Colorado Gives Day gives Springs-area nonprofits a healthy boost

BARBARA COTTER Updated: December 6, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: December 6, 2012

A push to expand Colorado Gives Day beyond the Denver metro area apparently paid off big this year, with more than 40 nonprofits in the Pikes Peak region receiving at least $232,000 during the online donation drive.

By the time the money is added up, it’s likely that the number will reach $250,000, and that’s just for the 40 nonprofits participating in the 1-year-old Colorado Gives Day Pikes Peak Collaboration. Several other area nonprofits that are not part of the collaboration also received donations during Tuesday’s 24-hour drive.

“Last year, the Pikes Peak area did $128,000 with 19 organizations, so going from that to, say, $250,000 is just awesome,” said Shannon Roe, resource development officer for CASA of the Pikes Peak Region and head of the local collaboration. “We’re excited about that number.”

The Denver-based Community First Foundation, with financial help from FirstBank, started Colorado Gives Day in 2010 to draw more donors to online giving. But most donations were clustered in the seven-county Denver metro area.

Last year, 39 nonprofits in El Paso and Teller counties — including the 19 in the Pikes Peak Collaboration — pulled in  $182,000. That compares with the 414 nonprofits in Denver County that received more than $7.3 million.

This year, to broaden the reach of the program and benefit more nonprofits outside the Denver area, the El Pomar Foundation and Boettcher Foundation each kicked in $75,000.

“It was clear from the results of Colorado Gives Day that our grant to help expand this effort beyond the Denver Metro area was a great fit,” El Pomar Chairman and CEO Bill Hybl said.

"People were truly inspired to give to a whole range of nonprofits in every corner of the state.”

Some of the foundations’ grant money is being used to help the Community First Foundation expand and support its year-round philanthropic program, Giving First, outside the Denver area. And some was handed out as prizes to nonprofits participating in Tuesday’s Colorado Gives Day.

KCME, the public classical radio station in Colorado Springs, was already having a good day Tuesday. Donations hit about $6,000, compared with about $2,700 the year before. Then, general manager Jeanna Wearing got word that they’d received one of the $1,000 prizes in a random drawing.

“That was just like the beautiful wrapping on the package,” she said Wednesday. “El Pomar — what can I say. This foundation has been so good to hundreds of thousands of people in its history.”

Traci Hearne, executive director of Family Connections, which works to prevent child abuse and neglect, said she was impressed with the amount of money the members of the Pikes Peak Collaboration raised. It’s the first year her organization has participated, and while it didn’t rake in enough to where it will never have to do fundraising again, “it’s always helpful, and more than we had before,” she said.

“It turned out a lot better than expected, in terms that we set a higher goal this year, and with the Waldo Canyon fire and the Aurora shooting, where people had already given money this year, I think in general we’re blown away by how much people still gave.”

Statewide, 1,258 nonprofits received about $15 million in the one-day drive; in 2011, 928 nonprofits raised $12.4 million.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

Last year, human service organizations received the most money - $3.1 million on Colorado Gives Day. The other big recipients, by organization type, include education ($1.85 million); youth development ($1.2 million); arts, culture and humanities ($971,000); crime/legal ($791,000); health care ($743,000); housing/shelter ($558,000); environment ($467,000); animal-related ($450,000) and food/nutrition ($419,000).

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