Maximizing impacts of philanthropy is focus of United Way event Wednesday | SteamboatToday.com

Maximizing impacts of philanthropy is focus of United Way event Wednesday

Teresa Ristow

— In an affluent community that is home to many nonprofits, charitable foundations and deserving organizations, philanthropy has become a regular part of the lives of many in Steamboat Springs.

But how to leverage a donation to have the greatest impact on an organization or the community may not be as simple as granting money, according to Carrie Morgridge, a 15-year philanthropist and new author of "Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World."

Morgridge will discuss her new book and strategies for maximizing the impacts of philanthropy during a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by Routt County United Way at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus.

"It's going to be just fun, because giving is fun," Morgridge said of the event.

Morgridge said that her book focuses on how people can identify causes they are passionate about and then find the right organizations to support.

Although Morgridge and her husband have been fortunate enough to give some large donations to groups, she said any size or type of philanthropy is significant.

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"We do have the pleasure of writing some big checks, but some of our favorites are the absolute smallest," said Morgridge, who lives in Denver but also owns a home in Steamboat Springs. "There is no gift too small to ever be giving."

Wednesday's panel also includes Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way in Denver, the country's first United Way organization.

Benero spoke highly of Morgridge's book and philanthropic efforts.

"She and her husband and their family have literally invested millions of dollars in communities across this country. But she helps us understand that every gift, whether it's a $10 gift or an hour of your time, can make a difference," Benero said. "We can all do something no matter who we are."

Routt County United Way Executive Director Kate Nowak said she was looking forward to Morgridge's discussion.

"It's pretty exciting. She's a pretty heavy hitter in the philanthropy world, and she has some good ideas of how to go about it," Nowak said.

The event is not a fundraiser for United Way, but an educational event for people interested in donating to any organization, Nowak said.

The panel discussion will be followed by complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the Neas Dining Center. Morgridge's book will be for sale at the event for $20, with all proceeds benefitting Routt County United Way.

Those wishing to RSVP to the event can do so at http://www.routtcountyunitedway.org, but RSVPs are not required to attend.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

If you go:

What: Routt County United Way’s “Every Gift Matters” panel discussion

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13

Where: Allbright Auditorium and Neas Dining Center at Colorado Mountain College, 1275 Crawford Ave.

Cost: Free