It appears to be a website useful once a year for Colorado Gives Day, but Dana Rinderknecht sees it as much more.
GivingFirst.org is the resource used by the Community First Foundation for operating the website. In June 2012, it marks its fifth birthday and a milestone: It has been a tool helping raise more than $30 million since its inception.
Since 2007, it has processed the contributions of nearly 60,000 donors, serving more than 1,000 Colorado nonprofits. “I would never have imagined this,” said Rinderknecht, Manager of Online Giving for the Community First Foundation.
Colorado Gives Day 2012 will occur Dec. 4. Colorado Gives Day 2011 raised $12.8 million for 928 Colorado nonprofits. Rinderknecht hopes the 24-hour program will raise even more funds this year.
The Colorado program is one of 25 “giving day”programs nationwide. Most highlight metropolitan areas. Colorado’s is one of a handful to highlight a state.
An article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy recognized online events out of Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh for raising millions of dollars in a single day, “even in the depths of a recession.”
The website is available throughout the year, not just on Colorado Gives Day. Donors have the ability to investigate nonprofits, and set up donations that may be one time, or recurring weekly, monthly or quarterly. “This year we’ve already raised more than $1 million for Colorado nonprofits,” said Rinderknecht. “That’s exciting.”
It also is a resource for anyone researching charities. The Colorado Gives Day website may be helpful for job seekers in the non-profit sector, she said.
“We’re a little choosy about which nonprofits participate,” said Rinderknecht. The non-profits must:
- Have a 501(c) 3 designation.
- Be based in Colorado or serving the state.
- Have $50,000 in annual revenue or $25,000 in net assets
- File a 990 form and be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State
In order to join, non-profits are required to participate in the foundation’s educational webinar.
The Community First Foundation doesn’t grade or rank non-profits, noted Rinderknecht.
Rinderknecht believes Colorado’s event is unique. Last year, Community First Foundation and 11 other organizations covered all processing fees, allowing more money to go to nonprofits.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recognized giving days for increasing fundraising accountability and bringing in new donors.
Colorado’s 2011 event drew donors from all 50 states. “A couple came from Asia,” Rinderknecht said. “That’s the internet.”