Thursday, January 26, 2012

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 yet, after the day, is so much fun for me. I also love the networking and idea sharing that happens at our events.

From a development perspective, Colorado Gives Day has unlimited possibilities. Hearing what another organization did can trigger a thought that takes you in so many different directions. You may not use that idea for Colorado Gives Day, but for something that you are working on at a different time of the year.
That is really the key to Colorado Gives Day and our program.

GivingFirst.org is a year- round program. Donors can go on and give 365 or in the case of this year 366 days a year. 24 hours a day. They can set up a recurring donation, which means they can give on a regular basis in a time frame that works best for them. That could be monthly or quarterly or even every three weeks. The functionality is very flexible.

Then of course there are GivingFirst Fundraising Pages. These are a great way to raise money for your favorite charity and to challenge yourself. It is the time of year where those who make New Year’s Resolutions have started faltering. Perhaps your resolution was to do something healthy; then creating a Fundraising page is a great way to give you accountability while at the same time helping your favorite nonprofit raise money and awareness.

But I digress. The one comment I heard over and over again at the event was that nonprofits learned so much this year and that they can’t wait for next year.

I say, “Why wait?” Fundraising is year-round. Needs don’t stop because it is the beginning of a new year.

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