Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ho! Ho! Ho! Be Santa for a Day

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving

It’s that time of year again! Time to think like Santa and check the list! Not the naughty or nice list, but the Colorado Gives Day Nonprofit list. Have you thought about who you will give to this year? We have over 1,400 nonprofits to choose from this year on ColoradoGives.org and they are doing amazing work.

I always start my list with my favorites – the nonprofits I have given to every year since the beginning of Colorado Gives Day. I check to make sure they are still participating (if I haven’t gotten a zillion emails from them reminding me to schedule my donation!). I get on ColoradoGives.org and do a quick check of their profiles, looking specifically at what’s new – just to checking to see if I missed anything they are doing. Also, I do like to check their financials – the graphs on their Overview Tab and then the details on their Financials Tab. Then I will do a quick check on their Programs and Management Tab. I do like to see who is currently sitting on their board, where they come from, and what is their expertise.

Then I start searching for newbies. Can I find a nonprofit that is doing good work but I might never have heard about them? What about something new that I have read about recently that is a need in my community? Once I entered my search criteria, I look at the widgets (pictured) and open profiles to learn more.

First, I do a quick check of their Overview Tab. Where exactly are they located? If they have a video, I will watch it to learn more about what they are doing. The mission statement is right there as well so I can see the organization’s focus. At this point, I will do a quick check of the Financials Graphs to see if there is anything that concerns me. If this is an organization I still am interested in supporting, I move to the Programs Tab.

Now my insider knowledge tells me that some nonprofits will only highlight key programs they are focusing on raising money through Colorado Gives Day. Others will show all. Personally I like to see all the programs but I understand the desire to only highlight key ones. I like to see what impact these are making and how the nonprofit is measuring it. Then again, if I am still interested, I move on to the management section to see if I know anyone associated with this program (and why haven’t they told me about it!).

One of my favorite things about ColoradoGives.org is that what is important to me is not necessarily what is important to you or another donor. We each have our passions and the things that are important to us. What ColoradoGives.org does is present organizations’ information so that we can become educated donors. Then it is your decision as to if you want to give to that organization or another one.

So who is on your list?