Nonprofits hope for large donations on Colorado Gives Day |

Nonprofits hope for large donations on Colorado Gives Day

With Giving Tuesday finished on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Colorado Gives Day coming up Tuesday, Dec. 7, local nonprofits are hoping to tap into the generous spirit surrounding the holiday season.

Giving Tuesday is observed nationally on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, a tradition that started in 2012. Meanwhile, Colorado Gives Day began in 2010 as a more local initiative organized by the Community First Foundation, the goal being to increase philanthropy in the state via online donations in a 24-hour period.

To add to the fundraising, a program by FirstBank features a $1.6 million incentive fund that boosts donations. If a nonprofit organization receives 10% of the total money raised on Colorado Gives Day, that same nonprofit receives 10% of the incentive fund.

In 2020, Colorado Gives Day raised more than $50 million across Colorado, and in Summit County, fundraising jumped up 66% compared with 2019 and an all-time record was set. The $623,167 raised came from 2,751 donations to 49 local nonprofits. The amount exceeded the amount raised in the previous year by about $250,000.

The Summit Foundation Marketing and Events Manager Brian Balok said the organization hopes to keep the momentum this year as the local champion for Colorado Gives Day.

“Last year was a bit unique since it was straight off of COVID, so people were definitely more willing to support the community and show the support for donations,” Balok said. “If we can meet that $600,000 or even exceed it, that would be awesome. … Keep raising that bar is really where we want to go.”

Those who scheduled a donation in advance or make one the day of will take advantage of the foundation’s $50,000 match to all new increased donations made to The Summit Foundation.

“That gives us a jump-start and encourages people to get out there and give back to the community,” Balok said.

One of the local nonprofits looking for a philanthropic boost is the Summit County Rescue Group. Though most emergency response agencies are funded by taxpayers or other mechanisms, the rescue group is mostly funded through donations, events and grants. Summit County Rescue Group spokesperson Charles Pitman said the organization hasn’t done much in the way of active fundraising before, aside from the annual Brewers Rock for Rescue.

With Colorado Gives Day, the group is fundraising over $100,000 to replace an old command vehicle from the 1980s.

“It is in horrible condition, virtually never used because it is so difficult to drive,” Pitman said. “It essentially leaks oil like the Exxon Valdez.”

The group set a record for call volume in 2020 with a total of 185 calls. This year, a record will be set again with more than 200 calls recorded at the end of November. Pitman said the new Ford van Summit County Rescue Group hopes to purchase will allow the group to take advantage of various technological advances for missions as the van is outfitted with amenities like large screen displays and satellite internet.

The Family & Intercultural Resource Center is also looking for donations to help the nonprofit continue to serve over 5,000 people in the community. Nissa Erickson, development director for the resource center, said that a couple of generous donors have provided a $20,000 match for Colorado Gives Day and annual campaign donations.

“If we meet or exceed that match, we’re going to be just thrilled,” Erickson said. “We’re definitely still seeing an increased need in our community for the services that (the Family & Intercultural Resource Center) provides.”

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the resource center reports that there have been 13,601 visits to its food markets and 2,580 households received rental assistance through September 2021. In the same time frame, the organization also helped 817 individuals enroll in health insurance and 517 families receive mental health referrals, peer support or case management.

Another way to aid the center is via the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority’s Like It Forward Campaign. Now through Dec. 10, anyone who likes or shares a post made on the authority’s social media channels that features the resource center will see $5 go toward the nonprofit. Colorado Housing & Finance Authority only chooses one recipient a year, and close to $6,000 was raised last year. More information on the program, including links to social media channels, can be found at

“It’s a really great, free way to involve the community in giving,” Erickson said.

More than 3,000 nonprofits participate in Colorado Gives Day. The 2021 Summit County Gives magazine, sponsored by The Summit Foundation, will be inserted into the Summit Daily News next week. The publication rounds up information on multiple nonprofits in the community to highlight their services.

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