With the holidays right around the corner, Tuesday marks Colorado Gives Day, a day nonprofits are asking Coloradans to open their wallets and help raise funds for various causes.
Colorado Gives Day is a day each year in December when nonprofits across the state push to raise money.
Community First Foundation, which has been working with donors and nonprofits since 1975, created an online platform that allows anyone to search for more than 2,500 nonprofits based on zip code, and created an easy access to donate to those groups.
Community First Foundation has partnered with FirstBank for the day and created a $1.5 million incentive fund. Every nonprofit that receives a donation on Tuesday will receive a portion of the incentive fund, which increases the value of every dollar the groups earn.
The state-wide donation day was started in 2010, and has raised more than $217 million for nonprofits. In 2018, more than $35 million was raised in 24 hours.
In a recent survey by Smartasset, Boulder was named fourth most generous county in the state (Douglas County is first). The survey looked at how much people donate as a percentage to their net incomes and the proportion of people in a given county who made charitable donations.
In Boulder County, many nonprofits are asking residents to donate.
“We count on (Colorado Gives Day) as a big portion of our income,” said Director of Development at Sister Carmen Community Center Kristen Obenchain. “Our freezer goes out randomly, we use the money to keep the lights on in the building, there’s a lot of maintenance stuff with the building. These are things that foundations don’t apply for grants for, but we really rely on individuals to help with the operating funds.”
Sister Carmen Community Center in Lafayette is a resource for individuals and families in need of supportive services such as food, clothing, heat and housing assistance.
Along with its food bank, Sister Carmen has a thrift store with clothing, household goods and furniture. Proceeds help Sister Carmen Community Center’s programs. In the last year, the nonprofit says it has prevented 412 families from becoming homeless, provided bus tickets to 420 individuals, supplied more than $27,000 in thrift store vouchers, and more.
Sister Carmen has been involved with Colorado Gives Day since the beginning and each year it is able to receive a little more.
“We have a pretty big goal this year,” Obenchain said. “We have gotten close last year, it would be really great to achieve it this year.”
Sister Carmen is hoping to raise $100,000 this year.
In Longmont, the Humane Society is also participating and hoping to raise funds for the approximately 4,200 animals it shelters annually.
“For Longmont Humane Society, our primary goal is always to save more lives, and the funds raised on Colorado Gives Day mean more animals in need that can be supported through our services,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Carrie Brackenridge.
This is the ninth year the Humane Society is participating in Colorado Gives Day, Brackenridge said, and it enjoys being a part of the event.
“Colorado Gives Day provides a unique opportunity for nonprofits to benefit from the promotion of charitable giving to a much wider audience than we may normally be able to reach,” Brackenridge said. “We love the excitement that the event generates around the work of nonprofits in Colorado communities.”
Brackenridge said the average cost per animal is $408. Last year, the shelter received just over $74,000 in 24 hours due to Colorado Gives Day.
“We see these donations as reassurances of the value that members of the communities we serve place on the services we provide,” Brackenridge said. “That is a wonderful feeling.”
In Boulder, a group of staff and volunteers at Boulder Food Rescue work to ensure members of the community have fresh food. The money they collect on Tuesday will help with the cause.
Boulder Food Rescue works to give healthy food that would otherwise be wasted to low-income communities, via bicycle. The organization works with 40 different food donors to collect food, primarily fruits and vegetables, and donates it to different sites every day.
The group also works at housing sites for low-income seniors, individuals and families, after-school programs and preschools to help set up no cost grocery programs.
“(Colorado Gives) is an important day for us,” said Communications and Development Coordinator Lou Creech. “It’s part of our end of year fundraising. It allows everyone to come together and it amplifies the work that everyone is doing. It’s also a reminder that there are bigger themes and things we’re all fighting for.”
Last year, the nonprofit’s goal was $30,000, and this year they hope to raise $60,000. Creech said the money will help the organization with its programs, staff time, bicycle maintenance, general operating costs and more.
“Every dollar raised is worth about $8 in fresh food for the people we help,” Creech said. “We want to keep growing and have an even greater impact in the community.”
How to donate
Visit coloradogives.org, under the donate tab click find a nonprofit.
Nonprofits can be found by zip code or by key word or name.