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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 ColoraGives.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 charity(ies) 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 charity(ies) I donated to?
  11. Can I specify how charities use my donation?
  12. Do charities 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 charity 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 charity?
  7. What if I don't reach my goal?
  8. Can I fundraise for multiple charities?
  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 charity?

Donations and Donating

What is ColoradoGives.org?

ColoradoGives.org is a year-round, online giving website featuring over 2,000 Colorado nonprofit organizations. Made possible by Community First Foundation since 2007, ColoradoGives.org encourages charitable giving by providing comprehensive, objective and up-to-date information about Colorado nonprofits and an easy way to support them online.

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 profile page.

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How do I make a donation?

Watch this video to learn how to make a donation or review the following:

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 that benefit 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 $10.

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 (see "Can I send gift cards through your system" below). You can donate any of these ways without creating an account. You may also want to 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 will automatically receive an on-screen acknowledgment letter. A copy of this letter will also be emailed to you. These can be printed for your records. If you created a donor account, copies of these letters will 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 will go to Community First Foundation which will grant your donation to the charity you designate. This allows us to issue a donation receipt to you immediately upon completion of your transaction. However, if the charity 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 charity 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 70½ or older, you can give up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to a qualified charity without having to pay income taxes on the money. This also can you 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 charities 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 charities 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 charities 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 charities 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 charities 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 charity(ies) I choose?

ColoradoGives uses a respected company called Comodo to provide 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. 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 charity(ies) you designated, you will need to contact the charity(ies) directly to request a refund. ColoradoGives cannot guarantee that a charity will refund your donation as this decision is entirely at the discretion of the charity.

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

This is because ColoradoGives is a program of Community First Foundation and we manage the donations that come through the website. Your donation first goes to the Foundation. After processing, we grant the donations to the charities. This allows the Foundation to issue you an acknowledgment letter immediately upon completion of your transaction.

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Can I specify how charities use my donation?

Some charities have provided options on where you can direct how your donation should be used by them (e.g., Programs, Endowment, etc.). Other charities have not identified any options for you to choose from. If you have no preference or are unsure, then 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", then your donation will automatically be directed to general operating support for the organization unless the charity 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 charity directly before making the donation to make sure they are able to honor your request. If the charity confirms they can honor your request, then please state your wishes in the Special instructions or comments for nonprofit text box. Community First Foundation cannot guarantee that charities will honor these requests.

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Do charities 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 charity(ies) 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 charities 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 charity(ies) 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 charity 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. When you make your donation, you can choose your donation to be "In Honor" or "In Memory" of someone, send an eNote to the named person, or request the nonprofit to send a physical card/letter.

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If you want the charity to send a physical card or letter, then please select the option "Nonprofit notify with letter" while checking out and complete the required address fields displayed. ColoradoGives encourages the charity to notify the person and/or the family who you are making your donation on behalf of, but please contact the charity 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 specially created "virtual" gift cards to be used with ColoradoGives.org. These cards can be purchased on ColoradoGives.org for as little as $10 and up to $99,999.99. They will be sent electronically to your friends and family. The recipients of Giving eCards can use them to support any organization featured on ColoradoGives.

How It Works

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

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

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

Additional Information

- Giving eCards expire five years from date of purchase, and any dollars not used after that time will be transferred to the Area of Greatest Need Fund at Community First Foundation.

- Giving eCards are tax deductible for the purchaser only.

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

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Can I have a Giving eCard mailed through regular post?

Giving eCards are "virtual" and only 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 specified 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 charities because they provide charities with donations they can rely on.

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How do I set up a recurring donation?

You can set up a recurring donation during the check-out process.

1. After you enter your recurring donation amount (minimum of $10), select "Yes" to the question of whether 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), 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 rest of the information on that 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, 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.

A donor account on ColoradoGives.org is needed for recurring donations in order to track the parameters you set up and to process the donations according to your direction. A donor account will also allow 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. To change your payment profile, refer to the question "How can I use a different payment method for a recurring donation?" directly below.

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 would like to update. (If there is no name in the Profile Name section, you can add this once you have clicked on Edit, so that 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 way for you to raise money on behalf of any charity featured on ColoradoGives.org. This feature allows you to create a custom web page with pictures, video, and a personal appeal from you. Once the page is set-up, you can let your friends and family know about it, by sending them emails with a link to the page housed on ColoradoGives.org, and asking them to help you reach your goal by making a donation. Fundraising pages make it easy to help your favorite charities get more support than what you alone can give.

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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 for any reason (you're running in a charitable marathon, you'd like people to give donations in lieu of birthday or wedding presents, etc.) to promote a charity on ColoradoGives.org.

Within minutes, you can have a Fundraising Page up and going. All you need to do is:

1. Log in to 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 (like a picture of you, a video about the charity you're supporting, a personal message asking your friends and family to donate, etc.).

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 will review the information and either approve the page or contact you with any questions or concerns they might have.

Once you have a Fundraising Page set up, an email will be sent to the nonprofit for whom you are raising money, and they will need to approve it prior to it going live on ColoradoGives.org. Remember that you'll want to tell others about it by sending the custom URL to your page 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 have the ability to set any goal you want.

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When will my fundraising campaign end?

Your Fundraising Page will end whenever you'd like it to. You can set 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 will be sent an email that tells you that a donation has been made and who made the donation unless they designated to be completely anonymous.

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

When people donate from the Fundraising Page you set up, they are donating to the charity that you are raising money for and not to you directly. So, when someone clicks to donate on your Fundraising Page, she will be directed to the donation page for the designated charity, and will complete her donation through the normal checkout process.

As with all other donations, Community First Foundation will compile the donations and electronically transfer the funds directly to the charity's bank account.

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What if I don't reach my goal?

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

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Can I fundraise for multiple charities?

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 charity?

If a charity has fundraisers, then you can see a few of the active fundraisers along the right hand side of a nonprofit's profile. To see all active fundraisers for a charity, you can click on the "All Fundraisers" link located on the right hand side of a nonprofit's profile. You can also search for Fundraising Pages from any page of ColoradoGives by typing the keywords of the name of the page in search field and then filtering your results to just show Fundraising Pages.

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