Thursday, February 17, 2011

Colorado Gives Day: Reflections from Nonprofits

By Angela Bevacqua, Communications Specialist

Two months later and we’re still learning from Colorado Gives Day 2010. As we pour through data and listen to the experiences of our nonprofit friends and donors, we gain new insights about fundraising and philanthropy in Colorado.

At a recent gathering of our Nonprofit Advisory Committee—a varied group of GivingFirst nonprofits that help us improve the program—we heard these reflections about The Day:

Dan Hanley, director of development for Boulder County AIDS Project, said that 45% of their donations on Dec. 8 were from new donors. The agency raised more than $20,000 from 178 donations after a whirlwind of events. Dan said there are limitless ways in which you can promote your agency for Colorado Gives Day. They began soliciting support in the late-night hours of Dec. 7 at a bar in Denver, then moved on to the Denver Diner in the a.m., then several coffee shops in Boulder, and ended with a standing-room-only concert at the Boulder Draft House.

“Colorado Gives Day changed who we are as an agency," Dan said. "We’re small—just a staff of 12—but our reach on that day made us seem like a much bigger organization. We were once again reminded how important the individual donor is to our mission.”

Dan Mondragon, development director at Work Options for Women, told us that they also put on a complementary event for Colorado Gives Day. The fundraising event took place at Cafe Options, the organization’s breakfast/lunch spot in downtown Denver, and helped them raise a total of $18,654 from 84 donations.

“Colorado Gives Day was a great reflection of our current individual donor program and a strong launch for growth in 2011; 31% of the day’s donors were new.” Dan said. “Colorado Gives Day blew the $1 million goal out of the water!”

Richard Rainaldi, a partner at CiviCore, had a unique perspective in that he was literally behind the scenes as the GivingFirst platform’s developer. CiviCore made sure the system ran smoothly on Colorado Gives Day and was moved by what he witnessed.

“Philanthropy was truly happening on that day,” Richard said. “I could tell that people were thinking really hard about how they divvied up their money on GivingFirst.org.”

Jeffco Action Center raised a whopping $192,813 from 307 donations on December 8. "Colorado Gives Day was our largest single day of donations in December in our history—and the whole month was up, not just that day,” Joe Haines, director of development, said. “The money we received came when the needs of poor, working poor and homeless in Jefferson County was at its highest in our 42 year history."

Thank you to the GivingFirst Nonprofit Advisory Committee!

Members include the following:

Amber DeBerry, The Wildlife Experience
Ashley Golder, Safehouse Denver
Bob Timm, Senior's Resource Center
Colleen Skates, Evergreen Scholarship - Bootstraps
Dan Hanley, Boulder County AIDS Project
Dan Mondragon, Work Options for Women
Heather Jackson, Aurora Mental Health Center
Jill Schneider, Caring Connection
Joe Haines, Jeffco Action Center
Mary Jo Baker, Sobriety House
Shannon Cardellina, Arapahoe House
Stacey Saggese, Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute
Stephanie Baer, Children's Outreach Project
Valerie Gildea, Third Way Center