Yampa Valley Gives Day raises record amount for area nonprofits | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Gives Day raises record amount for area nonprofits

Routt County nonprofits showed up in force Nov. 30 for a rally to promote Yampa Valley Gives Day. The fifth annual day of giving raised a record $913,836. (Photo by John F. Russell)

Editor’s note: The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club raised $88,411 on Tuesday. The Family Development Center raised the most money in 2017. The nonprofit that collected the most money in 2018 won’t be known until final numbers are released. The information has been corrected below.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Donations Tuesday on Yampa Valley Gives Day totaled a record $913,836, shy of the $1 million goal but a 20 percent increase from last year’s fundraising total.

The money will benefit 58 area nonprofits, all of which received at least one of the 3,161 donations made on the fifth annual day of giving, which began as a project of the 2014 Leadership Steamboat class.

“We really want to encourage people to give where they live,” Yampa Valley Community Foundation marketing manager Helen Beall said. "The fact that we had a 20 percent increase over last year is super impressive.”

By the numbers

Yampa Valley Gives Day donations:
2018: $913,836
2017: $758,739
2016: $741,736
2015: $463,944
2014: $370,974

The money will go even further after the Yampa Valley receives an estimated $26,000 in additional funds from a $1 million statewide incentive to encourage giving. The incentive is provided by First Bank and is allocated to match each community’s percentage of total donations in the state.

Across Colorado, more than 157,700 donations totaled $35.1 million for 2,481 nonprofits, according to ColoradoGives.org.

Here in the Yampa Valley, the umbrella of 58 organizations benefits even more community groups in the area. The Community Foundation, for example, oversees 18 additional organizations, which could benefit from the $74,000 it raised Tuesday.

The Family Development Center, which raised the most money in 2017, collected $69,720 before the incentive funds are awarded. The organization comprises Newborn Network, Child Care Network and Discovery Learning Center.

“I think people really understand the importance of early childhood,” Family Development Center Executive Director Tami Havener said. “All of our services combined … touch eight out of 10 children in Routt County ages zero to 5.”

In 2018, the organization has awarded $140,000 to support Discovery Learning Center families.

“We couldn’t provide all these services to Routt County families without the support of our donors,” Havener said. “They make this happen.”

Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports typically is among area nonprofits that raise the most funds. This year, STARS raised $69,027, which will be boosted by the incentive fund.

With an average donation of nearly $900, STARS Executive Director Julie Taulman said the nonprofit had fewer donations this year but larger contributions.

“I think, for some people, they see the growth of STARS, and they’re wanting to get involved and invest,” she said about the more than 50 percent increase in donations this year compared with 2017.

The Community Foundation attributes the increase in giving to a few factors, including more participating nonprofits as well as improved education and marketing of the event, including the new Yampa Valley Gives guide, which was produced by the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

"We think it's a factor of a couple different things, definitely more people getting involved and understanding why giving to charity is good to our community,” Beall said.

"Also, we changed some of our approach to marketing to really make it more of a conversation about philanthropy,” she said.

Beall said the Community Foundation will continue to look at their marketing efforts next year.

And the $1 million goal? It still stands.

"We’ve got to reach the goal,” Beall said. “We'll have that goal until we reach it.”

To date, Yampa Valley Gives Day has raised over $3.2 million for nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties.

To reach Nicole Miller, call 970-871-4206, email nmiller@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @millerna.

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