By Janine Vanderburg, JVA Consulting
On Wednesday, December 8 at 12 a.m. the long-awaited Colorado Gives Day will begin. The goal: Raise $ 1 million in one day for Colorado nonprofits. Spearheaded by the Community First Foundation and FirstBank, the day is designed to increase charitable giving in Colorado—one of states with the lowest rates of charitable giving—by raising money through online giving in 24 hours. Donors will be directed to the GivingFirst Web site where they can search for an issue or organization they are interested in supporting (over 500 organizations are participating), and make a donation on the secure site, with 100 percent of donations flowing directly to the nonprofit. Additionally, donations will be leveraged through match funding generously provided by FirstBank and others.
Why was JVA Consulting an early endorser of Colorado Gives Day? Several reasons:
- It has what our favorite guru Jim Collins calls a “big, hairy, audacious goal,” or BHAG: Raise $1 million in one day.
- It is increasing awareness of the importance of nonprofits and of charitable giving. A quick Google search of “Colorado Gives Day” today found close to 39,000 entries.
- Our belief that Colorado Gives Day would be a catalyst for strengthening nonprofit capacity is bearing out. In every strategic planning, fundraising planning, or similar planning session we have facilitated since Colorado Gives Day was announced, we have asked our clients: What can you do to leverage Colorado Gives Day to further your mission? We have seen our clients reconnect with previous donors, think through how they engage new individuals with an issue or cause, organize board members to reach out to their networks and ramp up their social media marketing.
Most significant, however, is what we believe can be the outcome of a successful Colorado Gives Day—engaging new donors in the joy of giving, and letting people know that they can give year-round, not just on Colorado Gives Day. In the same way that we let those who contribute food during holiday appeals know that food banks need food year-round, it’s important for all of us to communicate that Colorado Gives Day is the beginning of what can be a wonderful relationship with a nonprofit!
So on December 8, go to givingfirst.org, and help Colorado achieve its BHAG: $1 million in one day for Colorado nonprofits. Then, think about adopting a New Year’s resolution: Setting up a monthly donation program to help the nonprofits of your choice year-round!