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Showing posts from 2012

Colorado Gives Day Sets New Record

By Marla J. Williams, president and CEO, Community First Foundation and
Stephanie Tuthill, board chair, Community First Foundation

Coloradans, you are amazing! Congratulations and thank you for setting a new Colorado Gives Day record. In an inspiring demonstration of support for more than 1,200 Colorado nonprofits, you came forward from across the state to contribute $15 million on Colorado Gives Day 2012. This is an increase of 20 percent over last year. And this means that over the course of the last three Colorado Gives Days you have teamed together to donate more than $35 million.


We hope you feel good about the impact you are making—Individuals like you gave from $10 to $200,000 and each one of those dollars is truly valued by the nonprofits that do important work every day across our state. Work that brings food, shelter and medical services to those who would otherwise go without; work that protects our environment, improves schools, and enriches our culture through music and…

75 Years of Giving

By Josie Burke, Director of Communications, El Pomar Foundation
Philanthropy can be interpreted as many things: hard to pronounce, confusing, reserved for the privileged. When El Pomar Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation got together earlier this year to talk about joining forces to mark our 75th anniversaries that occur within five days this December, we had to confront this perception. And that meant changing the vocabulary. If we were going to meet the goal we set--to celebrate our field by encouraging others to join us-- we had to ditch the big 'P' word.
That is how we settled on giving. Everyone can give, even if everyone doesn't think that philanthropy is open to all. So, you will see that our joint anniversary logo mentions that for 75 years both foundations have been working, building and giving for Colorado. We jettisoned all "p"s, except for the one in our name.
Having whittled the alphabet down to 25 letters, we went about narrowing options to find…

A Colorado Gives Day Checklist: Steps You Shouldn't Skip

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist


Are you a nonprofit counting down the days to Colorado Gives Day? If you’re like us, you are. You’ve got your list and you’re checking it twice. Here are our suggestions on what should be, at a minimum, on your check list.

Make sure your GivingFirst Profile looks great!
Submit final changes by Friday, Nov. 16, so that they can be approved and live in time for the big day.Write a compelling “appeal.” The appeal is a new feature that lets you write a short summary (300 characters or less) of your organization that appears in several place: 1) in the GivingFirst home page when you get a donation, 2) in search results 3) in the checkout cart, and 4) on your profile page. If you don’t write an appeal, your mission statement is the default. Consider adding a special appeal just for Colorado Gives Day. For example, “The Puppydog Foundation provides low-cost medical services for ailing dogs seven days a week. Help us reach our goal of hiring …

Colorado Gives Day 2012: Where Would You Donate $50,000?

By Jamie Tafoya, FirstBank

Giving back to the community has always been one of FirstBank’s top priorities. And why shouldn’t it be? We live and work in these communities and are committed to helping our neighbors.

In fact, for the third year, FirstBank is pitching in on Colorado Gives Day, donating $600,000 to ignite change for Colorado nonprofits on December 4. This year, $50,000 of our donation will be awarded to individual nonprofits. You will determine which ten nonprofits will receive $1,000 through Colorado Gives Day Trivia and another four lucky nonprofits will win a $10,000 through our Luck-of-the-Draw lottery.

Trivia Prizes
Monday, November 26, we’ll kick-off a week of Colorado Gives Day trivia on Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is tweet or post your answer on Facebook and you could be given the chance to donate $1,000 to any nonprofit profiled on GivingFirst.org. A total of TEN winners will be named throughout the week, with the final trivia questions being posted o…

Support Colorado Wildfire Relief on GivingFirst.org: 100% Goes to Charity

By Dana Rinderknecht, Manager of Online Giving

I am a Colorado Native and love this beautiful state where we live. In recent conversations with friends we have been comparing memories, as I do not remember fires happening when I was child. Now I am sure they did but I don’t remember them. I do remember Smokey the Bear telling us that "only you can prevent wildfires," so they must have happened.
The first forest fire that hits my radar is the one in Yellowstone back in 1988 and how devastating that was. In Colorado, the first that we all talk about is the Hayman fire and the destruction and consequences felt. Once again, we find our state on fire. I watched and read about all the amazing work that nonprofits around Colorado were doing to support those affected. Over and over again I saw the names of nonprofits who I knew were on GivingFirst.org. So, I began to wonder how we here at Community FirstFoundation could help.

Wait! Every single day I talk about the fact that we have an…

Recurring Donations: An Easy Way to Pre-Plan and Automate Your Donations

By Angela Bevacqua
Senior Communications Specialist
Do you have soft spot for a particular cause or nonprofit? Is it hard to donate the amount you really want-- in one lump sum? Do you want to plan your donations all at once, and not worry about them the rest of the year?

These are some of the reasons people use the Recurring Donation feature on GivingFirst.org.
Incremental Giving Recurring Donations allow people to donate to nonprofits in increments over a specific period of time. After setting up a donation schedule, a person’s donations occur automatically—directly from his or her credit card, debit card or bank account. They can set up daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual recurring donations for a specific amount. Nice and easy.

How to Do It There’s nothing particularly special about making this happen. After pressing a “Donate Now” button on GivingFirst.org or a nonprofit’s website, the donation form guides you by asking if your donation is recurring. Then you are walked…

Five Years of Online Giving!

By Dana Rinderknecht, GivingFirst Manager, Community First Foundation

GivingFirst.org turns five today!

Five years ago, Community First Foundation brought this giving resource to nonprofits and donors in Metro Denver. Sixty nonprofits signed up and put their profiles on the site to show their transparency and accountability to donors. In the first year, an additional 113 nonprofits signed up and more than $680,000 was raised from more than 1,600 gifts.

Today there are 930 nonprofits participating from all over the state of Colorado and we have raised more than $1.2 million so far this year.

The GivingFirst team has been pulling data and looking at the trends to see what this all means. Of course we have the big numbers:

·$30,086,272 dollars raised
·57,336 donors
·125,169 donations
·1,028 participating nonprofits
But some of the numbers that stick out for me are:
·50:  the number of states from which donations have come
·23:  the number of countries from which we have received donations
·62: the …

Colorado Gives Day 2011: Data Reveals Staggering Generosity

By Bryce Wilkinson, Project Coordinator, Community First Foundation
Colorado Gives Day is exciting! People are eager to support the causes they’re passionate about; nonprofits are busy motivating their donors; the energy of being part of something big is palpable by everyone who participates.

Once the event is over, the donations have been distributed to the nonprofits, and everyone has been thanked for their generosity, the excitement tends to wane.
Not for me, though.
It’s at that point I get to work with the data. When I tell you that looking at Colorado Gives Day data is exciting, I know that some of you are probably thinking, with an eyebrow slightly raised, “Exciting. Really?” Yes, exciting and here’s why: the data embodies all that energy, and turning our attention to it not only allows us to relive the experience ourselves, but also enables us to share it with others.
Just consider the donors. Over 27,000 people jazzed, sitting at their computers, and ready to give; some of …

A Writing Journey: Undoing Everything I Believed About Writing

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation
I used to think that writing was a natural talent. You either had it or you didn’t. A talented person could just conjure up lovely “turns of phrase,” as I’ve been known to call them. My frustration with writing would mount when these lovely “turns of phrase” didn’t naturally flow from my pen.
No--I would belabor every sentence. My writing would become more and more convoluted, dry, and awkward. I focused on perfect grammar, which only added to the struggle. I was trying so hard to impress. So of course I started to loathe writing and my confidence plummeted.
Thank goodness for a best friend, and stellar writer, who became my writing mentor. I traded sushi dinners for writing lessons.
I marveled at what he taught me. His writing was simple but meaningful. It flowed. In his books and essays he wrote about complex ideas (psychology and spirituality) in a way that anyone could understand. What a remarkable f…

Habitat for Humanity: Hundreds of Helping Hands

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist

One of the inspiring stories that came from Colorado Gives Day was Habitat for Humanity’s campaign to “raise a house” for a family in need.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver rallied 278 people to donate for building materials to construct a safe, healthy home for a family of four. The final tally? A stellar $95,358 raised, including the FirstBank Incentive of more than $2,200. Construction materials for a single home typically cost $85,000.
I’ve always admired this organization’s mission and their belief that “every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.” What I didn’t know is that Habitat works in communities around the world—selecting prospective homeowners, organizing volunteers, and coordinating home building.
The staff at Community First Foundation was invited to help build the “Colorado Gives Day house” recently, along with the homeowner Amanda. I was both excited and intrigued to see …

GivingFirst: Unlimited Possibilities for the Passionate Fundraiser

By Dana Rinderknecht, GivingFirst Manager
On January 19th at the Arvada Center, Community First Foundation awarded the FirstBank High Five Prizes to 12 organizations who did an outstanding job on Colorado Gives Day. There were over 500 folks present and they represented a true cross section of Colorado Nonprofits.
Now I will let you in on a little secret. I loved this event! Not only because we put it together, so that makes me biased, but because it is so much fun to see our participants in person. GivingFirst is an online program, and as such we do almost everything electronically – webinars, emails, etc. So I rarely get to talk one-on-one with participants to learn about what they are doing. I read the profiles and the newsletters so I know on a cursory level what is happening. But to hear someone who is passionate about the work they are doing is a whole different phenomenon. To hear the stories of donor calls that happened on Colorado Gives Day, or leading up to or, even better ye…