A great big day of giving

Colorado Gives Day encourages philanthropic online giving

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Lakewood resident Ray Huff, who is a member of the Ralston House board of directors, sat down at a computer at the Arvada Beer Company on Colorado Gives Day, supporting area nonprofits.

The Christmas holiday is a time when people are encouraged to help others, and this holiday season more than 30,000 people are giving back — in a big way.

Residents across the state participated Dec. 10 in the fourth annual Colorado Gives Day, a statewide, philanthropic effort to promote charitable giving through online resources.

“It’s really great to see our supporters being a part of this event locally as well as be a part of a much bigger picture with nonprofits across the state,” said Rebecca Hansen, development director at the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

The event, founded in 2010 by Arvada-based Community First Foundation, has raised more than $36 million for Colorado nonprofits, and organizers predict it will continue to grow.

“It’s crazy and exciting,” said Dana Rinderknecht, director of online giving at Community First Foundation. “Nonprofits have always embraced it, and they take it and run with it the way that best fits them. It’s really the nonprofits that have made it a success, and the donors? Can’t go anywhere without them.”

This year, more than 1,400 nonprofits statewide participated in the event, including 18 Arvada nonprofits. Around Arvada, businesses including the Arvada Beer Company and Braun Taphaus and Grille hosted events for Colorado Gives Day. They offered discounts and promoted making contributions to area nonprofits, including the Ralston House and the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

“I believe it’s the responsibility as a business owner to add value to your community and really extend yourself out there,” said Kelly Floyd, owner and general manager of the Arvada Beer Company. “Colorado Gives Day gives a visibility into these nonprofits and makes you aware there are people out there willing to help you.”

To be a registered in the nonprofit database for the event, organizations must be serving or headquartered in Colorado, registered and in good standing with the secretary of state, have $50,000 in annual revenue or $25,000 in assets, and have been operating at least one year.

While focused on nonprofits, Colorado Gives Day helps build connections and stronger communities throughout the state, Rinderknecht said.

“Colorado Gives Day is a great event to connect donors with the nonprofits in their community,” she said. “Having a strong nonprofit community makes stronger nonprofits doing amazing work in our community.”

Donations are still being accepted through cogives.org. All major credit cards and e-checks are accepted.