ColoradoGives FAQs

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Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ColoradoGives.org. For details about Colorado Gives Day, visit Colorado Gives Day FAQs.

Donations and Donating

  1. What is ColoradoGives.org?
  2. How do I make a donation?
  3. Can I use an IRA charitable distribution to donate to nonprofits on ColoradoGives.org?
  4. Is my donation tax-deductible?
  5. Are nonprofits charged any fees?
  6. Are tax credits available for donations made through ColoradoGives.org?
  7. How does my donation get to the nonprofit(s) I choose?
  8. Can I use my employer's matching gifts program?
  9. Can I cancel a donation?
  10. Why does my credit card or bank statement show "CmtyFirstFdn/ColoradoGives" or "COGivesDay/ColoradoGives" instead of the nonprofit(s) I donated to?
  11. Can I specify how nonprofits use my donation?
  12. Do nonprofits that receive contributions through ColoradoGives.org have access to donor information collected on the site?
  13. Can I dedicate my donation as a memorial to or in honor of someone?
  14. Does the nonprofit I donate to in someone's memory/honor send a card?
  15. How do I locate the routing and account numbers on my check?
  16. What's the difference between the Recurring Donations tab and the My Donations tab of My Account?
  17. I can't remember my donor account password. What should I do?

Giving eCards

  1. Can I send gift cards through your system?
  2. Can I have a Giving eCard mailed through regular post?

Recurring Donations

  1. What are recurring donations?
  2. How do I set up a recurring donation?
  3. Can I set up a recurring donation using online checks?
  4. Is there an additional cost for recurring donations?
  5. How do I change a recurring donation?
  6. How can I use a different payment method for a recurring donation?
  7. How can I cancel a recurring donation?

Fundraising Pages

  1. What are fundraising pages?
  2. How do I set up a ColoradoGives Fundraising Page?
  3. Is there a limit to the amount I can raise through a ColoradoGives Fundraising Page?
  4. When will my fundraising campaign end?
  5. Will I be notified when someone makes a donation through my Fundraising Page?
  6. How will the donations I raise through a Fundraising Page get to the nonprofit?
  7. What if I don't reach my goal?
  8. Can I fundraise for multiple nonprofits?
  9. How can I acknowledge money that has been raised for the nonprofit but not online?
  10. How can I see who is fundraising for a nonprofit?

Donations and Donating

What is ColoradoGives.org?

ColoradoGives.org is a year-round, online giving platform featuring over 2900 Colorado nonprofits. Powered by Community First Foundation since 2007, ColoradoGives.org encourages charitable giving by providing donors with comprehensive, objective and up-to-date information about Colorado nonprofits and an easy and trusted way to support them.

Community First Foundation screens each nonprofit that applies to join the site to ensure they meet specific standards. However, each nonprofit is responsible for the content on their respective profile pages.

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How do I make a donation?

Donating is easy! Watch this video or follow the steps below:

Search

From any page on the site, you can search for charities by organization name, keyword, cause, city or zip code. It is also possible to search for ColoradoGives Fundraising Pages benefiting specific nonprofits. You can further filter your search results by status or alphabetical listing.

Learn

After searching, learn more about an organization's mission, programs, financials, and more by clicking on the search results widget or the "Learn More" link. You can then choose to donate or continue searching.

Donate

If you are already familiar with an organization, you can simply click on their "Donate" button, and follow the step-by-step instructions. The minimum donation amount is $5.

You can donate with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express), information from a bank account (personal checking, business checking or savings), or a Giving eCard that has been emailed to you as a gift. You can donate any of these ways without creating an account. You may also consider setting up recurring donations so that the organizations you cherish the most will receive a dependable gift from you.

Once you've made a donation, you automatically receive an on-screen acknowledgment letter. A copy of this letter is also emailed to you. These can be printed for your records. If you create a donor account, copies of these letters are also be saved in your donation history.

All of the charities on ColoradoGives.org are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of State and are in good standing, so you can be certain that your donations are tax deductible as charitable contributions to the full extent permitted by law.

Your contribution is accepted by Community First Foundation which then grants your donation to the nonprofit you designate. This allows us to issue a donation receipt to you immediately upon completion of your transaction. However, if the nonprofit offers additional state tax credits, such as the Child Care Contribution Credit or Enterprise Zone Contribution Tax Credit, Community First Foundation will acknowledge that the gift was processed successfully, but the nonprofit that offers the additional state tax credits will issue you the official tax receipt and additional receipts pursuant to that.

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If you are 72 or older, you can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified nonprofit without having to pay income taxes on the money. This also can help you meet your required minimum distribution for the year. By using ColoradoGives.org, you are able to donate to multiple nonprofits with only one disbursement. Learn more here.

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Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. All of the nonprofits on ColoradoGives.org are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the Secretary of State and are in good standing. Donations are tax deductible as charitable contributions to the full extent permitted by law.

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Are nonprofits charged any fees?

Third-party vendors charge credit card and electronic check processing fees when donors make online gifts to nonprofit organizations. Two percent of each donation helps to cover these fees and ensures the program's long-term sustainability. The two percent third-party processing fee is one of the lowest in the country and the most cost effective way to fundraise online. We are happy we can make this program available to Colorado nonprofits without any set-up charges or monthly maintenance fees.

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Are tax credits available for donations made through ColoradoGives.org?

All of the nonprofits listed on ColoradoGives.org are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and in good standing with the Secretary of State. This means that your donations are tax deductible as charitable contributions to the full extent permitted by law.

Additional Colorado state tax credits (defined below) may be available through several of the nonprofits on the site. Visit the "Financials" tab on an organization's profile under "Tax Credit" to determine if additional credits apply.

If your donations are made to nonprofits that offer these credits, Community First Foundation will acknowledge that your donations were processed, but your receipt for tax purposes will be issued by the charities that offer state tax credits. The nonprofits will also determine the extent to which your contributions are eligible. Please contact them directly for confirmation and instruction.

The following tax credits are offered in Colorado. Please consult with a tax professional for details.  

Child Care Contribution Credit
A state income tax credit for donations made to qualifying organizations that increase the quality and availability of child care in Colorado.

Enterprise Zone Contribution Tax Credit
A state income tax credit for donations to organizations involved in improving economically distressed areas (called "Enterprise Zones") through job creation and preservation, and assistance programs for homeless persons.

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How does my donation get to the nonprofit(s) I choose?

ColoradoGives uses SSL on the site. SSL is a protocol that provides an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the site you're viewing which prevents third parties from interfering with your donation information traveling through the tunnel. Your donation is then processed either through an e-commerce payment service called Authorize.net (for e-checks) or Braintree (for credit cards). Community First Foundation compiles the donations and electronically transfers the donations directly to the nonprofit's bank account.

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Can I use my employer's matching gifts program?

Yes. We applaud matching gifts, but please ask your employer to send matching funds directly to the nonprofits(s) you are supporting and not to Community First Foundation.

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Can I cancel a donation?

Charitable donations made on ColoradoGives.org are irrevocable. If there are extenuating circumstances, please contact us and we will review your individual case.

If the donation has already been disbursed to the nonprofit(s) you designated, you will need to contact the nonprofit(s) directly to request a refund. ColoradoGives cannot guarantee that a nonprofit will refund your donation as this decision is entirely at the discretion of the nonprofit.

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Why does my credit card or bank statement show "CmtyFirstFdn/ColoradoGives" or "COGivesDay/ColoradoGives" instead of the nonprofit(s) I donated to?

This is because ColoradoGives is a program of Community First Foundation which manages the donations that come through the website. Your donation first goes to the Foundation for processing then we grant the donations to the nonprofits. This allows the Foundation to issue you an acknowledgment letter immediately upon completion of your transaction.

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Can I specify how nonprofits use my donation?

Some nonprofits provide options that allow you to direct how your donation should be used by them (e.g., Programs, Endowment, etc.). Other nonprofits do not. If you have no preference or are unsure, you can opt not to select anything and it will default to "Nonprofit's Discretion". If you do not select an option other than "Nonprofit's Discretion", your donation is automatically directed to general operating support for the organization unless the nonprofit has made special arrangements with the Foundation to direct any unspecified donations elsewhere.

If you would like your donation to be used for a specific purpose, please contact the nonprofit directly before making the donation to make sure they are able to honor your request. If the nonprofit confirms they can honor your request, then please state your wishes in the special instructions or comment box. Community First Foundation cannot guarantee that nonprofits will honor these requests.

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Do nonprofits that receive contributions through ColoradoGives.org have access to donor information collected on the site?

When you make your donation, if you opt not to be anonymous or to only be anonymous in publications, then the nonprofit(s) will receive your name, address, email, phone number, date of the donation, the amount of the donation, whether the donation is recurring, the frequency of any recurring gifts, the level of anonymity you selected, and any specifications you've made about your donation.

Community First Foundation shares this information with the nonprofits so that they have the opportunity to send you a thank you letter. We believe in strengthening the relationship between nonprofits and donors, and an important aspect of that is for nonprofits to be able to thank their supporters.

If you opt to be completely anonymous when you make your donation, then the nonprofit(s) will only receive the amount of the donation, date of the donation, whether it is recurring, the frequency of any recurring gifts, and any specifications you've made about your donation. Please note that if you make a completely anonymous gift to a charity that offers additional state tax credits, the nonprofit will not be able to issue you appropriate documentation or a tax receipt.

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Can I dedicate my donation as a memorial to or in honor of someone?

Yes, we think this is lovely idea! When you make your donation, you can choose it to be "In Honor" or "In Memory" of someone, send an eNote to the named person, or request the nonprofit send a physical card/letter.

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You can request the nonprofit to send a physical card or letter by selecting the option "Nonprofit notify with letter" when checking out and complete the required address fields. ColoradoGives encourages the nonprofit to notify the person and/or the family to whom you are making your donation on behalf of, but please contact the nonprofit for details about their specific acknowledgement procedures.

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How do I locate the routing and account numbers on my check?

The routing number is always a nine (9) digit number and is typically located at the bottom of your check between the symbols (often asterisks (*)). The account number is between 10 and 15 digits and is generally located before the symbol at the bottom of your check.

The routing number and the account number are both different than the check number.

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What's the difference between the Recurring Donations tab and the My Donations tab of My Account?

The Recurring Donations section lists the recurring donation(s) you've set up and the amount donated thus far. You can edit or cancel active recurring donations.

The My Donations tab lists all donations you've made through your donor account. These may be payments associated with a recurring donation or one-time gifts. You can access the receipts for any of these donations.

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I can't remember my donor account password. What should I do?

1.  Click "Log In" button at top of website. Select "Login as Donor", then click "Forgot Password."

2.  At the Sign In page, click on the "Forgot Password" button.

3.  When prompted, enter the email address associated with your account; then click the "Reset Password" button.

4.  When you do this, one of two things will happen:

- If you've set your security questions and answers, you will be asked two of these questions. If your answers are correct, you will be prompted to reset your password immediately. If you can't remember the answers, please email cogives@CommunityFirstFoundation.org and we will assist you. If your answers are incorrect twice, you will receive a message to contact your system administrator. Email cogives@CommunityFirstFoundation.org and we will assist you.

- If you have NOT set security questions and answers, an email will be sent to the donor account email in our system with a link to reset your password. If you do not see the link email in your inbox, be sure to check your spam/junk folder(s). 

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Giving eCards

Can I send gift cards through your system?

We have gift cards you can use to donate on ColoradoGives.org. These cards can be purchased on ColoradoGives.org for as little as $5 and up to $99,999.99. They are sent electronically to your friends and family. The recipients of Giving Cards can use them to support any nonprofit featured on ColoradoGives.

How It Works

1. You purchase a Giving Card on ColoradoGives.org and write a personal message to the person to whom you're sending the eCard.

2. An email with the Giving Card is sent to the person you designated.

3. The recipient of the Giving Card can go to ColoradoGives, find a charity he/she'd like to support, and use the code on the Giving Card to complete the donation process.

Additional Information

- Giving Cards expire five years from date of purchase, and any dollars not used after that time are transferred to an unrestricted fund at Community First Foundation.

- Giving Cards are tax deductible for the purchaser only.

The person using a Giving Card receives confirmation on-screen and in an email acknowledging the amounts and organizations designated, but this confirmation clearly indicates that the amounts designated through the use of the Giving Card are not tax deductible for them.

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Can I have a Giving Card mailed through regular post?

Giving Cards are sent electronically via email.

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Recurring Donations

What are recurring donations?

A recurring donation is when a donor authorizes Community First Foundation, through ColoradoGives, to make a donation for a specific amount, at regular intervals, against a specific credit card or bank account, and to specified organizations. Donors can set up daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually recurring donations.

Recurring donations are especially helpful for nonprofits because they provide nonprofits with reliable donations.

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How do I set up a recurring donation?

Setting up a recurring donation is easy to do!

1. After you enter your recurring donation amount (minimum of $5), select "Yes" to indicate it is a recurring donation.

2. On the form that appears, select: 1) When you want the first installment of your donation to be made; 2) How often you would like the gift to be made (every x number of days, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually); and 3) When you would like the donation to end (by a certain date, after a certain number of payments, after a certain amount has been donated, or never).

3. After completing the information on the page, click "Add to Cart."

4. You will either need to sign in to your existing account or create an account. (If you've already signed in, you'll automatically be directed to the Payment & Billing section of the donation process).

5. Enter your payment and billing information and click Submit to complete the transaction.

A donor account on ColoradoGives.org is needed for recurring donations in order to track the parameters you set up and to process donations according to your direction. A donor account also allows the automatically-generated acknowledgement letters to be stored on your account so you can access them at your convenience. In order to maintain compliance with security standards, Community First Foundation does not store your complete credit card or bank account information.

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Can I set up a recurring donation using online checks?

Yes. You can set up a recurring donation from a bank account or with a credit card.

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Is there an additional cost for recurring donations?

No, there are no additional costs associated with setting up a recurring donation.

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How do I change a recurring donation?

If you want to make changes to an active recurring donation:

1. Log in to your ColoradoGives.org donor account.

2. Click on "My Account" at the top of the page.

3. Click on the "Recurring Donations" tab of your account.

4. Click "Edit" next to the donation you'd like to change.

5. You can then adjust the amount, frequency or duration of that recurring donation.

6. Click "Submit."

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How can I use a different payment method for a recurring donation?

Update Expiration Date

If you just need to update the expiration date on a credit card associated with a recurring donation through ColoradoGives, you can do that by following these steps:

1.  Go to ColoradoGives.org.

2.  Click on Sign In at the top of the page.

3.  Login to your donor account (if you cannot remember your password, then click on the forgot password link to reset it).

4.  Once logged in, click on My Account at the top of the page.

5.  Select the Payment Profiles tab.

6.  You will see all payment methods that you have used and saved to your profile. Click Edit to the right of the Payment Profile you want to update. (If there is no name in the Profile Name section, you can add this once you have clicked on Edit, so you know which profile contains which payment information).

7.   Enter the new expiration date and make any other necessary changes.

8.   Click Submit to save your changes.

Update Credit Card Number or Switch Payment Methods

To update your credit card number or switch to a different payment method associated with a recurring donation through ColoradoGives.org, you will need to first cancel the existing recurring donation and then set-up a new recurring donation with the new payment information. To do that, please follow the steps below: 

To cancel the existing recurring donation:

1.  Go to ColoradoGives.org.

2.  Click on Sign In at the top of the page.

3.  Login to your donor account (if you cannot remember your password, then click on the forgot password link to reset it).

4.  Once logged in, click on My Account at the top of the page.

5.  Select the Recurring Tab.

6.  Click Cancel next to the recurring donation(s) you want to cancel.

To set-up the new recurring donation:

1.  Search for the nonprofit(s) you wish to support on ColoradoGives.org.

2.  Click the "Donate"  button in their search listing.

3.  Enter the details of your recurring donation in the appropriate fields, and click the "Add to Cart" button.

4. You will either need to sign in to your existing account or create an account. (If you've already signed in, then you'll automatically be directed to the Payment & Billing section of the donation process).

5. Enter your payment and billing information, and click Submit to complete the transaction.

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How can I cancel a recurring donation?

To cancel the existing recurring donation:

1.  Go to ColoradoGives.org.

2.  Click on Sign In at the top of the page.

3.  Login to your donor account (if you cannot remember your password, then click on the forgot password link to reset it).

4.  Once logged in, click on My Account at the top of the page.

5.  Select the Recurring Tab.

6.  Click Cancel next to the recurring donation(s) you want to cancel.

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Fundraising Pages

What are fundraising pages?

Fundraising pages are a great way for you to raise money on behalf of any nonprofit featured on ColoradoGives.org. You can easily create a custom web page with pictures, video, and a personal appeal from you. Once the page is set-up, you can share it friends and family, by sending them emails with a custom-generated link to the page housed on ColoradoGives.org. Easily share the link on your social media channels. Ask them to help you reach your goal by making a donation. Fundraising pages make it easy to help your favorite charities get more support.

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How do I set up a ColoradoGives Fundraising Page?

To set up a Fundraising Page, you'll need a free ColoradoGives.org donor account. You can then set up a page to promote a charity for any reason. Maybe you're running in a charitable marathon, or perhaps you'd like people to give donations in lieu of birthday or wedding presents – whatever the reason, supporting nonprofits is easy to do on ColoradoGives.org.

1. Log in or create your ColoradoGives donor account.

2. Navigate to the "My Campaigns" tab of your account.

3. On the "My Campaigns" tab, click on "Create Campaign".

4. Enter the information you want on your Fundraising Page. You can include a photo and video about the charity you're supporting and a personal message asking friends and family to donate.

5. Decide when and for how long you want your fundraising page to be visible to the public, and when you're ready, submit to the nonprofit for approval.

The nonprofit reviews the information and either approves the page or contacts you with any questions or concerns.

Once you have a Fundraising Page set up, an email is sent to the nonprofit for whom you are raising money, and the nonprofit will need to approve the fundraising page before it goes live on ColoradoGives.org. Remember to tell others about it by sending the fundraising page's custom URL in an email or share it on social media.

You can also watch this how-to video.

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Is there a limit to the amount I can raise through a ColoradoGives Fundraising Page?

No. You can choose any goal you want.

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When will my fundraising campaign end?

Your Fundraising Page ends on whatever date you choose. You choose both the start and end dates for your Fundraising Page.

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Will I be notified when someone makes a donation through my Fundraising Page?

Yes. You are sent an email that tells you when a donation is made and who made the donation, unless the donor chooses to be completely anonymous.

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How will the donations I raise through a Fundraising Page get to the nonprofit?

When people donate from the Fundraising Page, they are donating to the nonprofit you are raising money for and not directly to you. The donations are made through the nonprofit's donation page on the site, Community First Foundation processes them and then sends the funds directly to your chosen nonprofit.

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What if I don't reach my goal?

That's OK. Unlike many crowdfunding sites, ColoradoGives does not penalize you or the nonprofit for not reaching your goal. Any and all donations made through your fundraising page are electronically transferred to the nonprofit's bank account.

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Can I fundraise for multiple nonprofits?

Yes, you can set up as many Fundraising Pages as you'd like, but each Fundraising Page can only be for one charity (i.e., you cannot set up one Fundraising Page for multiple charities).

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How can I acknowledge money that has been raised for the nonprofit but not online?

You can work with the nonprofit directly and they can enter this information so that the amount raised is shown correctly on the progress bar.

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How can I see who is fundraising for a nonprofit?

The number of active fundraising pages is noted on the main page of a nonprofit's profile. To see all active fundraisers for a nonprofit, select the "Current fundraisers for this charity " link. You can also search for Fundraising Pages from any ColoradoGives page using the filters.

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