Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations collect big on Colorado Gives Day

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The cash rolled in for Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations that participated in the second Colorado Gives Day, a statewide day of giving in December.

Nineteen organizations banned together in their marketing efforts, and their combined collections were $127,000  – four times higher than El Paso County raised last year, organizers said.

There were also dozens more Colorado Springs nonprofit organizations, not part of the coalition, that participated in Colorado Gives Day, which is organized by Community First Foundation. A full report and breakdown of the giving is expected in February, said Caitlin Jenney, Community First Foundation communications manager.

All told, Community First Foundation distributed $12.7 million to the 928 nonprofit organizations that participated in Colorado Gives Day 2011.  In 2010, the inaugural Colorado Gives Day distributed $8.7 million to 529 nonprofits across the state. More than 52,000 individual donations were made during Colorado Gives Day 2011 — an increase of 150 percent over 2010′s  20,000 donations.

“The nonprofit organizations were very creative and collaborative in their marketing campaigns, which energized Coloradans to give more than $12 million online,” said Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of Community First Foundation. “We are proud of the nonprofits and their efforts that generated excitement throughout the state, and we’re grateful for the generosity of FirstBank, our foundation friends and Bonus Bucks business sponsors who helped make Colorado Gives Day 2011 a reality.”

FirstBank sponsored 12 new “High Five” prizes at $5,000 each. High Five prizes, created to stimulate giving and reward nonprofits for best performances, include top dollars raised, top number of donations, largest percent increase in dollars from 2010 and top dollars raised through GivingFirst.org fundraising pages. The winners will be announced at a Colorado Gives Day celebration on Jan 19.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the results of Colorado Gives Day 2011, and we’re proud that FirstBank was again able to play a part in making it happen,” said John Ikard, CEO of FirstBank Holding Company. “In addition to the total amount raised, it’s especially exciting to see such a significant increase in the number of donations — from 20,000 last year to 52,000 this year.”

Similar to last year, processing fees were covered by Community First Foundation, FirstBank and 10 other Colorado foundations, so that 100 percent of Colorado Gives Day donations go directly to the participating nonprofit organizations.

GivingFirst.org website was created in 2007. Nearly $16 million has been collected through GivingFirst.org since its inception, not counting the $12 million raised for the second annual Colorado Gives Day. There are currently 932 nonprofits participating in GivingFirst.org. Nonprofits across the state who did not participate this year can create a profile on GivingFirst.org starting in March 2012 to receive the year-round fundraising benefits.