Our View: Giving locally is as important as shopping locally
December 1, 2012
Efforts to increase local shopping during the holidays are well intended and often successful, although most of us need continual reminding about the importance of reinvesting our hard-earned money into the local economy. As consumers, we make decisions where to shop and what to buy every day. We also make decisions about which charitable organizations and causes to give to, especially during the holiday season. It is in this context that we find it important remind ourselves that giving to local charitable organizations has great benefit to them directly as well as to the community as a whole.
Most of us moved here from somewhere else. We often have close ties with charitable organizations where we used to live. Those ties are good, and they likely represent a lifelong commitment to individual philanthropy that extends beyond just giving money to volunteering the precious resource of time. This underlying philanthropic personality characteristic contributes to making us a caring community.
Again this year, giving locally could not be any easier. This Tuesday, beginning at 12 a.m. and continuing for 24 hours, is Colorado Gives Day. Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. The Community First Foundation and FirstBank are responsible for the initiative and are underwriting the expenses associated with the processing of online donations. That means 100 percent of your donation goes to the nonprofit of your choosing.
This represents the third year where a concerted effort has been made to encourage the support of local nonprofits through online giving on Colorado Gives Day. Last year, $12.8 million was raised statewide in the 24-hour period, up from $8.7 million in 2010. Go to http://www.givefirst.org to learn more.
Eight local nonprofit organizations were approved to participate in this year's Colorado Gives Day. We hope more local nonprofits will consider participating in next year's campaign, because it makes giving locally an uncomplicated process.
Beyond the local nonprofits who stand to benefit from Tuesday's Colorado Gives Day, Routt County United Way continues to be a great resource for giving to local charitable organizations that focus on education, health care, human services and mental health/crisis intervention. And like Colorado Gives Day, donating to Routt County United Way is as simple as logging on to its website — http://www.routtcountyunitedway.org — and making a tax-deductible monetary gift. Our local United Way has an ambitious fundraising goal of $525,000 this year, which will in turn be doled out to more than 40 Routt County health and human service nonprofits. All money donated to Routt County United Way stays in our community.
We recognize that time and money are limited resources. We are not suggesting that long-established relationships with charitable organizations outside of the Yampa Valley be severed and replaced with local ones. But we do ask that each of us consider giving locally as much as we make the effort to shop locally. To put it simply, giving where you live is as valuable as shopping where you live.