YouthZone column: Supporting nonprofits with year-end giving elevates communities

Robin Tolan
Kelley Cox Post Independent

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill

When we donate to charity, it helps eliminate hardships that are a result of social problems. But philanthropy allows you to reduce or repair the social problems that cause a need for charity. To be a philanthropist, you only need a concern for community and the ability to give what you can.

Hardships come at different levels and from different concerns. At YouthZone, the kids that come through the programs arrive in a state of apprehension, frightened about what might happen next. They’ve made a mistake, but those mistakes often come from embedded problems in their environment.

With help from counselors and advocates, youth and their families can find a way to get back on track without carrying a criminal record into their future.

There are many nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute, all with a mission to alleviate problems or uplift our communities. Whether it is taking care of our youth and elderly, taking care of the planet, or taking care of our culture, all of these causes have a backbone of supporters and much of that backbone runs through multiple causes.

When someone donates to any of these causes, they influence others to take ownership of their causes and donate as well. Without local help, many of our nonprofits would struggle to provide the services so important to so many of us.

“Sharing abundance and giving of time, talent or treasure is an important contribution to any organization to sustain their mission,” said Pam Pine, YouthZone Legacy Member.

During the holiday season, there are many ways you can participate in year-end giving. Every dollar makes a huge difference, and donations are often matched by bigger philanthropists. The return on investment is a stronger community for both the donor and the recipient.

Dec. 10 is Colorado Gives Day. Visit to see a multi-page list of the nonprofits in this valley who are part of this effort.

Whether your passion is youth and families, animals, the environment, elderly care, or any other cause, these organizations have been fully vetted. You can trust they are transparent and operate with full disclosure and integrity.

You can schedule a donation anytime between now and Dec. 10 so that your donation shows up on Colorado Gives Day and these local organizations can take advantage of the additional incentives provided.

If you like to allow family and friends to support causes through your gift giving, you can give a Colorado Gives Day gift card. With the card, they can pick the nonprofit they’d like to support.

You can also set up a donation from your retirement IRA without paying taxes on that amount if you are 70-½ or older. This opportunity allows you to meet the minimum distribution each year for an amount of up to $100,000 by donating to a qualified charity.

Many people prefer to make smaller intermittent donations. With these evergreen opportunities, you can give a steady stream of donations of as low as $10 a month to support causes that are important to you.

I’m grateful every day of the year that I live in this amazing valley. I work for a fantastic community youth organization. I hope you’ll join me in giving thanks for what we have and give what you can afford to help our neighbors in need.

Robin Tolan has been Development Director at YouthZone for 15 years.

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