Monday marked the first day of the annual Colorado Combined Campaign, which aims to raise $160,000 from state employees to give to charities benefiting Coloradans by its end on Nov. 20.
CSU ranks in the top of Colorado’s leading participants and in 2002 earned a record $176,000. Last year, employees raised $151,141 topping CU-Boulder.
In the past nine years, since CSU joined the campaign in 2000, it has raised almost $1.5 million, and this year’s slogan is “Support the Fort.”
“I think we will top last year,” said Lida Wardlow, an organizer for the Colorado Combined Campaign at CSU. “In times of need, university people step up and give more than we expect.”
The campaign is the only fundraiser to ask state employees to donate through check, cash, credit or payroll deduction through their workplace, distributing the money to numerous organizations nationally and throughout Colorado.
“CSU is not the only entity in Larimer County,” said Anita Obando, the manager of the United Way of Larimer County. “There are many different state employees.”
Obando added that organizations like Front Range Community College and the State Highway Department are some of the many state organizations that are involved in the campaign and said United Way, which manages the campaign on the local level, also works to educate the community about the need for contributions.
Those who give to the campaign are given the option to choose which organization they would like to give to. The money that is undesignated is put into a pool then distributed to organizations in the campaign. Last year fewer than $10,000 was undesignated.
“I like the fact that so many different organizations are part of the campaign, and you can donate to more than one,” said Becky Trentlage, director of the office of budgets and frequent donor to the campaign.
Trentlage also said that she chooses which organization to donate to based on which one can really help change things directly in the community.
Wardlow said this year the campaign prefers donors give to organizations in the Fort Collins area, such as The Rocky Mountain Raptor Center, which works to rehabilitate hundreds of endangered birds annually.
“It’s very expensive to treat a bird,” said Bob Francella, director of public support at The Rocky Mountain Raptor Center. “The Colorado Combined Campaign and donors are essentially saying that they support the life-saving work on these essential parts of the ecosystem.”
Donors are eligible to receive incentives for their generosity. The incentives include a raffle for a $500 gas card, one of three $30 gas cards and other prizes donated by local businesses.
“It’s important for people to look at the world around them and do what they can to help out,” Trentlage said.
Staff writer Matt Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.