Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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

Colorado…you’ve blown us away again!

Marla J. Williams addresses nonprofits at the
 Colorado Gives Day Rally 2014
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 alike.

We are also grateful to our corporate partner of five years, FirstBank, for helping to make Colorado Gives Day possible. Thank you, FirstBank, for believing in Colorado Gives Day and our nonprofit community and for helping to make Colorado Gives Day the state’s largest online giving event.

Colorado Gives Day continues to grow with the help of our Regional Champions. They increase giving and help strengthen nonprofits in their local communities. They are truly local heroes and we appreciate them. Thank you Community Foundation Serving Northern Colorado, Douglas County Community Foundation, Eagle County Gives, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County and Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Thank you, nonprofits. We know your efforts began well in advance of the day, generating excitement and inventing creative ways to tell your stories and highlight your work. From the folks at Habitat for Humanity who encouraged staff in their 29 affiliates and 24 ReStores across the state to dress in PJs to highlight the day; to Urban Peak, which hosted a 24-hour walk to raise awareness for the issue of youth homelessness, you have embraced Colorado Gives Day and made it yours.

Thank you to our inaugural Corporate Challenge participants. These community-minded organizations stepped up and joined the Colorado Gives Day movement this year. They promoted Colorado Gives Day among their employees and many matched employee gifts. We applaud these companies for their charitable-giving leadership:


  1. CiviCore
  2. Eide Bailly LLLP
  3. FirstBank
  4. Innovest
  5. Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP
  6. Rally Software
  7. ReadyTalk
  8. Community First Foundation


In addition, Colorado Gives Day would not be a success without the help of our media sponsors who generously donate space and air time to promote online giving. Thank you media sponsors!

  1. The Networks of 9NEWS
  2. Mile High Outdoor Advertising
  3. Comcast
  4. iHeartMedia
  5. Entravision Communications
  6. Rocky Mountain PBS
  7. Colorado Public Television (CPT12 - Channel 12); and 
  8. 5280 Magazine

The outpouring of support for Colorado nonprofits is marvelous and we thank each one of you for supporting this remarkable, record-breaking day. We remain overwhelmed by your generosity.

Sincerely,
Marla J. Williams, president and CEO, Community First Foundation
William P. Ernstrom, board chair, Community First Foundation

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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 main page. “Wow,” I think to myself, “there is a lot of information here, where do I start?” This brings us to next tip:

Explore the Overview tab where you can learn what’s new with the organization. Read testimonials, statements from the organization (such as needs, impact and background) and financial graphs. There may even be a video for you to watch (scrolling across the page).

Perhaps at this point you’re excited but want just a tidbit more about the organization. This brings us to our next area to check out:

Programs – Here you can read details about the nonprofit's programs and how they define and monitor short- and long-term success. Some programs may include photos.

For detail-seekers, the rest of the information is really for you. Details included in the following tabs are:

Management: How the organization operates, including number of staff, retention rates and names of senior staff members, board statistics and award information.
Financials: Perfect for the CPA or finance guru; details here include endowment or capital campaign information, tax credit details (if applicable), specifics on the past three fiscal years, and current fiscal year projections.
Documents: Here you can find 990s, Secretary of State Documents, Policies and more, as the nonprofit has chosen to make public.
Event: If you love the nonprofit and want to learn all about upcoming events check out the events tab. A subcategory under this tab is Volunteer Activities where you can learn about potential opportunities to volunteer.
Super Campaigns: This tab shows any large campaigns (such as 5Ks) where the whole organization is participating. Exploring this page will lead you to fundraising pages associated with that specific campaign.

Start today at ColoradoGives.org and learn more about who you’d like to support!