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Daily Camera | Dec 9, 2014
Boulder County charities celebrate
record-breaking Colorado Gives Day

By Joe Rubino

Longmont-based charity Colorado FriendShip took part in its first Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, helping it provide backpacks full of nutritious food to elementary school students.

The organization's IncrEdibles program provides food to Boulder County students who receive reduced-price lunches at school but may go hungry over the weekend.

Colorado Friendship

Jeff Grossberg, the organization's development director, said Gives Day — the statewide event promoting online donations for nonprofits — was a major boost for the program.

"It has helped to focus our donors' year-end giving," he said. "With Colorado Gives Day's help, we have doubled our contributions this year."

The fifth annual Colorado Gives Day was expected to break the record of more than $20 million set in 2013. By 9 p.m., nearly $23 million had been pledged.

Participating Boulder County nonprofits took in a little more than $2 million in donations combined last year. On Tuesday night, donations to local groups had hit $2.3 million, with three hours to go.

Kayla Arnesen, spokeswoman for the Community First Foundation, the group behind Colorado Gives Day, said Tuesday afternoon that statewide donations were pouring in at about $1 million per hour, a rate not seen in the prior four years.

Arnesen said 1,690 nonprofits signed up this year — up from 1,442 last year — including 194 groups in Boulder County and 12 in Broomfield.

"It's been a great day," said Gretchen Minekime, director of advancement for the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. "There is a lot of success happening and a great feeling in the air."

Minekime stopped by nonprofits including the Longmont Humane Society, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the YMCA of Boulder Valley in Lafayette on Tuesday. She said all of the organizations appeared to be enjoying big donation hauls.

"A lot of these people, they're not giving large donations. They're giving $25, $50, but they love their groups and they are supporting them," she said. "Today is just one day, and it's an event, but it's really about building a culture of giving in our community."

The Community First Foundation, along with FirstBank, established a $1 million "incentive fund" this year, through which organizations will collect additional funding in proportion to the total percentage of statewide donations they received Tuesday.

Alternatives for Youth Inc., which runs an early-intervention drug and alcohol treatment program for Boulder County teens called iTHRIVE, was on pace Tuesday to match or exceed the $1,800 it collected during last year's Colorado Gives Day.

Deb Roberts, executive director of the Longmont-based organization, said the nonprofit has participated in Colorado Gives Day every year.

"It's way to reach people who have donated to us before but also a way to reach people who have just found us," she said.

Joe Rubino: 303-473-1328,

Colorado FriendShip | Longmont, CO | 303-545-0242 |