September 17, 2010; Source: Daily Tell | These days when the very wealthy are being asked to sign pledges to give at least half what they own to charity, who could fault a Colorado-based community foundation for hoping to raise $1 million in 24 hours from philanthropists statewide? Community First Foundation’s Colorado Gives Day aims to raise that impressive sum on December 8 to benefit some 350 nonprofits that are profiled on the organization’s website.

Even though the event is a few months away, they’ve already raised one-third of their goal. FirstBank of Colorado has chipped in $300,000 as an initial underwriting gift and to help cover expenses. However, for Community First to meet or beat its expected take, they’ll have to do some heavy-duty persuading to convince Coloradans to be a bit more generous than they’ve been lately.

According to previously published news reports, giving in Colorado lags many other states. “We found that Colorado’s giving rate is so extraordinarily low in comparison to the kinds of income we generate in this state,” said Community First Foundation CEO and president, Kevin Eggeman. “We have to change the landscape of giving. This is our first attempt to do that.”

Despite what some might call a reluctance from some to give more, Eggeman has no doubt that the campaign can meet its goal in 24 hours. “I’m very confident about this,” he says. In addition to appealing to personal altruism, Community First will make clear that anyone who gives can do so knowing the full amount of their gifts will be passed through to charities. If the group succeeds, the results will surely qualify as a kind of Rocky Mountain high.—Bruce Trachtenberg