Our View: 1 great day of giving | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: 1 great day of giving

— Among the most gratifying and reliable characteristics of the Yampa Valley is the unswerving altruism of its residents.

From the donation-reliant annual community Thanksgiving dinner to the United Way of Routt County's Holiday Gift Exchange to the fundraising activities routinely undertaken by various area agencies, the enduring common denominator is and has always been, the ready and often overwhelming generosity demonstrated by our local populace.

On Dec. 8, that populace will again be offered an opportunity to showcase its willingness to extend a helping hand to worthy area endeavors during Yampa Valley Gives Day, held annually beneath the umbrella of the larger Colorado Gives Day, and we're confident residents will once more rise to the occasion.

Last year, the 24-hour, online giving drive netted more than $370,000 for Yampa Valley nonprofits, an amount augmented to more than $400,000 with the addition of Colorado Gives Day incentive funds. This is truly an incredible amount of money to have been raised in a single day — particularly given our comparatively small population — and at least part of the credit belongs to the ease and convenience afforded by its online focus.

We live in a largely digital world, a world in which the upcoming younger generation is far more comfortable conducting business via the Internet, and Colorado Gives Day has focused this tremendous power and reach into an incredibly effective way of raising vast sums of money in relatively short periods of time.

But there's another upside to harnessing the power of the Internet for such campaigns: the growing number of nonprofits competing for the funds.

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There are more than 100 nonprofit agencies operating in Routt County alone, and this year, 58 of them are vying for Colorado Gives funding. On its Website, coloradogives.org, these agencies are conveniently organized and searchable based upon a number of criteria, including ZIP code, county of origin and cause.

While the very existence of so many worthwhile agencies, all of them competing for the same funds, suggests the potential for overlap and duplication of effort, the user-friendly and intuitive coloradogives.org Website removes much of the doubt with its detailed descriptions of each organization and synopses of each one's respective mission.

In addition, once a donor selects a nonprofit, he or she can then further stipulate specific outreach areas within that nonprofit and direct the donation to be used there.

The whole process becomes a little like perusing a menu at a restaurant. All of the nonprofits are listed and described in a single document, and making a donation is as simple as pushing a few buttons.

On Dec. 8, visit the coloradogives.org and take a look at the menu. It's a quick, easy way to support a worthwhile cause right here in our valley.

At issue

Yampa Valley Gives Day, in conjunction with Colorado Gives Day, is Dec. 8

Our view

Colorado Gives Day and its Yampa Valley component offer an extraordinary online resource to simplify the process of learning about and supporting local nonprofits