Colorado residents wanting to get into the giving spirit may want to wait until Dec. 4 - Colorado Gives Day - to help their dollars go a little further.
Colorado Gives Day is a campaign that splits $1 million, donated by FirstBank and Community First Foundation, proportionally among nonprofits across the state, based on how much they raise during the one-day fundraiser. In other words, if a single nonprofit were to collect 10 percent of all the proceeds donated on Colorado Gives Day, that nonprofit would receive 10 percent of the $1 million.
Residents who want to participate on Giving Tuesday can schedule their donations in advance to take effect on Dec. 4, said Tracy Pope, marketing and grants manager for The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. The foundation helps promote Colorado Gives Day locally.
"It's unlikely someone would want to give on the 27th and not have it count on the 4th," Pope said.
Colorado Gives Day is the state's largest day of giving, organized by the Community First Foundation, a Denver-area nonprofit to increase giving statewide.
Last year, donors celebrated the day by giving $36.6 million to 2,308 nonprofits, according to the Community First Foundation.
In Southwest Colorado, 696 donors gave $209,665 to 51 nonprofits, according to The Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado. The money raised last year represented a 46 percent increase compared to 2016.
This year, 65 nonprofits from La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta and San Juan counties plan to participate. The causes represented include the environment, education, arts, museums and at-risk youth, among many others.
To promote Colorado Gives Day, volunteers plan to set up giving stations the morning of Dec. 4 at 81301 Coffee and the Starbucks locations on north Main Avenue and at Main Avenue and College Drive. Volunteers will be able to accept donations via iPads.
Year-end giving can be key for nonprofits trying to meet their financial goals, said Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000, a nonprofit participating in the day. In many cases, nonprofits are filling a need in the community that is not filled by government services or by businesses, she said.
"They are filling a vitally important niche in our communities," she said.