The Independent's annual Give! campaign has exceeded its goal to raise $1 million for 59 local nonprofits.
While the tally isn't yet final, as of Monday the campaign had raised more than $1.1 million from 10,540 donations given by 5,289 people. The biggest winner was the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, which took in more than $51,000.
The donations help organizations that fall into one of nine categories: Animals, Arts/Culture, Big Ideas, Families, Great Outdoors, Helping Hands, Play Together, Wellness, and Youth. Some organizations are using Give! donations to further long-standing goals while others hope to create new projects.
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, for instance, partnered with Westside Cares to launch a "Victory Garden" project last year, planting gardens in the backyards of lower-income neighbors. Gardening mentors helped keep those plots green. PPUG plans to expand the program with Give! dollars this year.
"Give! was started in 2009 with the motto 'Live here, give here,'" says Give! associate director Claire Swinford. "If the past five years have proven one thing, it's that philanthropy absolutely can be a community effort, whether we can give $10 or $10,000.
"We've now empowered 113 local organizations to raise $3.4 million by reaching out to the very people they serve here in Colorado Springs. We've proven together that community giving can be a powerful force for change in our city. And we've had a lot of fun doing it."