donation with the average amount at $290, and nonprofits raised an average of $9,380.
This year donors can give through NoCoGives.org, which provides a comprehensive and searchable database of Larimer County nonprofits. Donors can find nonprofits by name, location or cause. They can click the “Learn More” button to find out more about missions, programs, finances and other details. They also can click the “Donate” button and follow the step-by-step instructions to make a donation — the minimum amount is $10.
Their donations will go to the Community First Foundation, which will then grant the donations to the designated nonprofits. Some nonprofits will include options to direct how the donations are to be used, such as for programs or endowments.
“We get a lot of pledges leading up to Colorado Gives Day,” Fahrlander said. “Pledges definitely start coming in near the end of the month of November.”
The local giving platform serves as a way for donors to get to know about nonprofits in the county.
“We love that it gives nonprofits an opportunity to showcase their missions to an audience that is wider than their donors, utilizing social media and the amazing platform Colorado Gives Day has created,” Fahrlander said. “Give any amount that is meaningful to you, even starting at $10. Even a small gift can make a big difference when a lot of donors are giving.”
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