The sixth annual Colorado Gives Day is December 6, 2016. Start off the holiday season by giving back to over 2,000 non-profit organizations that contribute to making Colorado the great, community-driven state that it is. In 2010, Community First Foundation and Colorado-based FirstBank created the annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase charitable giving throughout Colorado. Donations can be made through ColoradoGives.org, a website which plays host to the multitude of local non-profits.
Since its inception, Colorado Gives Day has raised $111 million for local non-profit organizations throughout the state. Community First Foundation and FirstBank have also created an incentive fund of $1 million for nonprofits who participate in Colorado Gives Day. Each nonprofit receiving a donation also receives a portion of the incentive fund, increasing the value of every donation made.
With so many options for charitable giving, 303 Magazine has created a list to help readers contribute to some of the organizations that enrich Colorado as a whole. Peruse our list and check out ColoradoGives.org for a complete list of participating nonprofits for ways you can contribute on Colorado Gives Day.
Nonprofit: The Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The Lowdown: The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) provides a curious, creative and playful environment for people of all ages to engage in science, culture and the natural world through its diverse exhibits. It is the 10th most visited museum in the United States, boasting 1.72 million visitors in 2015. One third of those visitors were due to the museum’s community free days and other free programs. Donations made on Colorado Gives Day will go to support the DMNS’s scholarship program, which provides scientific educational experiences for underserved students.
Nonprofit: The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
The Lowdown: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver presents ongoing exhibits of innovative artwork and educational programs. Contributions will go to support the overall annual operations of MCA Denver.
Community and Public Gardens
Nonprofit: The Denver Botanic Gardens
The Lowdown: The Denver Botanic Gardens welcomes visitors from around the world into a landscape of Rocky Mountain plant life. With three unique locations — York Street in Denver, Chatfield and the Mount Goliath Alpine Trail on Mount Evans — the Denver Botanic Gardens provides year-round botanical delights. Donations boost the operating budget, which provides horticulture funding, research, educational programs and art exhibits.
Nonprofit: Denver Urban Gardens
The Lowdown: Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) is on a mission to create lasting and sustainable change in Denver Metro communities. DUG currently has 150 community gardens in five counties nestled in the Denver area. In 2015, DUG grew 1 million pounds of food with the help of over 4,000 community volunteers. DUG’s community gardens are leading the way toward providing healthy food in underserved neighborhoods.
Nonprofit: Tennyson Center for Children
The Lowdown: For over 112 years, the Tennyson Center for Children has helped youth and families to overcome a variety of life crises, including abuse and neglect. The Tennyson Center provides caring, community-based treatment, education and advocacy services to Colorado children and parents. In 2015, the center provided care for almost 500 children and over 1,500 family members through their programs.
Nonprofit: Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver
The Lowdown: Dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver (GIMD) provides research-based programs to encourage girls to overcome physical, emotional and intellectual challenges. GIMD has been empowering new generations of women since 1983 and has helped over 34,000 young women to lead healthy and successful lives.
The Lowdown: Founded in 1976, The Center is one of the oldest LGBT community centers in the United States. In addition to producing PrideFest each year in June, The Center also offers a variety of local community support services, social activities and cultural events centered around overcoming discrimination and homophobia.
Nonprofit: Denver Food Rescue
The Lowdown: Denver Food Rescue (DFR) brings food directly to residents of low-income neighborhoods who then disperse the food as needed through DFR’s 12 local no-cost grocery programs. In June of 2016, DFR partnered with Denver Urban Gardens and Groundwork Denver with the support of Impact 100 to create the Fresh Food Connect app. This app allows users to distribute extra produce from their gardens to Groundwork Denver, who then sells the produce at low-cost to pay-what-you-can farm stands, or donates it to DFR’s no-cost grocery programs.
Nonprofit: Project Sanctuary
The Lowdown: Founded in 2007 by Heather Ehle, Project Sanctuary supports US soldiers and their families. Project Sanctuary’s mission is to take military families from battle-ready to family-ready through a six-day program of outdoor and therapeutic retreats. Project Sanctuary also provides two years of family support services geared toward reconnecting veterans to their families and communities. With over 800 families served, 90 percent of which are still intact, Project Sanctuary is continually helping military families to thrive.
Nonprofit: Denver Film Society
The Lowdown: The Denver Film Society (DFS) entertains and educates audiences through the transformative experience of film through year-round screenings, community outreach programs and special events. DFS made the Sie FilmCenter its new home in 2010, and has screened over 600 titles annually through multiple programs and events for cinema lovers around Denver. Film on the Rocks and the Denver Film Festival are just a couple of the great events DFS hosts annually.
Not-for-profit: Denver Center for Performing Arts
The Lowdown: Not only does the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA) provide unique and entertaining theater programming in the heart of Denver, but DCPA also provides extensive arts education through the Denver Center Academy. DCPA offers up an engaging theater experience to 750,000 patrons annually.
Nonprofit: Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
The Lowdown: Pioneers of outdoor stewardship, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) enable citizens to responsibly manage Colorado’s natural resources, open spaces, parks and other spaces that contribute to making Colorado one of the best states for outdoor activities in the nation. Through its massive network of volunteers, VOC helps to maintain and build trails, create healthy environments for plants and animals, plant trees and gardens and restore fire and flood-damaged lands.
Nonprofit: Denver Dumb Friends League
The Lowdown: The Dumb Friends League has one of the highest rates for saving homeless pets in the United States. With over 450 foster volunteers, the Dumb Friends League has healed and given new lives to nearly 3,000 animals. Compassionate and committed volunteers and staff are dedicated to caring for pets as they help to improve the lives of animals across Colorado and beyond.
Over 2,000 charitable non-profit organizations can be found on ColoradoGives.org. where you can contribute to Colorado Gives Day on December 6. Colorado residents can find organizations that ignite their passion and give back on Colorado Gives Day.