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Digital Giving For Charitable Friends

By Angela Bevacqua, Sr. Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation



























Are you stumped about holiday gifts for your friends or family who “have it all”?

Do you have friends who would appreciate a gift of charity?

If so, consider ColoradoGives Giving eCards.

These electronic gift cards can be purchased on the website ColoradoGives.org and e-mailed to friends and family with your personal message.

Recipients redeem the eCards by donating to any of the 1,600+ Colorado nonprofits featured on ColoradoGives.org. They are sure to find a cause they care about.

Purchase the Giving eCards on Christmas eve or Christmas day for a super-timely delivery.


Colorado...You've Blown Us Away Again!

Colorado…you’ve blown us away again!

For the fifth consecutive year, citizens across our great state united in a common goal to support Colorado nonprofits. Together, you have made Colorado Gives Day another record-breaking success and we thank you for opening your hearts to give like never before.

Colorado Gives Day raised $26.2 million for 1,677 nonprofits. This amazing  support materialized in just 24 hours. During that time, ColoradoGives.org, the website that powers Colorado Gives Day, processed 107,862 donations. Every single donation is powerful, meaningful and sincerely appreciated. Your gifts will provide much-needed resources to the nonprofits working to improve the quality of life in our local communities.

These amazing results underscore that Colorado Gives Day and ColoradoGives.org is an easy way for donors to give and a great way for nonprofits to increase awareness and fundraise online. We are pleased to be able to offer this program statewide to donors and nonprofits …

Digging Through the Data: What to Look for in a Nonprofit Profile

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation
With over 1,600 nonprofits on our site, the process of deciding where to donate your money on Colorado Gives Day can be both daunting and exciting. This is especially difficult if you don’t know who you want to support.
The first place to start is to search for something of interest to you. Perhaps you've heard the name of a nonprofit or a cause you’re passionate about. Let’s say, for example, that I heard about “Community First Foundation” and was interested in learning more about them. I simply type in the term “Community First Foundation” on the main page of ColoradoGives.org and click “go.”

After entering in my query, I see they’re one of the first nonprofits listed. Next to their name and logo, I can read the appeal. Think of the appeal as their "sound bite" or "elevator speech." 
If I’m interested in learning more, I click on the “learn more” link, which takes me to the nonprofit's …

Schedule Your Donations on #GivingTuesday

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation

#GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a global day of service and charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a response to consumer-driven days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This year #GivingTuesday takes place on December 2—one week before Colorado Gives Day. And although #GivingTuesday encourages acts of service, it does not accept or distribute donations. What a perfect time to plan your Colorado Gives Day donations or schedule them in advance!

If you’re a nonprofit on ColoradoGives.org, here are some suggested social media posts to share on Dec. 2:

Facebook

#GivingTuesday, a movement to create a global day of service & giving, is Dec. 2. This is a perfect time to schedule your donations for #CoGivesDay on @ColoradoGives.org.So many great local nonprofits! Get ready for #COGivesDay by delving deep on #GivingTuesday. Learn about the programs, goals, and needs of your favorite…

Rally at the Capitol – Six Tips for Success

By Kayla Arnesen, Director of Strategic Communications, Community First Foundation

In less than a week, hundreds of individuals representing Colorado’s nonprofits will descend on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver and rally in support of Colorado Gives Day.

The Colorado Gives Day Rally happens Monday, December 8 at 11 a.m. (rain, snow or shine) on the Capitol’s West steps. The Rally celebrates Colorado’s nonprofits and the great work they do in our communities. It is also the “last hurrah” before Colorado Gives Day.

If you are a participating ColoradoGives nonprofit and can get to the Capitol building on the second Monday in December, read on! Here are six things to know to make the most of the event:


Date: Monday, December 8 on the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol (Lincoln and Colfax). Parking is challenging so arrive early.Time: Try to be there by 10:30 a.m. We begin with remarks promptly at 11 and finish by 11:30. Governor Hickenlooper is joining us in person …

Colorado Public TV Prize Helps Small Nonprofits

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation
If you’re a small nonprofit participating in Colorado Gives Day, you have a chance to win a wonderful media package from Colorado Gives Day sponsor Colorado Public Television (CPT12 – Channel 12).
“We understand that marketing a small organization is really challenging,” said Pam Parker of Colorado Public TV about the prize. “We’re excited to present a small Colorado nonprofit with the opportunity to tell their story to our engaged and well-educated audience of more than 600,000 people each week. Over the course of the entire prize, that’s a lot of visibility — and potential impact — for a nonprofit trying to make a difference.”

The prize consists of a 10-week media campaign through Colorado Public Television that includes production of a 30-second commercial, air time and more.
A winner will be randomly drawn among nonprofits that answer this fun question on Facebook between November 25 – December 8:
“I…

FirstBank Offers $100,000 in Cash Prizes

By Lisa Adams, Assistant Vice President, FirstBank

FirstBank has been a proud supporter of Colorado Gives Day,the 24-hour online fundraising movement created by Community First Foundation, since it was launched in 2010. Colorado Gives Day is a cause that each and every team member at FirstBank is extremely passionate about. It’s a true honor to give back to the communities that have helped us grow and succeed.
Each year, we look forward to giving back through a donation to Colorado Gives Day to help kick-start the season of giving – and this year is no different. In 2014, FirstBank is pitching in $600,000 to Colorado Gives Day. This year, $100,000 of our donation is headed straight to the pockets of individual nonprofits with the help of several fun prizes.
Live Drawings December 8 During Rally at the Capitol
Nonprofits will have a chance to win one of five $1,000 cash prizes at a live drawing at the Colorado Gives Day Rally, held at 11 a.m. on December 8 at the State Capitol. During t…

The Power of Media Sponsors

By Kayla Arnesen, Director of Strategic Communications
Thanks to our wonderful Colorado Gives Day media sponsors, our statewide movement is receiving nearly $500,000 in donated print, online, on-air and billboard media support. These powerful partnerships help us reach Coloradans in nearly every part of the state and encourage them to donate to their favorite nonprofits on Colorado Gives Day.

This year, we are pleased to welcome Mile High Outdoor Advertising to our family of Colorado Gives Day media sponsors. The company operates eight digital billboards across the state.


Right now, the Colorado Gives Day message is shining bright for motorists to see in five locations throughout the Denver metro area, in one location in Monument and in two locations in Grand Junction.

On Colorado Gives Day, the billboards will run the donation ticker from Colorado Gives Day website to show how much has been raised. The billboards will update every six seconds!

If you have the opportunity to interact …

New App for Colorado Gives Day

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving
There’s an app for that! 

How many times have we heard that in this age of smart phones and tablets?  
Are you wondering how many days, hours, and seconds it is until Colorado Gives Day? Have you started an office pool to guess how much will be raised on December 9th?
I am excited to announce that we now have a Colorado Gives Day app! Our app is available in both the Google Play store and the iTunes store. You can download it now for free and start tracking how much time is left until Colorado Gives Day.
Once Colorado Gives Day is here, the free app tracks the number of money being raised statewide on Colorado Gives Day, along with the number of organizations receiving donations and the number of total donations. You can also track the totals for our Regional Champions spearheading Colorado Gives Day around the state. 
Check it out at iTunes store or Google Play store.

Something to Be Thankful For

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation
Ah, Thanksgiving… a time for great food, family, friends and (for some people), football. It’s a time to relax and reflect on the many blessings we have in this country; so many blessings in fact that we follow it up with a weekend of spending money on items that we may or may not need. That isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with commercialism (who doesn’t love a great sale; I know I do) or Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
But it is from this environment that a national day of giving, #GivingTuesday, was created by New York’s 92nd Street Y. For any of you feeling a bit guilty about spending copious amounts of money, #GivingTuesday (Dec. 2 this year) is the perfect day to schedule a donation for Colorado Gives Day, a local day of giving focused on our great state of Colorado taking place on December 9th. In that spirit (and just for fun) here are just a few of the many reasons I’m grateful to live here: We have a pleth…

Help Your Favorite Nonprofit Raise Money on Colorado Give Day

By Angela Bevacqua, Community First Foundation
Sometimes there's only so much good you can do by yourself. That's why we've made it easy for you to raise money on behalf of your favorite nonprofit using ColoradoGives.org. By creating a fundraising webpage, you can enlist the people you're connected with to support your cause online.
The weeks leading up to Colorado Gives Day are a perfect time for a holiday season fund drive. Our fundraising pages allow you to create a personalized web page with pictures, video, and a personal appeal. Once the page is ready, let your friends and family know about it by sending e-mails to them that include a link to your page housed on ColoradoGives.org. Ask them to help you reach your fundraising goal by making a donation online. Unlike some other crowdfunding services, you can create a ColoradoGives.org Fundraising Page with no set up charges.
This page includes a “how-to” video that walks you through the setup process and keep in mind t…

Business Join Colorado Gives Day Movement

By Kayla Arnesen, Director of Strategic Communications

Six community-minded organizations are participating in the first-ever Colorado Gives Day Corporate Challenge
This new program challenges Colorado businesses, and their employees, to take an active, public role in supporting local nonprofits on Colorado Gives Day. Here’s how it works: businesses sign up and determine an employee participation goal. This tells us the number of employees they expect to donate for Colorado Gives Day. Employers receive a unique code for their employees to enter when making donations online at ColoradoGives.org. That’s how we track participation. Then, each business gets to work promoting Colorado Gives Day internally using a turnkey toolkit provided by the ColoradoGives team. It’s that simple and straightforward.
On Colorado Gives Day, business names, and their progress toward reaching 100 percent participation, are listed on the Corporate Challenge web page, part of ColoradoGives.org. This makes it ea…

Online Giving Grows Statewide Thanks to Regional Champions

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving, Community First Foundation

With more than $81 million raised online in seven years, ColoradoGives.org and Colorado Gives Day are helping shape philanthropy in Colorado.

Online Giving has been concentrated in the Denver metro area until two years ago, when the Boettcher Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation came to us looking for a way to celebrate their 75th anniversaries while increasing charitable giving in Colorado. And that’s how the Regional Champion program was born.

ColoradoGives Regional Champions are primarily community foundations located throughout Colorado the have joined us to raise awareness and support for the nonprofits in their local communities through ColoradoGives and Colorado Gives Day. They use their local knowledge to adapt the programs to fit their particular area.

First to jump on board was the Northern Colorado Community Foundation in Fort Collins. Serving Larimer County communities such as Berthoud, Estes Park…

Can’t Wait? Schedule Your Donation for Colorado Gives Day

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist
Sometimes you just can’t wait. 
That’s why you can schedule Colorado Gives Day donations in advance from November through December 8. Take your time, explore the variety of nonprofits serving your community, and schedule donations at your leisure. Your donation will process on Colorado Gives Day, December 9, and will receive a boost from the $ 1 Million Incentive Fund and count toward cashprize tallies for nonprofits.
Are you ready? Here’s how it’s done:
Go to ColoradoGives.org. Search for nonprofits by name, keyword, city, zip code or type of cause.Find a nonprofit to support and press the orange “Donate” button. Add your donation amount and press the “CO Gives Day” button to schedule it to process on Dec. 9. Complete the other fields and click “add to cart.”Want to donate to more than one organization? Click on the “add more nonprofits to cart” button on the next page and keep going!When all your scheduled donations are in the cart, c…

Three New Enhancements Make ColoradoGives.org Even Better

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist

Nonprofits featured on ColoradoGives.org are working diligently to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, coming up on Tuesday, December 9!

As you prepare, keep in mind the following new website enhancements. Many of these improvements came directly from avid users of ColoradoGives.org.

Suggest Donation Amounts on Your Checkout Page. You can now insert one or more recommended donation amounts with a description that will appear on the checkout page associated with your nonprofit. Log in to ColoradoGives.org as a nonprofit, go to the General Information section, select the Donation Form tab, and click add entry under the header Donation Levels.
Create New Options to Direct Donations. Until recently, nonprofits were allowed limited options for directing donations through ColoradoGives.org. Examples included “Nonprofit’s Discretion” and program names. Now you can offer donors additional options, such as special projects or campaigns for specifi…

Colorado Gives Day Graphics in Spanish

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation

Each year the Nonprofit Toolkit—a web page for Colorado Gives Day marketing tools—gets stronger thanks to suggestions from nonprofits. This year we’ve added more short, informational videos and some select marketing materials in Spanish.

Cesco Linguistic Services donated their expertise to translate our key messages for the graphics, such as the tagline “Give Where You Live.”  We can now offer you a Facebook "I donated!" badge and cover graphic, newsletter copy, key messages, print and web ads and a Donate Now button.

And remember that your Spanish audiences can turn on a Spanish version of ColoradoGives.org by selecting the Spanish language option through Google Translate in the site’s footer.

Access the Spanish tools, and keep your suggestions coming!


Top Tips From Seasoned Nonprofits

By Angela Bevacqua, Community First Foundation

Our most popular Colorado Gives Day webinars are the ones where seasoned nonprofits share their experiences and success stories. Our latest webinar, Creative Marketing: How Three Nonprofits Met Their Goals on Colorado Gives Day, features organizations with very different missions but a common thread: creativity and thoughtful planning.

If you missed it live, watch the 75 min. recording for inspiration and smart, practical advice. Here is a highlight of top tips courtesy of Autumn Bjugstad with The Greenway Foundation, Dan Hanley with Urban Peak, and Nancy Shane with Walking Mountains Science Center.

1. Stand out from the crowd
Tell or show how your nonprofit is different.Personalize the Colorado Gives Day message.Do your social media groundwork2. Build a social media following well in advance of Colorado Gives Day
Make a social media plan and have fun with it. 3. Don’t be afraid to tap into your creative side
Be very visual on social media pl…

Now for the Fun Part

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation

After a collective sigh of relief that our ColoradoGives profiles are done (yes, we prepare one, too), it’s onward to more fun things! Now is when many of you will start implementing your marketing plan for Colorado Gives Day.

For starters, revisit the Planning Timeline we created to help you prepare month by month.

We also encourage you to make friends with the Nonprofit Toolkit where you’ll find key messages, logos, pre-made ads, educational recordings and a lot more. A great refresher would be to watch the following series of short Colorado Gives Day videos:

The Key Facts
Show this 2+ minute video to volunteers, staff and anyone who needs a basic introduction to Colorado Gives Day.

Marketing - Best Practices
This 6.5 minute video is a MUST for anyone responsible for CO Gives Day marketing communications and development.

The Nonprofit Toolkit
This video outlines the content of the toolkit, such as logos, …

Social Media as a Fundraising Tool

Last week we were very fortunate to have Emily Davis--a nonprofit consultant, speaker and trainer--teach a webinar on social media for nonprofits participating in Colorado Gives Day. Emily penned the book Fundraising and the Next Generation and specializes in multi-generational family philanthropy. If you were unable to listen to the webinar live, we encourage you to listen to the recording and view the slides. Below, Emily shares three of the ten social media tips discussed in her webinar.

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By Emily Davis, President of Emily Davis Consulting

There are plenty of nonprofits out there that have mastered the social media world – leveraging all the right tools, telling their story, and raising funds through the Internet. Then there are those who are slowly chugging along looking for good reasons and ways to start to use social media more effectively. It’s not all about jumping into every social media to…

Your SOS Certificate of Registration and Sour Milk

It happens; we have all done it: forgotten milk in the fridge that goes bad, expires.

If you had milk that was expiring on 6.15.2014, would you continue to drink it on 8.20.2014? You could but it would probably be pretty gross; thus no longer serving its original purpose of being healthy and delicious.

As a person who always found the concept of the “renew by” date on the Secretary of State (SOS) Certificate of Registration for charities and fundraisers a little confusing, it helps me to compare it to this concept of milk expiring.

Think of the “renew by” date on your Certificate of Registration as an expiration date. If you had milk that expired on 6.15.2014, you would make sure that you bought more milk with an expiration date later than that.

Your organization’s SOS Certificate of Registration is pretty similar. If your “renew by” date expired on 6.15.2014, as long as you file an extension with the Secretary of State’s office before then and the “renew by” date on the new document…

What Does the Donor Say?

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving, Community First Foundation
For several years now, I have been telling people the stories of what we hear from donors. But honestly, it is anecdotal only. We all know that I am not going to hear stories from all of our donors – as much as I would welcome that.
We decided to find out what our donors thought of our messaging and, more importantly, why they donated on Colorado Gives Day. Segmenting out donors who gave to ten or more nonprofits last year on Colorado Gives Day, we sent them ten questions to better understand their experience with the day.
For me, the best question was, “If you plan to give again on Colorado Gives Day this year, do you expect to donate to different nonprofits?” The answers validated for me why I truly love this program and what I do every day.
From those who responded, we heard that 39% expect to give to different nonprofits this year. The reasons included the fact that we keep adding more nonprofits each yea…

Give an Untraditional Gift This Father’s Day

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation

Every year I get my Dad the same thing for Father’s Day: stuff to grill with, a silly card, a DVD, a book…and even though he’s always grateful, this year I want to go above and beyond. Maybe it’s because I have a toddler now and empathize with the joy and frustration of being a parent.

Maybe it’s because I think he’s awesome and want him to know that. Maybe there isn’t an enlightening reason, perhaps I just want to.

Regardless of the reason, I’m excited that ColoradoGives.org has a couple of great options to use not only on Father’s Day but for any special occasion during the year (birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations):

Giving eCards:  our eCards allow you to give the gift that keeps on giving. Giving eCards are electronic gift cards you can purchase on ColoradoGives.org and email to people. The recipient (Dad in this case) can redeem the eCard by donating to any nonprofit(s) featured on ColoradoGives.org that he wo…

Updating Your ColoradoGives.org Profile: When Pigs Fly?

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation

It’s that time of year again; time to begin the seemingly intimidating task of updating your organization’s profile on ColoradoGives.org. At this point, you may feel as though the task will only be complete when pigs can fly, but I assure you it can be done with relative ease. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:

Most important tip? Procrastination is not your friend here. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the fires of everyday nonprofit life, avoid the day-before binge rush, stress and challenges of waiting until the last minute. Spending even 30 minutes a week on the “easy” stuff is better than spending frantic hours on everything.Get out of the office. We all know how easily distractions can get in the way of getting the large projects done. Do yourself a favor and take this project out of the office (even once a month or every two months). Grab your computer and head to your favorite coffee shop o…

Top 5 Takeaways From the Colorado Gives Day Report

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist, Community First Foundation

The annual Colorado Gives Day Report shines a spotlight on data gathered from the website ColoradoGives.org about Colorado Gives Day. It also includes feedback from nonprofits who participated in this giving day.

It’s ten pages chock full of maps and charts that illustrate donation results in each Colorado county, how various organizational types fared, what we learned about donors, and much more. We highly recommend using this data to influence your online fundraising plans.

But if you don’t have time to read the full report for 2013, here are the top 5 takeaways that we found meaningful at Community First Foundation beyond the day’s record-breaking increase in dollars and donations:

The majority of nonprofits acquired brand-new donors because of Colorado Gives Day. We surveyed nonprofits who participated in the giving day and 92 percent of respondents reported a donation from at least one new donor. 22 pe…

Don’t Let Them Get Away!

By Angela Bevacqua, Senior Communications Specialist

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’m referring to holding on to your donors. According to our survey, 92 percent of nonprofits reported at least one new donor from Colorado Gives Day*. So what are you doing to cultivate these brand-new supporters?

To share with you some tips and inspiration, we recently put on a webinar called Nurturing Long Lasting Relationship With Your Donors After Colorado Gives Day.

In it we talk about what can be unique about donors who first come to you on Colorado Gives Day. If they are people who didn’t already exist in your database, they probably didn’t hear about you directly from you.

So how did they hear about you? Some possibilities include:
From a friend’s ColoradoGives Fundraising PageBy searching their favorite cause on ColoradoGives.orgFrom a Colorado Gives Day article, news or radio interviewSaw an ad with your logo on itVia social media (Facebook, Twitter) Keep on mind that these people may care …

Donor Retention: A Black Hole?

By Lisa Lujan, Online Giving Coordinator, Community First Foundation

Recently, while speaking to a frustrated donor, I was reminded of the incredible importance of communicating with supporters. The donor wished that the nonprofits she gave to were more transparent about the contributions they received and how much they raised at fundraisers.

Although it seems simple, creating positive relationships with donors is very important to donor retention. We’ll be covering this topic in our upcoming webinar, “Nurturing Long Lasting Relationships with Your Donors After Colorado Gives Day,” on February 13 from 9 – 10 a.m.

In the meantime, review these quick, simple tips to ensure that you're treating your donors right and getting off on the right foot with your brand new donors from Colorado Gives Day. Our survey shows that 76% of nonprofits received at least one new donor that day.


Thank them. Perhaps at this point you’re thinking, “Really? This is basic; I already do this.” Well you’re ri…

It’s Survey Time: How to Calculate Your Online Giving Results

By Bryce Wilkinson, Senior Online Giving Specialist, Community First Foundation

We hope you are happy with how online giving fared for your nonprofit both on Colorado Gives Day and throughout the year.

We are in the midst of reviewing data to understand the impact of ColoradoGives and evaluate online giving trends. The online survey we are e-mailing to nonprofits that use ColoradoGives.org will help us answer questions we cannot determine from our data alone—and is also considered a grant report.

Some of the survey questions require a few calculations. Not a math person? Learn how to calculate answers to key questions below.

What percentage of total fundraising by your nonprofit comes through ColoradoGives.org?
The formula: (Total amount raised through ColoradoGives in 2013) ÷ (Total amount raised via all sources in 2013) x 100How many donors on Colorado Gives Day were first-time donors to your organization?
If a donor listed on your 2013 Colorado Gives Day donation report has donated to…