At least 2,990 donations helped Summit Gives net $658,797 to benefit 60 local organizations as part of the annual Colorado Gives campaign, and philanthropic gifts continue to pour in.
The fundraising campaign ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, but those who wish to help support local nonprofits and organizations can continue to donate at ColoradoGives.org and make a gift specifically to nonprofits in the area by typing “Summit County” in the location field.
“Colorado Gives Day is the kickoff for the season of giving,” The Summit Foundation Executive Director Jeanne Bistranin said. “People can still donate … directly to the nonprofit of their choice or to The Summit Foundation, which supports the entire community.”
Although this total is less than the all-time record campaign last year, Bistranin said if you remove the outlier of a $100,000 donation submitted last year, this year’s campaign was the most successful.
“In general, philanthropy keeps growing in our community, which is wonderful, because the community’s needs keep growing,” Bistranin said.
Although the statewide total of $53 million shows a drop in philanthropic donations to Colorado organizations, Bistranin said she thinks Summit County’s community places a high value on giving back.
“People know that it’s just kind of becoming harder and harder to live here because of the cost of living. And, you know, that impacts all of our families and everybody that lives here,” Bistranin explained. “I think even people that, you know, don’t necessarily have the means — I think they’re willing to help each other, and I think that we see that reflected in so many ways in our community.”
The local donations submitted during the campaign saw a boost from a $1.4 million Incentive Fund that increased the impact of every dollar.
For those who donate to The Summit Foundation’s endowment, their gift is leveraged through investment strategies that help support perpetual support to area nonprofits and organizations.
“So we support what we call working families. When you think about working families, then that’s going to get into housing, that’s going to get into child care, that’s going to get into health care, expenses, food, you know, all of those types of issues that we all work on in this community,” Bistranin explained while discussing a few of the foundation’s priority areas, along with tuition assistance and after-school programing.
The Summit Foundation also allows people to earmark their dollars for specific causes and organizations, and Bistranin said her team can help donors find the right fit for their gift.
This year, The Summit Foundation rally was hosted by Outer Range Brewing Co. on Dec. 6 to provide fun and energy to local nonprofits through raffles and matching organizational grants. The Cycle Effect and Domus Pacis Family Respite were awarded this year’s matching grants.
Since many nonprofits raise 30% of their budget between November and December, annually, the fundraiser is seen as a crucial part of helping small towns with limited staffing and resources, said Suzanne Lifgren, marketing manager at The Summit Foundation.
“Our community is blessed with a culture of generosity,” Lifgren stated following the rally. “The amount of volunteer time and financial contribution that is required to support the over 200 nonprofits in the county is immense and necessary as our nonprofits provide the arts and culture, sports and educational opportunities, environmental stewardship and health and human services that provide us with such an abundant lifestyle.”