El Pomar, Boettcher sweeten pot to boost Colorado Gives Day donations

BARBARA COTTER Updated: December 3, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: December 3, 2012

Two well-known foundations want to make sure that nonprofits outside the metro Denver area receive some of the love during the annual Colorado Gives Day online donation drive Tuesday.

In honor of their 75th anniversaries, the El Pomar Foundation and Boettcher Foundation each gave $75,000 to the Denver-based Community First Foundation, which started Colorado Gives Day in 2010 to encourage online giving during a 24-hour campaign.

About $25,000 of the $150,000 combined grant will be given out as prizes to participating nonprofits outside the Denver metro area. How that money will be distributed has yet to be determined, but it will be tied to donations from the public.

“As long as they get a donation, they’ll get something,” said Dana Rinderknecht, manager of online giving for the Community First Foundation.

The bulk of the $150,000 will be used to beef up and support regional participation, not only for Colorado Gives Day, but as part of Community First Foundation’s year-round online program, GivingFirst.

“The great thing about what El Pomar and Boettcher are doing for us is helping us create a long-term partnership outside the seven-county Denver metro area,” Rinderknecht said. “What we’re looking at is creating partnerships in those areas that would kind of lead the charge, so to speak. This program, GivingFirst, is year-round, not just for Colorado Gives Day, so it really would be about expanding that year-round program.”

She said the money would be used for training, Web page design and a variety of other elements to broaden the effort statewide.

With Colorado Gives Day on the horizon, the immediate focus is on the 24-hour online giving campaign, which brought in $8.7 million in its first year — most of it for Denver area charities.

To raise their visibility and grab a bigger share of Colorado Gives day donations, 19 Colorado Springs-area nonprofits joined forces last year to form the Colorado Gives Day Pikes Peak Collaboration. Those nonprofits, plus 18 more that weren’t part of the collaboration, raised $182,323 from 721 donations, Rinderknecht said.

This year, the Pikes Peak area group has 40 participating organizations that hope to raise $225,000. An additional six nonprofits from El Paso County and three from Teller County will also seek online donations during the campaign, Rinderknecht said.

All nonprofits chosen for Colorado Gives Day must meet certain revenue or asset thresholds, and be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State.

“They really do have to go through a process to participate with us,” Rinderknecht said.
Shannon Roe, resource development officer for CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, heads up the local group and said the grants to help nonprofits outside the Denver area provide a much-needed boost.

“We’re thrilled El Pomar and Boettcher are jumping on this,” Roe said.

In addition to the grants from the two foundations, the Community First Foundation receives major financial backing from its corporate partner, FirstBank, which is providing $600,000 for the 2012 campaign.

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