Colorado Gives Day seeks to boost online donations for nonprofits

Hundreds of Colorado nonprofit groups, including some operating in Grand Junction, will seek donations online Tuesday during the second annual Colorado Gives Day.

Community First Foundation, an Arvada-based nonprofit-support organization, created Colorado Gives Day in 2010 to increase charitable donations online. Donors are asked to peruse Colorado charities and make donations Tuesday at GivingFirst.org, the charitable-giving website run by the foundation.

Community First Foundation and its sponsors will pay credit card processing fees for all the donations made Tuesday at the website.

More than $8 million was contributed on Colorado Gives Day in 2010.

The Western Slope office of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society participated in Colorado Gives Day in 2010 and will do so again this year.

Karen Galloway, programs manager for the society’s Western Slope office, said Colorado Gives Day was a profitable fundraiser for the organization.

Setting aside one day for giving helps numerous organizations benefit from seasonal giving at the same time, she said.

“For us, this really dials it all in for the holiday generosity and puts us into an overall effort in Colorado,” Galloway said.

It makes sense, said Morgan Hansow, co-director of Light Gives Heat, which sells products made in Africa. This will be the first year Light Gives Heat will participate in Colorado Gives Day.

Online giving already is the primary way Light Gives Heat receives donations, according to Hansow.

Giving online is popular because, “people want to do something immediately and rarely carry cash,” Hansow said.

“I think the plus side is it’s quick, it’s easy and they’ve made it very secure. I just think there’s not very many downsides to it,” said Jacquie Chappell-Reid, director of development at Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado.

Online giving is just starting to gain traction at hospice, which also will join Colorado Gives Day this year, and Chappell-Reid thinks online giving will become more prevalent as more people use computers for online shopping, banking and other money-related activities.

But some people will always prefer hand-delivering a check to online giving, Chappell-Reid said, and that’s fine with her.

“We love gifts no matter how we get them because it’s so critical for our organization,” she said.


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