Colorado Gives Day successful for county
EAGLE COUNTY — Phones were ringing, postcards were handed on the streets and social media blasts peppered feeds around the state. By the end of the day on Tuesday, more than 100,000 Coloradans had turned out to support state nonprofits by donating on Colorado Gives Day.
The fundraising day, sponsored by First Bank’s Community First Foundation, is the biggest day of giving in the state. On Tuesday, 107,862 donations amounted to $26.2 million, a 28 percent increase over last year. Donations ranged from $10 to $300,000, and Community First will add to the money raised by nonprofits through a $1 million incentive fund. The more a nonprofit raises on Colorado Gives Day, the bigger their share of the incentive fund.
Nonprofits within Eagle County had a big fundraising day, with $772,541 raised within the county across 36 participating nonprofits from nearly 2,000 donors.
In recent years, local nonprofits have banded together to form Eagle County Gives, promoting participation in Colorado Gives Day and drumming up support within the community. A number of local businesses and organizations supported the effort, including establishments such as Blue Moose, Larkburger and Bonfire raising money for Gives Day that will be split among the participating Eagle County charities.
Fundraising efforts ranged from large-scale endeavors to more modest donation days, but many nonprofits emphasized how important the community support is for their organizations.
“It was cool to see that engagement,” said Caitlin Kincaid, of SOS Outreach in Avon. “It’s the biggest individual giving day, and it’s a great opportunity for us to tell our story.”
Every bit helps
Avon-based Eagle River Youth Coalition had its biggest Colorado Gives Day to date, raising $3,150 from 47 donors. Much of the youth nonprofit’s funds come from governmental grants, said resource development coordinator Mikayla Curtis, but Colorado Gives Day is the only individual donor request they make each year.
“It’s not our largest area that we receive funds, but it is one of the most helpful areas because it allows us to expand and enhance what we’re doing,” Curtis said. “It’s amazing to see as a community what we are able to financially contribute to improve or continue the betterment of Eagle County. Collectively it shows the support of nonprofits. Seeing that on one day really highlights the community commitment.”
The funds will help all of the nonprofit’s programs, but will especially help the Eagle River Youth Coalition expand its substance abuse prevention education programs in local schools.
At Avon-based Can Do MS, which provides lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with multiple sclerosis, staff saw the biggest fundraising result for Colorado Gives Day yet. The organization netted $4,000, which is a big push in helping the charity reach its year-end donation goal of $30,000. Gives Day helps the organization stay connected with other valley charities and also raises awareness for upcoming events, such as its Vertical Express event and adaptive ski day on Feb. 21. (See http://www.mscando.org for more information.)
“It’s great for us to participate in Eagle County Gives. I think because we are a national organization, sometimes people forget that we are based here and that we have local programs, such as adaptive ski days,” said director of marketing and communications Jennifer Myers.
Gifts that keep giving
An added bonus of the fundraising day is that in many cases, the efforts keep on giving. For Eagle County Gives participants, they’ll be receiving additional funds that were raised by supporting businesses.
“For the nonprofits that worked together to promote Colorado Gives Day, there’s some additional community funding that will be split up between the nonprofits,” Kincaid said.
“There’s a sizable chunk of cash that we’ll all be sharing, which is really exciting.”
SOS Outreach raised just over $22,000 from 206 participants, an effort that was the result of a two-week long push among the organization’s volunteers, staff and participants. The momentum will also help the youth outdoor nonprofit launch into its winter programs, Kincaid said.
“Gives Day falls at a great time for us because it is when our programs are launching,” she said. “It’s exciting to see all the impact we’ll be able to create this season, and people will be able to see kids getting out on the mountain.”
The Eagle Valley Humane Society beat last year’s fundraising by about $1,000, and executive director Char Gonsenica said that the day of giving will help boost a month-long effort. A private donor will be matching every gift given throughout the month up to $5,000. See http://www.adoptafriend.org for more information.
“Most of the donations will go toward medical expenses, our biggest expense,” said Gonsenica, adding that the charity has really benefited by joining the Eagle County Give collaboration. “It’s really been great because there are so many nonprofits in the valley, and it’s nice to work together with everyone as a team. I think it’s really good for the community.”
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.