More than 20 Colorado Springs nonprofit agencies are hoping for some holiday cheer in their bank accounts for Colorado Gives Day, which is today.
The event is a one-day effort to push charitable giving and was launched by the Denver-based Community First Foundation.
“Our slogan was $1 million in one day,” said spokeswoman Angela Bevacqua, but the program exceeded everyone’s expectations.
In its inaugural year, Coloradans gave $8.4 million to their favorite local charities.
Last year, about 530 nonprofits signed up to participate in the program. This year there are 950 organizations participating, including at least two dozen in the Springs.
Donations can be made online at www.GivingFirst.org/cogivesday. Sponsors, including First Bank, Community First Foundation and other local foundations are picking up the tab for the credit card processing fees, Bevacqua said. Other sponsors include Comcast and the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
That means 100 percent of the donation goes to the organization and “no organization gets charged a third-party fee,” she said.
People can give year-around on the GivingFirst.org website, Bevacqua said. Colorado Gives Day was designed to inspire philanthropy across the state, she said. The idea is to make it easy for people to give where they live, she said.
Nonprofits saw the success of Colorado Gives Day 2010 and are excited to expand on the success, said Dana Rinderknecht, GivingFirst manager at Community First Foundation.
“New nonprofits from Greeley to Grand Junction and Fort Collins to Pueblo are participating via GivingFirst.org,” she said. “This is wonderful news as we ultimately want GivingFirst.org to be used by nonprofits and donors statewide.”
First Bank has committed $500,000 to kick off the 2011 campaign including $300,000 for the FirstBank Incentive Fund, which will be proportionally allocated across all donations received. FirstBank is also sponsoring 12 new High Five prizes at $5,000 each to stimulate giving and reward nonprofits for achieving specific goals, including top dollars raised, top number of donations, largest percent increase in dollars from 2010 and top dollars raised through GivingFirst.org.
But this year, organizers of the day are not making predictions.
“We feel like we cannot predict – last year we were so off,” Bevacqua said. “Coloradans were so generous.”