Giving Season More Important Than Ever in 2020

2020 has delivered more than its share of challenges, hitting many of our businesses and their employees hard. In addition to the challenges facing our private sector, we also want to remind our members that many nonprofits that are critically important to our economic success and are also struggling with many of the same issues: trying to keep their employees on payroll, finding a way to deliver their services in a safe manner, and having less revenue coming in at the very time that demand for their services are increasing.

And fortunately, our elected leaders recognize this reality, too. Colorado lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis allocated funding in a special session last week to support some of these nonprofits, particularly those in arts, culture and entertainment, and food banks.

Many of our members are looking for ways to support nonprofits and the Coloradans they serve. Here are a few ideas. 😊

  • It just happens to be Colorado Gives Day tomorrow, Dec. 8. This statewide movement first launched in 2010 and has raised $257 million for Colorado nonprofits. For many nonprofits, it’s their biggest giving day of the year. FirstBank and the Community First Foundation each contributed $500,000 to establish a $1 million incentive fund that boosts each gift made on this day. And you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to give – schedule your gifts to your favorite nonprofits today.
  • One way to make our gifts go further on Colorado Gives Day – or any day really – is to share that we gave with our social networks. Many of us like to give anonymously, but the truth is that we do even more when we tell others, inspiring them to give, too. Check out the Colorado Gives Day donor toolkit for more ways to share your giving.
  • Match your employees’ donations and hold competitions among departments to see who raises the most or supports the most nonprofits. See other ideas for getting your business involved in giving.
  • Attend a virtual fundraising event. Many nonprofits had to shift their events, which are oftentimes their biggest sources of revenue, online as the pandemic hit. From virtual cooking classes to online concerts, nonprofits are getting creative in how to make these events fun. Check with your favorite nonprofits to see their upcoming events.

Here’s another idea:

More than half of the organizations funded by the Science and Cultural Facilities District have experienced significant or nearly total loss in earned revenue during the pandemic, and 33% of the jobs created by these organizations have been lost to furlough, layoff or elimination. That’s why government and culture leaders launched the “Gifts of Art from the Heart” to encourage people to support their favorite arts and cultural organizations this season. Consider making a donation, giving a membership, subscription or class, or buying from local artists. Learn more.

Our Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation alumni modeled the collective impact we can have on our Alumni Giving Day on Nov. 18, donating $22,550 to support the Leading Colorado Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the 173 alumni who donated that day, and congrats to the Leadership Denver 2015 class for bringing in the most money and most donations of any class! We’ll have another chance to support the scholarship fund (which ensures everybody who is interested in participating in our leadership programs isn’t prohibited because of resources) at the virtual Leading Colorado event on March 10, when we’ll also announce the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year. Once again, we have three outstanding finalists – and this year they are all currently working in the nonprofit sector.

  • Adeeb Khan, vice president of corporate social responsibility and executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado (DDCO) Foundation
  • Jesse Ogas, CEO and executive director, Firefly Autism
  • Lorii Rabinowitz, CEO, Denver Scholarship Foundation

As a Chamber member, you can vote for your top finalist after the Meet the Finalist event on Jan. 27. Learn more about Leading Colorado and register today.

Our last idea is one that will inspire you on how your business can give back to the community — The Civic 50 Colorado. The Civic 50 Colorado, an initiative of Points of Light, recognizes the 50 most community-minded small, medium and large companies in Colorado. B:CIVIC is a promotional partner of the initiative. See the 2020 honorees.

Stay well and please help support the wellbeing of others this year.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.