Colorado Gives Day fundraising sets all-time record in Summit County |

Colorado Gives Day fundraising sets all-time record in Summit County

Summit County nonprofits gather for Colorado Gives Day in November 2018 at Frisco Historic Park. This year, Summit County nonprofits raise a record $739,404.
Joe Kusumoto/Courtesy photo

Summit County set a new all-time record on Colorado Gives Day, raising $739,404 to support 49 local organizations.

The fundraising total beat the previous record, which was set last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, by more than $116,000, according to a news release from The Summit Foundation.

The donated money was raised through 2,675 individual donations, which is down slightly from last year despite the higher fundraising total.

The day of giving also set a record statewide, with $54.41 million raised for 3,063 Colorado nonprofits, according to preliminary numbers. More than 72,230 donors made 215,864 donations to reach that total, according to a news release from the Community First Foundation, which manages the annual Colorado Gives Day on the first Tuesday in December.

In 2020, Colorado Gives Day raised more than $50 million across Colorado, and in Summit County, fundraising jumped 66% compared with 2019, setting a then-record. The $623,167 collected exceeded the amount raised in the previous year by about $250,000.

Nonprofit officials were initially surprised by the 2020 total given that the community was suffering, The Summit Foundation Marketing and Events Manager Brian Balok said at the time.

This year, Balok said the organization was hoping to keep the momentum going.

“If we can meet that $600,000 or even exceed it, that would be awesome,” he said prior to the fundraising day. “… Keep raising that bar is really where we want to go.”

Officials at the community foundation, which oversees giving locally, said the generosity of the Summit County community never ceases to amaze them.

The Summit Foundation Executive Director Jeanne Bistranin said the nonprofit was expecting donations to be a bit lower this year in the wake of record giving last year, when the demand on local nonprofits was extremely high.

“We were really surprised because, you know, we’re thinking last year, we’re in the middle of COVID still, so we had all those issues going on. So we were expecting that it would be lower this year,” Bistranin said. “But it still exceeded last year, and that was surprising.

“I think we should contribute that to the generosity of this community. It’s pretty amazing.”

Bistranin also touted the ease with which people can make a donation — no matter how small — to contribute to the greater good.

“I think that Colorado Gives Day is a great way for people to know that they make a difference no matter what amount of money they are able to contribute,“ said Bistranin, calling the total number of donors amazing.

While the foundation doesn’t yet have a breakdown for which local nonprofits fared the best, Bistranin said it’s typically The Summit Foundation and the Family & Intercultural Resource Center that raise the most. After that, a variety of health and human services nonprofits — which led fundraising statewide — arts organizations and outdoor groups have raised the most historically.

“I think it just kind of makes people feel good and makes them realize how much they’re contributing back to the community,” Bistranin said about the growing success of the annual event.

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