‘Everyone can make a difference in our community’

Douglas County Gives asks donors to remember local nonprofits on annual day of giving

Posted 11/16/18

Douglas County residents have given millions in donations on Colorado Gives Day over recent years. Some of that money has gone to locally based nonprofits. Most hasn’t. Since 2010, according to the …

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‘Everyone can make a difference in our community’

Douglas County Gives asks donors to remember local nonprofits on annual day of giving

Posted

Douglas County residents have given millions in donations on Colorado Gives Day over recent years. Some of that money has gone to locally based nonprofits. Most hasn’t.

Since 2010, according to the Douglas County Community Foundation, Douglas County nonprofits received $2.73 million through Colorado Gives Day, but in that same timeframe Douglas County residents had donated $8.85 million in total.

That’s why the Douglas County Community Foundation is ramping up efforts to help people learn more about organizations in their backyard ahead of the annual, statewide fundraiser.

“One of our real focuses is to make sure that the people who live in Douglas County know about these nonprofits that are here,” said Donna Scott, chairman of Douglas County Community Foundation board.

Colorado Gives Day takes place each December and collects donations online for nonprofits throughout Colorado. This year it’s scheduled for Dec. 4.

The Douglas County Community Foundation uses a program called Douglas County Gives Day to encourage people to support nonprofits in their own community on Colorado Gives Day, in addition to those based elsewhere in the state.

The foundation hopes to increase the amount of dollars that stay in Douglas County by about 15 percent annually.

Douglas County Gives nonprofits include a wide range of organizations, one being the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation, more commonly known as CALF.

The nonprofit is a working educational ranch near Castle Rock that provides opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn about agriculture. This year, more than 3,000 students visited on field trips, coming from rural Douglas County to the heart of Denver, and nearly 12,000 people will have visited by the end of the year, CEO Brooke Fox said.

In 2016, CALF received more than $250,000 from two significant Colorado Gives Day donations, enough to buy 35 acres that boast a historic homestead and will provide space for more ranch facilities.

CALF isn’t the only local nonprofit that’s benefited from Colorado Gives Day. Last year, Douglas County Libraries took in approximately $20,000 in donations through Colorado Gives Day, said Donor Relation Specialist Elaine McCain.

The proceeds go toward non-operational costs, such as youth and senior programs. They also help fund scholarships for students pursuing their GED or online school. This year, the library’s goal is to increase the number of donors by 10 percent and to reach $25,000 in donations.

Ahead of Colorado Gives Day, the Douglas County Community Foundation is holding a free rally with food and entertainment Nov. 28 at Schomp Mini, 1001 Plum Valley Lane in Highlands Ranch. The event runs from noon to 1 p.m. and aims to help people meet local nonprofits face to face.

“It’s just people coming together and being excited about the generosity in Douglas County,” Scott said. “A lot of our nonprofits come.”

The Douglas County Gives Day website, DouglasCountyGive.net, provides a list and overview of local nonprofits for people who wish to schedule their Colorado Gives Day donations online, which can be done starting Nov. 1.

Fox said money given to larger organizations “may not necessarily go to things that are happening here.” But Colorado Gives Day can help generate money for smaller or newer nonprofits in Douglas County that might otherwise struggle to raise funds because they’re not as well-known.

“We believe everyone can make a difference in our community,” Scott said. “It’s a beautiful place to live and we want to keep it a beautiful place to live — and to be good neighbors.”

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