We Coloradans have a lot to be proud of. We’re always listed among the happiest and healthiest states in the union. We’re pretty smart. Our state and local politics usually trend toward compromise instead of partisan rancor—a low bar these days, but still.
We’re also, by and large, a pretty generous bunch, ranking in the top third in the U.S. for overall charitability. This status owes itself to our #13 spot in “charitable giving,” which will hardly be news to anyone reading this; as a current, former, or would-be employee of a Colorado PERA-sponsored organization, you’re probably already well-acquainted with the giving concept.
But never is our state’s munificence more evident than on Colorado Gives Day, the annual celebration of looking out for somebody other than #1. Falling this year on Tuesday, December 4th, the event is a one-day effort to attract and increase philanthropy through online giving. Think of it like Cyber Monday, except the funds you spend are going to people and organizations that will put your donations to a more productive use than, say, a niece or nephew who might spend a few hours with that new Think and Learn Rocktopus you gifted before forgetting about it once the next shiny toy catches their eye.
Launched in 2010 by ColoradoGives.org, a website that connects donors with more than 2,400 nonprofits, Colorado Gives Day lets you donate to qualified organizations in almost every category you can imagine, from homelessness and poverty, to ecological advocates, to groups that support education, animals, youth, and the arts.
Colorado Gives has received more than 1.2 million donations worth almost $250 million since the organization was founded in 2007. The first Colorado gives Day in 2010, held as the nation was beginning to emerge from the Great Recession, raised about $8.4 million, and the number keeps rising every year: In 2017, the event raked in more than $36.5 million, a 9% increase over 2016, including one megadonor who gave 155 gifts to 155 different organizations. The day has generated such buzz beyond Colorado’s borders that donations now arrive from throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, and states including California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New York provided between 500 and 2000 different donations last year.
For guidance about how and where you can get involved, visit ColoradoGives.org, where you can also get instructions for how to get your employer to participate in the cause. You can also find other charitable recommendations here, here, here, and here. No matter what amount you can afford, or which specific causes you want to help, the simple act of giving will make your Colorado pride swell even more.