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Yampa Valley Gives Day donations tripled

Meghan Barrett, Bobby Jones, Kelly Landers, Melissa Robinson and Kristen Weise wave at passing cars Tuesday morning hoping to bring attention to the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs as well as Yampa Valley Gives Day and Colorado Day of Giving, which took place on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Nonprofits throughout the Yampa Valley have something to celebrate this week with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s announcement that this year’s Yampa Valley Gives Day, which took place on Dec. 10, brought in a record amount of donations.

While the $809,892 raised was just short of the $1 million goal, the number of donations tripled from 1,168 to 3,657 this year.

Holly Wilson, of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, attributes this to the fact that now in its sixth year, Yampa Valley Gives Day has become more well-known throughout the community.

“A few years in, people are more aware of it now,” Wilson said. “We have a very generous community of people here who want to support nonprofits and know that there’s no better time than this one community day to do it.”

Sixty-three area nonprofits received donations on Yampa Valley Gives Day and no matter the amount, all were impacted.

Scott Parker, executive director of the Chief Theater, said this was his organization’s most successful Yampa Valley Gives Day to date.

“We surpassed our 2017 total by nearly $20,000,” Parker said, “and what was special about this year was that donors had the option to cover the fees associated with their donation, and nearly 80% of donors did just that.”

For many local organizations, it’s the single largest fundraising day of the year that allows them to continue their mission.

Melodie Querry, executive director of Opera Steamboat, said the day provides “crucial funding,” not only to help underwrite the opera performances the nonprofit creates but also to support its partnerships within Routt County, such as their Opera in the Schools program.

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, which was founded in 1996 acts as a host to the one-day event, encouraging people to donate online and providing marketing and volunteer support to local nonprofits leading up to the day.

Yampa Valley Gives Day donations

2019: $809,892
2018: $913,836
2017: $758,739
2016: $741,736
2015: $463,944
2014: $370,974

Source: Yampa Valley Community Foundation

Yampa Valley Gives Day is a regional champion of Colorado Gives Day, which is a statewide effort. This is the sixth year Yampa Valley Gives Day has been in existence. It was started by the 2014 Leadership Steamboat class.

Gretchen Van de Carr, executive director of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, said her organization has doubled its donor base and funding since Yampa Valley Gives Day started.

“We greatly benefit from this one day,” Van de Carr said.

The donations will go even further when the Yampa Valley receives additional funds from a $1.5 million statewide incentive, sponsored by First Bank to encourage giving. The incentive is allocated to match each community’s percentage of total donations in the state.

Statewide, more than 165,000 donations totaling $39.6 million for 2,569 nonprofits were given. This number is slightly lower than the $47.1 million donated in 2018. In the Yampa Valley, the total decreased as well from $926,720 in 2018.

But Wilson said the fact the number of donations tripled this year is more than encouraging.

“It’s a testament that philanthropy is increasing in our community,” Wilson said. “By donating to nonprofits in our valley, we improve the quality of life and create a space for positive change in Routt and Moffat counties.”

To date, Yampa Valley Gives Day has raised over $4 million for area nonprofits.

Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.


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