Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colorado Businesses: Tooting their Horns!

By Mike Jackson

I love Colorado! I’ve lived in this state more than 30 years and appreciate the gift we all share of living in this beautiful place.

As the director of nonprofit relations and services, I help nonprofit organizations look for funding, invest for their future, and prepare for tomorrow. I regularly meet with nonprofit professionals who work day-in-and-day-out to tell their organization’s story and recruit charitable support from the public.

What always stands out to me is both the good work being done and the amount of work there is to do. From feeding the hungry to protecting the environment, the need is out there. But the resources just aren’t keeping up.

With the launch of Colorado Gives Day—our initiative to help Colorado nonprofits through online giving—we are reaching out to local businesses for support. I’m especially impressed with FirstBank, our presenting partner.

FirstBank is a local Colorado company. Their investment in the nonprofit sector over the years has been significant but understated. They are an extremely charitable organization that not only supports numerous causes, they also encourage their staff to volunteer, participate on boards, sponsor fundraisers and give. They do this every day, and don’t always get the recognition they should.

It’s time to toot their horn!

FirstBank has contributed $300,000 to support Colorado Gives Day. $250,000 of this amount is a lead gift for an incentive fund that will boost all donations made by the public through on December 8, 2010.

With this generous gift, FirstBank has made their single largest contribution to charity in the organization’s history, and have done so in a very unique way. The beauty of this gift is that as an organization, FirstBank is not choosing which charities their contribution goes to. They’re allowing the public, their customers, you—to direct these funds.

They are also leading the way for other businesses with a strong sense of social responsibility to follow suit. Any business that contributes at least $1,000 to the incentive fund will become a member of what we call the Circle of Giving.

Already, businesses are tooting their horns by making a contribution—a contribution that lets their customers how to help the community.

This is powerful corporate philanthropy.

Click here to see the names of businesses that have contributed to the Colorado Gives Day Incentive Fund so far (lower left side of page). 
Click here to learn more about how a business can toot its horn and make a contribution.

Mike Jackson is the director of nonprofit relations and services at Community First Foundation.