Colorado Gives Day celebrates statewide philanthropy for sixth consecutive year | AspenTimes.com

Colorado Gives Day celebrates statewide philanthropy for sixth consecutive year

The spirit of giving is expected to be apparent across Colorado today as the peak holiday season approaches.

Last Tuesday, the global social movement dedicated to giving back, #GivingTuesday, took off following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Today, Colorado will observe its sixth annual "Colorado Gives Day," an effort to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado.

Many local nonprofit organizations participated in Giving Tuesday and plan to also partake in Colorado Gives Day.

One of these groups was Challenge Aspen, which has helped physically and mentally disabled members of the community for 20 years.

On Giving Tuesday this year, an anonymous donor matched every donation to Challenge Aspen up to $100,000.

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Challenge Aspen development and marketing director Alli Stitle said the organization reached out to the community via social media, email blasts and newspaper ads.

Stitle said this was Challenge Aspen's first year participating in the social movement, and that it is something the organization hopes to see grow as more people are aware of Giving Tuesday and giving back to the community.

The environmental science education nonprofit Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is another local organization that hopes to raise awareness about its programs this time of year.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies donors may specify which of its programs they wish to see their dollars help support, said events and development coordinator Amanda Boyle.

The nonprofit has four overarching environmental education programs – ecological literacy, forest health, ecosystem restoration and sustainable agriculture, according to marketing director Eliza Burlingame.

At the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Colorado Gives Day isn't necessarily about the dollars, Burlingame said.

"Whether it translates to hard dollars in our pockets today, or increased awareness over time, it's just great to see that engagement," Burlingame said.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies development director Christy Mahon agreed.

"It's a vehicle to drive people to think about the meaning of nonprofits, and what they do for our community, Mahon said.

"You have to really remember what Colorado Gives Day is. It's not all about finances. It's about giving time, love, and support," Mahon said. "And at ACES, we give the gift of nature."

Mahon added that the environmental center has many fundraisers throughout the holiday season, and that Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day are only a small part of these efforts.

Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado, a local nonprofit that rescues, rehabilitates and finds homes for animals, is participating in Colorado Gives Day for its second year in a row, said the organization's co-founder and president, Rachel Hahn.

Hahn said Lucky Day Animal Rescue uses a lot of social media and newsletters in order to reach the community and raise awareness.

"I think more for us, it helps us spread the word about our organization to different entities that normally we wouldn't see each year," Hahn said.

Hahn said she was happy with the outcome and support of the organization's efforts last year.

Hahn estimated that Lucky Day Animal Rescue's raised around $5,000 on Colorado Gives Day in 2014.

"If it's growing and worth doing in the future, we'll definitely continue," Hahn said, adding that she looks forward to seeing how this year turns out.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

To make a donation to Colorado Gives Day, visit: https://www.coloradogives.org/COGIVESDAY

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