Skip to main content

Making Your List and Checking It Twice: How to Read Nonprofit Profiles for Colorado Gives Day in Five Easy Steps

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

Colorado Gives Day is coming! Once again it is time to make your list and, like Santa, check it twice!

As you craft your list, the wonderful thing about ColoradoGives.org, the online giving platform for Colorado Gives Day, is that you can learn more about the nonprofits you already support as well as others you didn’t realize were out there doing good work. This year we have more than 2,000 nonprofits from all over the state of Colorado participating.

You might ask yourself, “What can I learn about these nonprofits?” and, “Where do I start?”
  1. Go to ColoradoGives.org and search. You can search by name, cause, or location. For instance, if you want to find out which nonprofits are working in your neighborhood, type in your zip code and press “Go.”
  2. When you see one you like, click “Learn More” on the widget to view the profile. The first tab is an overview of the program, starting with pictures and videos. It gives the basics about the nonprofit – address, website, mission statement, financial graphs and testimonials – and serves as a starting point if we want to know more.
  3. If we decide to move forward, the next tab is about programs. This is my favorite tab. I love learning how the nonprofit is putting their boots on the ground to make our community better. This area also shows who their target population is, how they define success and examples of what they’ve done. Here, you might consider who the organization is serving and how. Is this something you’re passionate about?
  4. The next tab highlights their management and governance. It starts by showing the number of people who work for the organization either as a volunteer or staff member, then tells you more about the senior staff and board of directors. This tab may give you a sense of the organization’s size. Do you prefer to give to small or large organizations? It will also give you a sense of the organization’s leadership. Do the senior staff and board members seem like good leaders and stewards of your gift?
  5. If you’re a numbers person, the next tab is for you! Explore the organization’s financials. I enjoy looking at the trends. Have they grown or decreased in size over the past three years? How have they done raising and spending dollars? Where does most of their funding come from? See our blogs on how to read a Form 990 for even more tips.

Once you’re done with these tabs, it’s time to decide – does this organization deserve a place on your list? If so, great! If not, there are more than 2,000 others to choose from.

The best part? You can spread joy from the comfort of your home. My favorite way to give is curled up in bed with my laptop. Leave the clattering around on rooftops to old Saint Nick.

Have a fun and happy Colorado Gives Day!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

$36.1 million raised on Colorado Gives Day!

Marla J. Williams, president and CEO, Community First Foundation

Thank you, Colorado!

I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on another year of extraordinary giving. As you know, earlier this week on Colorado Gives Day people from across our state and around the country opened their hearts to give.

Their generosity resulted in $36,129,285 million in donations to 2,309 Colorado nonprofit organizations. This record-breaking amount surpassed last year’s Colorado Gives Day total, which raised an impressive $33.8 million. Since its debut in 2010, Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $181 million for Colorado nonprofits.

One thing is clear: generous donors and the nonprofits that inspire them are the heart of Colorado Gives Day. Although Community First Foundation provides the giving platform, participating nonprofits have taken ownership of this event and spread the word far and wide, which is the main Colorado Gives Day success story.

Through your efforts every year, more and more Co…

Giving eCards and Kid-Friendly Profiles Help Include Kids in Giving

By Dana Rinderknecht, Director of Online Giving
Last year, Community First Foundation expanded our online giving platform to include a site especially for Kids – KidsforColoradoGives.org. All donations through this site are made with ColoradoGives Giving eCards. These are electronic gift cards that can be purchased on ColoradoGives.org and used to donate to nonprofits featured on either ColoradoGives.org or KidsforColoradoGives.org. We especially recommend purchasing several eCards and sending them to your favorite kid or kids. The kids can then go to KidsforColoradoGives.org and check out kid-friendly profiles to choose nonprofits to support.
Along with introducing the new ColoradoGives website this year, we asked nonprofit to create kid-friendly profiles on KidsforColoradoGives.org to forward our goal of introducing the younger generation to giving. Each participating nonprofit answered four key questions and added at least one photo and one video to help kids understand how their…

Donor-Advised Funds: What You Need to Know Before Colorado Gives Day!

Vickie Wilson, Vice President of Development

Donor-advised funds have rapidly grown into an $8 billion market. As year-end fast approaches, some of your donors may want to consider establishing a fund. Community First Foundation encourages you to learn the facts about how donor-advised funds work and how they can best serve your donors and support your organization.

Donor-advised funds were introduced back in the 1930s as a tool for community foundations to increase philanthropy, but it was not until 1969 that Congress and the IRS legally formalized their structure. By the early 1990’s, commercial providers such as Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, and Vanguard Charitable had entered the market.  Since then, donor-advised funds have grown in visibility and popularity to become one of the country’s fastest growing philanthropic vehicles.

For community foundations, donor-advised funds serve to engage donors and nurture greater charitable activity in the community. Donor-advised fu…