Skip to main content

Remember the Whys and Hows of Giving

Why do you give?
By Bryce Wilkinson,  project coordinator at Community First Foundation

It’s a simple question, but the answers tend to be more complicated. Sometimes it’s because you heard a story which moved you to action. Other times the connection isn’t with the cause itself but a person you know; your friend asked you to donate or your uncle works at this nonprofit, so you donate to it. Personal reasons – your wife is a breast cancer survivor or you enjoy gardening – can also prompt you to donate Often, though, there is some combination of factors swirled together in just the right way at just the right time that compels you to give.

A recent donation I made had a number of contributing factors behind it. I served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Niger, West Africa. During that time, I had my fair share of parasites from contaminated water. The other day I read an article about illnesses resulting from contaminated water which made me remember how difficult it is to live with amoebas swimming around in your gut, so I made a donation to a nonprofit that works on providing clean drinking water.

How do you give?
My parents (and I suspect many of your parents as well) are not very technologically inclined. They do not purchase items online. They drive to the bank to do transactions in person. And, they make donations to organizations important to them by sending checks on a regular basis.

I, on the other hand, prefer to shop on the Internet, only go to the bank to deposit the birthday check my parents sent (my bank doesn’t have an app for that yet, sigh), and I only donate online.

So what?
There’s nothing new here, right? We all know that people give for various reasons; it’s common knowledge that some people are more comfortable operating in a digital environment while others prefer paper.

Here’s the thing: as nonprofit professionals we often fail to act on this knowledge.

People do give for a number of reasons, so present them with your message every which way you can. Provide some facts in an annual report, share your mission on a blog, send your friends an email asking them to donate, and tell a story that encapsulates what you do in a personal way. In this way, the theme of your message is consistent, but by mixing up the way in which it is communicated, you can touch upon and emphasize the many reasons to support your centered mission.

Then once a connection is established and a donation has been made, continue to communicate through the medium the gift was made. If, as a nonprofit, you received a check in the mail, send a thank you note in the mail. But, if you received a gift online, send a thank you email.

As you put the finishing touches on your annual campaign, take a little time to reflect on the why and the how of giving and act accordingly.


Popular posts from this blog

Meeting Space Celebrity Sighting: Natalie Portman

Valerie Brown, Meeting Space Administrator
I met Natalie Portman in the Community First Foundation Meeting Space yesterday.
Okay, not the Natalie Portman of Star Wars, V for Vendetta and Black Swan. This Natalie Portman is a top-notch meeting facilitator who was working with a group advancing Mental Health First Aid in Jefferson County. Led by Jefferson Center for Mental Health, the group met in our largest meeting room to discuss training community members on how to identify persons who may benefit from mental health resources.
Jefferson Center for Mental Health is one of the dizzying array of nonprofits to have come through our doors since we opened the Meeting Space a year ago! February 2016 saw one meeting lasting four hours with six people. February 2017 saw 37 meetings for a total of 250 hours with 799 people through the door! In fact, in the first year we have hosted 269 meetings lasting a total of 1,822 hours and have seen 5,615 people through the door.
These people do the goo…

Making Your List and Checking It Twice: How to Read Nonprofit Profiles for Colorado Gives Day in Five Easy Steps

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving at Community First Foundation
Colorado Gives Day is coming! Once again it is time to make your list and, like Santa, check it twice!
As you craft your list, the wonderful thing about, the online giving platform for Colorado Gives Day, is that you can learn more about the nonprofits you already support as well as others you didn’t realize were out there doing good work. This year we have more than 2,000 nonprofits from all over the state of Colorado participating.
You might ask yourself, “What can I learn about these nonprofits?” and, “Where do I start?”
Go to and search. You can search by name, cause, or location. For instance, if you want to find out which nonprofits are working in your neighborhood, type in your zip code and press “Go.”When you see one you like, click “Learn More” on the widget to view the profile. The first tab is an overview of the program, starting with pictures and videos. It gives…

The Real People Behind the Scenes

Meet the Online Giving Team
Ever wonder what’s happening behind the scenes on Colorado Gives Day? Answering questions, processing donations and communicating progress is an all-hands-on-deck affair at Community First Foundation, but there are three staff members who really keep the wheels turning, today and every day. Meet the online giving team!
Meet Dana Rinderknecht, director of online giving Q. What’s your role on the team? A. I raise awareness of the program and keep it moving forward with exciting new ideas like
Q. What’s the coolest thing about most people don’t know? A. That you can set up ongoing, regular donations to your favorite nonprofit to support them year-round. This gives them funds they can rely on and helps you spread out your cost.
Q. What are your personal charitable passions? A. For me, it’s about making the world a better place.
Q. What are you most looking forward to doing the day after ColoradoGives Day – …