Think local when considering your year-end giving
December 1, 2021
In 2020, charitable giving rose to an all-time high in the U.S., even as many Americans struggled with uncertainty and disruptions. While that is good news for the nation's non-profit organizations, the unfortunate reality is that much of the bounty went to high profile causes and groups, leaving small and locally-focused charities scrambling to make up for lost fundraising opportunities. As 2021 comes to a close, many of those groups could still use some help to balance the scales.
"There are a lot of causes, and we really encourage people to look local," Katie Wiser, Development and Communications Director of Longmont Meals on Wheels, said. "Especially during the holidays, it's a good time to support your neighbors. We are 100 percent independent, and so giving to your local Meals on Wheels is giving to your neighbor who is homebound or older or living with disabilities or a chronic health condition."
LMOW is one of more than 3,000 local nonprofits registered for Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour donation event held each year on the first Tuesday in December. Sponsored by the Community First Foundation, the annual drive has raised more than $307 million for Colorado charities since its inception in 2010, including a record $50.1 million in 2020. This year, CGD participants will also receive a share of a $1.6 million incentive fund proportional to the share of total funds raised overall.
For the staff at LMOW, Wiser said, celebrating Colorado Gives Day has become a new holiday tradition.
"We love taking part in it. It's just wonderful. My fellow development directors and I talk about how you're constantly refreshing the news site with excitement and anticipation. My boss turns on her email notifications on her phone, and annoys everyone around her, since she gets so excited every time she hears one."
Operations at LMOW are inching their way back to more normal footing as 2022 approaches, even though challenges remain behind the scenes. In September, the group resumed its five-day meal delivery schedule, and daily lunches at the Longmont Senior Center are also back on the schedule. According to Wiser, that's largely thanks to the generous support of volunteers and donors, which enabled the group to continue its main mission of delivering nutritious, ready-to-eat meals to those who might otherwise go without.
"We are so grateful to exist in Longmont and Niwot, and know that we can continue to support this population without a waiting list," communications director Katie Wiser said. "There are a lot of Meals on Wheels programs around the nation that have waiting lists, and we have never been in that situation because of the community support."
Of course, local charitable and non-profit organizations are happy to receive your donations outside of Colorado Gives Day. When making your year-end giving list, consider one of the many volunteer groups that serve Niwot and the surrounding communities. As a bonus, up to $600 of your donation may be tax deductible, even for taxpayers who don't itemize deductions.
The Niwot Historical Society (NHS) volunteers work to collect and preserve the history of Niwot and the surrounding area to share with future generations. Donations are tax deductible and membership is available at http://www.niwothistoricalsociety.org or mailed to NHS, P.O. Box 354, Niwot, CO 80544.
The Niwot Community Association (NCA) is a volunteer organization that interfaces with local government agencies and provides a forum for Niwot residents to become informed and involved. Donations, membership and volunteer opportunities are available at http://www.niwot.org or donations can be mailed to NCA, P.O. Box 72, Niwot, CO 80544.
Left Hand Grange No. 9 (LHG), founded in 1873, is the oldest operating Grange organization in Colorado. Donations can be submitted at http://www.lefthandgrange.org or mailed to LHG, P.O. Box 301, Niwot, CO 80544.
Niwot Cultural Arts Association (NCAA) was formed in 2009, and supports Whistle Stop Park, Rock & Rails, Niwot Children's Park, the Niwot Sculpture Park, the First Friday Art Walk, Why Not Niwot? Juried Art Show, Let's Wine About Winter, and the Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band. Donations are tax deductible and may be made at http://www.niwotarts.org or mailed to NCAA, P.O. Box 733, Niwot, CO 80544.
The Niwot Business Association (NBA) is a non-profit organization which promotes Niwot businesses. Donations may be mailed to NBA, P.O. Box 92, Niwot, CO 80544.
The Rotary Club of Niwot provides volunteers for service projects in and around Niwot, and raises funds for other local charities, including the Colorado Friendship Association, and the Pearl Group. Donations may be made to P.O. Box 20, Niwot, CO 80544.
Lefthand Watershed Oversight Center mission is to assess, protect and restore the Left Hand Creek Watershed. Tax deductible donations may be made to P.O. Box 1074, Niwot, CO 80544.
Via Mobility Services provides paratransit services in Boulder County and beyond to people with mobility limitations who are unable to travel otherwise. Tax deductible donations can be made at 2855 63rd Street, Boulder, CO 80301, or online at http://www.viacolorado.org.
Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center mission is to change the lives of people with disabilities by promoting their physical, psychological and social well being through equine assisted activities. Tax deductible donations may be sent to CTRC at 11968 Mineral Road, Longmont, CO 80504.
Niwot Youth Sports is a 501 c3 non-profit organization providing recreational and competitive sports to local youth. Tax deductible donations may be made online at http://www.niwotyouthsports.org or sent to NYS at P.O. Box 125, Niwot, CO 80544.
Left Hand Giving Circle is a group of local residents who raise money to donate to other non-profits each year. Tax deductible donations are handled by the Longmont Community Foundation. To donate, go to http://www.lefthandgivingcircle.org.
J.A.R.E.D. is a Niwot organization that provides scholarships and educational opportunities for musicians. Tax deductible donations may be sent to 8858 Marathon Road, Niwot, CO 80503.
Boy Scout Troop 161 is the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, but receives no funding from the national organization. Donations may be made ℅ NCAA, P.O. Box 733, Niwot, CO 80544.
Niwot Patriotic Cookie Moms have been sending care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas for over 10 years. Donations towards mailing costs may be made ℅ NCAA, P.O. Box 733, Niwot, CO 80544.
Mwebaza Foundation was formed in 2008 by staff members at Niwot Elementary School to support partner schools in Africa. Tax deductible donations may be made at http://www.mwebaza.org, or by mail to P.O. Box 353, Niwot, CO 80544.
Other local organizations to consider include the Hillside School, Flagstaff Academy, Niwot High School Education Foundation, Niwot High Boosters, St. Vrain Valley Schools Education Foundation, Longmont Humane Society, the Longmont Theatre Company, Longmont Museum, El Comite de Longmont, Temple Grandin School, IDEAS, Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley