Colorado Gives Day raises $15 million, sets record

Coloradans reached deep into their pockets this holiday season and donated a record $15 million to nonprofits across the state through the annual Colorado Gives Day.

Donations were up 20 percent from last year’s $12.4 million raised through the Community First Foundation’s Colorado Gives Day 2012, which allows donors to make donations online at GivingFirst.org.

Colorado Gives Day is a 24-hour period set up for online giving and was designed with a goal to inspire and unite Coloradans in supporting local nonprofits.

Donations ranged from $10 to $200,000.

“Once again, Coloradans demonstrate amazing generosity and the passion to ‘Give where you live,’ ” said Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of Community First Foundation. “I am awed by what happens when the community comes together—because it takes a community-wide effort to create this level of success.”

Colorado Gives Day  2012 received approximately 68,000 donations— an increase of 30 percent over last year’s 52,226 donations. Significant contributions were made to human services organizations such as Denver Rescue Mission, Food Bank of the Rockies, Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and The Action Center.

One donor contributed more than $44,000 to 96 different charities.

Colorado Gives Day corporate partner FirstBank put up a $300,000 FirstBank Incentive Fund and a portion of that money will be applied to each individual contribution and distributed to nonprofits at the end of the month.

“The response we’ve received from Coloradans this year has been astonishing,” said John Ikard, president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company.

Third-party processing fees were covered again by FirstBank, Community First Foundation and local foundations and businesses to help ensure that 100 percent of Colorado Gives Day donations go directly to the participating nonprofits.

A new $150,000 grant to Community First Foundation from the Boettcher Foundation and the El Pomar Foundation is helping expand Colorado Gives Day throughout the state and make it easier for nonprofits outside Denver to use GivingFirst.org to accept donations online.