How to donate
Want to participate in Colorado Gives Day? You have 24 hours on Tuesday to visit ColoradoGives.Org, find the nonprofit(s) you believe are deserving of your money and then make a donation.
Last December, a special fundraising effort was just the push that the Boulder Jewish Community Center needed to complete a campaign to construct a new building.
In one day, the community center raised more than $34,600 — without having to organize a fundraiser, run a website or wrestle with publicity. And the center raised an additional $20,000 throughout the month for its Kids Campaign.
The key: a relatively new statewide fundraising initiative called Colorado Gives Day.
Last year was the first time the Jewish center participated, but officials didn’t hesitate to sign up again this year. The hope this year is that Colorado Gives Day helps raise critical funds to support day-to-day operations as the facility and programming expands, according to officials.
Colorado Gives Day, scheduled for Tuesday this year, is a website begun in 2010 to make donating to nonprofits as easy as possible.
Simply log on to ColoradoGives.Org and search through almost 1,450 pre-screened, established nonprofits to pick the ones you want to support. Search by zip code (34 different charities come up under 80301), by county (691 in Boulder County) or by cause (animals, arts, environment, science). Then read the organization’s profile — including its financials, programs, accomplishments and info about the board of directors — and make an educated decision.
The website, overseen by the Community First Foundation, raised $8.4 million in its first year, according to Dana Rinderknecht, director of Online Giving. Donations have steadily increased every year, hitting $15.4 million last year.
“In 24 hours,” Rinderknecht says. “That’s crazy to me.”
The average donor gives to three to five different nonprofits, she says, adding that one donor gave to 37 different agencies last year. And 91 percent of nonprofits gained at least one new donor from Colorado Gives Day.
“New donors are hard to find, and that means donors are out there checking out the nonprofits online,” Rinderknecht says.
Last year, she says, 31,000 Coloradans participated and made more than 69,000 donations.
Boulder was all over it, with residents donating $1.6 million to charities across the state.
Statewide donors contributed $1.3 million to Boulder’s charities alone, a 42 percent spike over the previous year, Rinderknecht says.
It’s no wonder The Dairy Center for the Arts decided to get involved with Colorado Gives Day this year.
In its first year, The Dairy is opening its doors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to give tours of the facility to people who are interested in donating, says Dairy director Bill Obermeier.
“It’s really an opportunity for us to talk to people face to face and explain all the things that happen here. The Dairy is kind of a hidden gem for many people,” he says. “We have more than 200,000 arts experiences here per year, and many people don’t realize that.”
Although Colorado Gives Day is traditionally an online-only initiative, Obermeier says he thought it would be nice to provide a unique, personal touch.
“Because that’s what The Dairy is all about,” he says.