December 16, 2010; Source: Denver Post | While the news from last week’s Colorado Giving Day is spectacular, nonprofit officials in Colorado don’t want people in the state to jump to the conclusion that they can put their checkbooks away. Even though the campaign took in $8 million—or eight times the goal, the Colorado Nonprofit Association points to a November survey that shows that individual and corporate giving is down 30 percent this year, and 75 percent of the group’s members report requests for services are up.
Findings show those demands were “widespread, whether the nonprofit was small or large,” said Sharon Knight, Colorado Nonprofit vice president and chief operating officer. Still, there’s no arguing that the $8 million collected online over 18 hours last week was a major success, both for the charities that will benefit and for helping people throughout the state understand why their contributions matter.
Among the reasons for the fundraising bonanza, according to Knight, was an advance media campaign that told people that even small donations add up to a lot. “Donors feel better when there’s some match to their money,” she said.
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While the organizers of Colorado Giving may be feeling flush, other groups, like the Salvation Army, are fretting the outcome of their Christmas giving campaigns. The Salvation Army, for instance, expects to fall $1 million short this year. And even the results of various toy drives are a mixed bag. The Denver Post reports that some charities are getting “piles of toys,” while the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver says the donations “just aren’t flowing in.”
Looking to the future, nonprofit officials, though, take heart in another statistic that shows that Denver ranks 10th out of the top 25 most generous cities in the United States, even beating Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Boston. And a recent report compiled by the Daily Beast website found that Denver residents donate 2.8 percent of their household earnings and nearly 25 percent of the city’s population gives some of their time to volunteer.—Bruce Trachtenberg