Colorado Springs metro area is home to 3,863 non-profit organizations with average annual revenues of $5 billion and an asset base of $14 billion. That includes a significant number of large non-profit entities of national or regional standing, including religious organizations, higher education, and healthcare. But, it is also home to nearly 520 which have anywhere from zero to ten employees. There are roughly 900 community-based non-profits in Colorado Springs. These are focused on the arts, culture and humanities, human services, philanthropy, and animal welfare. As we have often noted, non-profits are a vital component of a community’s economy and it is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that this is uniquely true for Colorado Springs. Enter the pandemic and the shutdown. Where businesses had access to PPP funding, the opportunities were more narrow for non-profits. And yet, there was help and hope provided through a unique fundraising platform known as Give!
Give! enters it’s 12th year of catalyzing individual philanthropy for local non-profits. It is the non-profit civic arm of the Colorado Publishing House, with support from the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Pikes Peak Bulletin and the Southeast Express. Since 2009, the annual Give! campaign has benefitted 230 local non-profits and raised over $ 14.6 million provided by 100,000 donors. Give! is distinguished by its focus on catalyzing individual giving, particularly by young persons under the age of 36. It is also distinguished by the benefits offered to participating non-profits, including training in fundraising, access to matching grants, and media exposure. How did Give! do last year? It was their biggest year yet, raising $1.6 million, benefitting 78 non-profits, supported by 9,000 individual gifts.
Veteran philanthropy executive, Jenny Stafford of Spur Philanthropy, makes this observation, “I think that the Give! idea is really smart. Give! is aligned with how the “next gen” donors want to give.” Stafford also noted that it introduces the community to organizations they might never have known about. In turn, it introduces organizations to new supporters. Each participating non-profit receives their donor information after the campaign.