Colorado Nonprofits Grab $26.2 Million In A Day

December 10, 2014       Patrick Sullivan      

Colorado Gives Day set another record for the state’s nonprofits. Participants raised $26.2 million, a 27.8 percent increase from 2013’s giving day total of $20.5 million. The number of donors increased to 107,862 from 88,571 in 2013.

“This year confirms that Colorado Gives Day is more than just a day (Dec. 9) — it’s a movement to support the great work nonprofits do in our Colorado communities,” Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of the Arvada, Colo.-based Community First Foundation, said via a statement.

This past giving day was the fifth for the state of Colorado, with almost 1,700 nonprofits participating. Colorado Gives Day generated $8.4 million in its inaugural year in 2010, and nearly $83 million for state nonprofits since its inception.

“I anticipated we’d make more than last year. I was always confident we’d bring more in,” said Dana Rinderknecht, director of online giving for Community First Foundation. “But this is a nearly 28 percent increase and I never imagined that. This is incredible.”

Rinderknecht attributed the big jump to an expanded focus on regional champions, first initiated last year. “They’re community foundations around the state who are doing what we’re doing here. They’re running the marketing and getting the nonprofits (in their region) really excited, pushing that give where you live philosophy,” she said. Rinderknecht added that many of these regional champions customized the campaign for their regions, for example Yampa Valley Gives Day, but that “It’s still Colorado Gives Day.”

Also expanded this year was cash prizes from partner FirstBank. Some $100,000 was up for grabs, including $10,000 in prizes for winners of a Facebook trivia contest, $5,000 worth for a Denver-area drawing, and 17 prizes of $5,000 each for randomly selected nonprofits. Nonprofits either had to have raised more this year than last year, or be first-time participants with at least 30 donations.

While Colorado Gives Day always had a matching fund, this year’s was the biggest ever, at $1 million. Nonprofits received a chunk of the $1 Million Incentive Fund proportional to their percentage of the total raised across the state. If an organization raised 10 percent of $26.2 million total, it would also get 10 percent of the Incentive Fund. The $1 million came from Community First Foundation and FirstBank.

“We’ve always had an incentive fund but last year it was $250,000,” said Rinderknecht. “This year we wanted to really make an impact with it, and we decided that a million would make an impact.”