Pushing Yourself to Make a Difference

The National Philanthropy Day in Colorado Luncheon was a grand success with nearly 900 registrants gathered to celebrate ten outstanding recipients for their efforts to improve the quality of life in Colorado.  Each year I am impressed as we have the opportunity to glimpse into the lives of the winners to see how they were drawn into the important work for the causes they believe in. They step into positions they never dreamed of, and by their efforts, change the lives of hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people around them.

Kristin Richardson was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for her work to raise money for Denver Public Schools.  When she was recruited to join the board of the DPS Foundation, Kristin agreed to do so with the caveat that she would do anything “except ask for money.”  She joined the board because she felt so strongly that all children should have access to a good education, and even though her own children were not in public schools, she thought it very important to make the system offered to the majority of children in Denver as strong as possible.  She encouraged others to “put the children in the center of the argument” and to care about other people’s kids as they would their own.  When she did this, she found she could ask for money, and in fact, raised a quarter of all the contributions to the DPS Foundation last year! Not bad for someone who didn’t think she had the capacity to be a fundraiser.

Hearing Kristin’s story makes me think about the things I am most committed to and if I am doing enough to further those causes. It also drives me to consider if there are new ways I can get involved in assisting those causes. What about you?

Perhaps you have not yet had a chance to really get involved with the cause that you care most about.  There’s not time like the present to start. There are nonprofits all over the state doing great work to address the most critical problems in Colorado. If you want to help, but don’t know who to work with, I suggest using the search feature on the Generous Colorado web site to find one or two nonprofits that you might consider. Read about them on their websites, and perhaps drop in to see what they are about. Making a donation is a simply way to help, and if you feel comfortable, contributing your time would be an exceptional complement to that support. Like Kristin, you may be truly amazed at the things you accomplish once you are fully seeded in your passion for the work!

Be brave. Be intentional about your efforts to change the world.

Warm regards,



Here is a list of all the winners of National Philanthropy Day Awards for 2010:

  • Outstanding Large Business or Corporation: Comcast (Denver)
  •  Outstanding Small Business or Corporation: KB Home – Mountains Division (Centennial)
  •  Outstanding Foundation: Colorado Health Foundation (Denver)
  •  Outstanding Philanthropist: Janet Mordecai (Denver)
  •  Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy: Linda Childears (Denver)
  •  Outstanding Service Organization: Fruita Thrift Shop (Fruita)
  •  Outstanding Volunteer: Gaku Homma (Denver)
  • Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Kristin Richardson (Denver)
  •  Outstanding Youth: Nicole Saucedo (Colorado Springs)
  •  Outstanding Youth Group: Lowry Elementary Eagle Ambassadors (Denver

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