Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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 them wondering how much can be raised; some hoping they’ll be picked for a Bonus Buck; all of them – from 59 Colorado counties, every state in the U.S., and even 13 countries – motivated to do good.  

A fair amount of these donors (4,539) knew the routine. They gave on the 2010 Colorado Gives Day, and were ready to donate again in 2011. And donate they did. On Colorado Gives Day 2011, these returning donors donated $4.5 million to 847 nonprofits. A little example of how important existing donors are to an organization.

Then there were all the gifts. In total, people gave 52,226 donations to 928 nonprofits totaling $12,369,340. Staggering generosity. Here’s the really cool part about the gifts: most of them were not huge donations. 43,988 donations (84%) were less than $250, and 18,623 donations were under $50. To me, that’s a true testament to the notion that if everyone chips in a little, we can do great things together.

The Colorado Gives Day 2011 data is well worth taking a look at. If you participated in the event, it may conjure up fun memories and help put your personal experience in context of the larger event. If you weren’t able to participate, it may give you a sense of what it was like and encourage you to participate on this year’s event on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.  

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