Colorado Gives Daythe annual event raising over $182 million for nonprofits since 2010 — returns this December. Scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 — Colorado Gives Day is looking to break the record it set last year by donating more than $36.5 million.

Presented by Community First Foundation and Colorado-based FirstBank — Colorado Gives Day celebrates and works to increase philanthropy across the state.

“Colorado Gives Day highlights the best of Colorado,” said Marla J. Williams, president and CEO of Community First Foundation. “It celebrates the extraordinary generosity of Coloradans and the vital Colorado nonprofits that support the fabric of our community every day.”

Following last year — Colorado Gives Day has a $1 million incentive fund. This means that every nonprofit that receives a donation will receive a part of the fund. With over 2,000 non-profits included — it can be hard to decide who you want to support. Because of this, we made a short list of interesting organizations in the Denver area that you might consider.

The Outdoors

Photo via Colorado Sierra Club Facebook

Nonprofit: Ocean First Institute 

The Lowdown: Ocean First Institute plans to conserve our ocean through education and research. The Boulder-based company does this by connecting youth with the wonders of the ocean. Having already inspired over 110,000 students worldwide — donations to Ocean First Institute will help preserve the planet we love.

Nonprofit: The Park People

The Lowdown: The Park People — looking to preserve and enhance Denver’s parks, recreation resources, open space and urban forest. By raising private funds for various natural programs around Denver — The Park People have infused over $10 million into Denver’s public spaces. Donations would help fund the projects that keep our city beautiful.

Nonprofit: Denver Urban Gardens

The Lowdown: Inspiring community-driven change — Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) creates a community by cultivating and nourishing food in gardens across the Denver Metro Area. By operating over 170 community gardens around Denver — DUG creates a space for people to enjoy gardening in an urban environment. Donations will help DUG create and maintain gardens throughout the greater Denver area.


JC Buck, Cleon Peterson, 303 Magazine, MCA Denver, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

MCA Denver. Photo by JC Buck

Nonprofit: Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

The Lowdown: Creating an understanding and dialogue about the art of our time — the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) gives artists a place to express themselves. The MCA provides classes for adult and youth students to create a culturally engaged community. Donations provide the MCA with funds to continually supply the community and artists with a place to interact and engage.

Nonprofit: The Denver Actors Fund

The Lowdown: The Denver Actors Fund provides actors with aid when a medical emergency arises. Alongside providing assistance with bills — the Denver Actors Fund volunteers run errands, provide rides, pet sit and much more. Donations will go towards helping actors get back on their feet after a medical crisis knocks them down.

Nonprofit: Denver Youth Artists Orchestra

The Lowdown: The mission of the Denver Youth Artists Orchestra (DYAO) is to provide the finest youth orchestra programs by inspiring and educating young musicians. Established in 1977 — DYAO has grown to one of the leading youth orchestra organizations in the country. Donations will provide DYAO with the funds to continue growing a love of music within the youth of Denver.


Photo courtesy of Playworks Facebook

Nonprofit: Playworks

The Lowdown: Playworks strives to provide kids with the social, emotional and physical benefits of play. By creating healthy play environments — Playworks is able to foster young leaders. Donations to Playworks would be used to benefit children in the Denver area by providing them with a safe place to play and learn.

Nonprofit: Mile High 360

The Lowdown: For students from sixth grade till age 24 — Mile High 360 provides 13 years of consecutive academic, life skills, health and wellness programs. Looking to prepare Denver’s marginalized youth for a life of success — Mile High 360 hopes to level the playing field for these youth. Donations allow Mile High 360 to continue supporting the youth of Denver.

Nonprofit: Hope In Our City

The Lowdown: Hope In Our City focuses on refugee communities in the Denver area. Believing that lasting change comes from engaging the community in a holistic way Hope In Our City works to prepare individuals to be contributing, sustainable members of our world.


Courtesy of Denver Academy

Nonprofit: Denver Academy

The Lowdown: Recognized locally and nationally — Denver Academy is a top school for diverse learners who are looking for a challenge, success and school pride. Donations will go to helping Denver Academy open their doors to every student.

Nonprofit: Denver Scholarship Foundation

The Lowdown: The Denver Scholarship Foundation works to inspire and empower Denver Public Schools students to pursue post-secondary school education by providing financial resources, tools and knowledge to succeed. Donations help the Denver Scholarship Foundation continue to aid students across the Denver area.

Nonprofit: Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation

The Lowdown: The Denver School of the Arts Friends Foundation is a base for the Denver School of the Arts. By providing funding and resources to empower the public school for art students to continue supplying its students with the opportunities to succeed. Donations will continue to fund this program and through it — The Denver School of the Arts.


Photo Courtesy of The Wild Animal Sanctuary Facebook

Nonprofit: The Wild Animal Sanctuary

The Lowdown: The Wild Animal Sanctuary provides a place to alleviate and prevent abuse to animals. By giving a life-long home to many large exotic animals who have suffered abuse — The Wild Animal Sanctuary has saved many animals that would not make it on their own. Donations provide The Wild Animal Sanctuary a means to continue to save these animals.

Nonprofit:  PawsCo

The Lowdown: PawsCo is dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation by preventing unwanted pets and providing a better life to the pets we have. Giving you the chance to find the dog or cat of your dreams — PawsCo helps you provide an animal with a forever home. Donations will assist PawsCo with providing what is needed to benefit animals in the Denver area.

Nonprofit: Shelter Me Photography

The Lowdown: By using professional photography and education — Shelter Me Photography is tackling the number of pets that never make it out of a shelter. Shelter Me Photography teaches hands-on shelter photography workshops to train shelters to take better pictures of their pets. Donations go towards Shelter Me Photography’s ability to provide training to save our furry friends.


Photo Courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature & Science Facebook

Nonprofit: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Lowdown: “Be a catalyst. Ignite our community’s passion for nature and science.” That’s the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s mission. By providing an exciting place for people to learn about the world they live in — the Denver Museum of Nature & Science works to protect our natural world. Donations help fund the museum’s scholarship program providing science experiences to underserved students.

Nonprofit: Children’s Museum of Denver

The Lowdown: Working to open doors for future leaders — the Children’s Museum of Denver provides hands-on experiences to children. Originally opening in 1973 — the Children’s Museum of Denver has been serving Denver for almost 50 years. Donations will be used to offer children unique learning programs designed to challenge and grow their mind.


This is just a small part of the more than 2,000 non-profits that you can donate to this December 4. A full list can be found on the site here.