Supporters of several local nonprofits can leverage their donations by making their contribution on Colorado Gives Day, which is taking place for 24 hours starting at midnight Monday.
About 15 local charities have been vetted by the Community First Foundation, which organizes the event founded in 2010. More than 1,800 nonprofits are included in the list online, where donations are made. Information about each nonprofit is also available on the website.
In 2014, seven La Plata County nonprofits participated, said Kayla Arnesen, director of strategic communications for Community First. A total of $29,913 was donated by 168 donors last year.
Donations made on the day will help the nonprofits earn a portion of the $1 million Incentive Fund. A special drawing will also be held for all the new participants in Colorado Gives who receive at least 30 donations that day. The prize? Five thousand dollars.
Colorado Gives Day has raised $83 million for Colorado nonprofits since its inception, including $26.2 million in 2014, more than $1 million each hour.
Some donors might be bewildered by the difference between Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving that took place Dec. 1, after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday was in its fourth year, and is a national event.
“Our program has traditionally fallen on the second Tuesday of December, and Giving Tuesday has chosen the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving,” Arnesen said. “Giving Tuesday is a great reminder that the Colorado-specific day is fast approaching. We applaud all Giving Tuesday does to increase philanthropy and volunteerism throughout the country.”
Donations may be made Tuesday at www.coloradogives.org to qualify for the Incentive Fund.
Kayla Arnesen of Community First Foundation identified 12 La Plata County charities on the 2015 list; Susan Lander found 16. Hers include Arnesen’s 12, and adds others that are regional favorites, including the Mesa Verde Foundation, Downtown Colorado Inc., Medicine Horse Center and Mountain Studies Institute.
The other La Plata County nonprofits on the list this year include Durango Arts Center; San Juan Mountains Association; the Southern Ute Community Action Programs; Wolfwood Refuge; Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County; Great Old Broads for Wilderness; United Way of Southwest Colorado; La Plata Open Space Conservancy; the Durango Adaptive Sports Association; Music in the Mountains; the Durango Education Foundation; and La Plata County Humane Society.