Activism

Get Ready to Give on Colorado Gives Day

One of the many nonprofits that benefit from Colorado Gives Day.
One of the many nonprofits that benefit from Colorado Gives Day. Foothills Animal Shelter
No sooner had the Thanksgiving greetings dried up and disappeared from email inboxes than the deluge of Colorado Gives Day requests began in earnest. This annual online fundraiser, set for Tuesday, December 8, will help nearly 3,000 nonprofits in a very, very tough year; a $1 million Incentive Fund made possible by Community First Foundation, FirstBank and other community members will boost the value of every donation.

Colorado Gives Day started in 2010, another year when Denver nonprofits had been hit hard by an ongoing recession. “The turbulent economy has affected many people’s ability to support charitable organizations, yet the demand for services has increased dramatically,” according to the 2009 GivingFirst report. The Community First Foundation had launched GivingFirst.org in May 2007 as a way to make donating easier in Colorado; at the time, the site had sixty nonprofit profiles.

Then came the genius concept: a single day when you would “give where you live.” The initial goal for the first Colorado Gives Day, on December 8, 2010, was to raise $1 million for nonprofits, but reality blew past that...fast. In just one day, 12,540 individuals donated $8.4 million. After adding $320,000 from the Incentive Fund — started with $250,000 from FirstBank, aided by 27 other businesses and organizations — more than $8.7 million was donated to 539 Colorado nonprofits from that first effort.

The next year, interest was so keen that the system blew out, and the 24-hour Colorado Gives Day had to tack on another twelve hours. All told, $12.8 million was donated to 932 nonprofits.

Over the years, Colorado Gives Day has just gotten bigger. Last year, donors gave $39.6 million to 2,569 nonprofits. Can Coloradans break that record in 2020?

The next Colorado Gives Day starts at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8, and runs for the next 24 hours — but you don’t have to wait until then to give where you live. You can schedule a donation now at ColoradoGives.org, where you can also study the more than 2,900 participating nonprofits, ranging from 2 Blondes All Breed Rescue to Historic Boulder to 40 West Arts to the Zen Center of Denver.

Get ready to give it up for Colorado's nonprofits.
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Chris Decker