CoMoGives grows in importance for Columbia nonprofits

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COLUMBIA - As the second week of the month-long fundraising campaign CoMoGives comes to an end, donors have given nearly $90,000 to 71 Columbia nonprofit organizations. 

The annual campaign offers residents the opportunity to donate to various nonprofits through an central online platform. The centralized portal gives donors access to give to multiple organizations at once. 

Since the start in 2013, the campaign more than doubled the number of organizations. The Community Foundation of Central Missouri executive director John Baker said CoMoGives has raised 70 percent more money at the end of the first week this year than the same period last year. 

The Community Foundation of Central Missouri was the producer behind the campaign but the involved organizations seek community support at their own levels of intensity. 

On Saturday, with more than $12,000 dollars raised from 51 donors, "We Always Swing" Jazz Series was at the top of the organizations. 

”CoMoGives has become an exceedingly essential piece of our fundraising campaign," said Jon Poses, the executive director of "We Always Swing" Jazz Series. 

In the first year, the organization split its fundraising efforts by participating in CoMoGives and end-of-the-year mailing. Now the organization devotes all fundraising energy to CoMoGives and was able to increase donations raised in the campaign from $5,000 to $28,000.

The organization is hoping to have 150 donors for this year’s fundraising.

“We really set our bar high and we’ve let our donors know that this is a very important time for us to receive funds, as I’m sure it is for other organizations,” Poses said. "Historically, nonprofits ask for money, support, at the end of the year because people can make tax deductibles donations. You can do that all year round but like everything else it kind of comes to a crunch,” Poses said. 

Poses said individual donations contribute to 25 percent of the organization's entire budget. 

The funds aid the organization in bringing the world's finest jazz musicians to Columbia and spreading jazz education throughout the community. 

One of the goals of CoMoGives is to educate the community about the services organizations offer. Other goals include reaching out to younger donors and empowering nonprofits to use social media and online giving. 

"It's not just a place to collect donations, it's a motivation tool," Baker said. 

Baker said CoMoGives was the first campaign of its kind in Missouri. Other cities in Missouri have now began offering a similar online campaign, but for a day rather than a month. 

For Poses, the 31-day campaign offers both challenges and opportunity. 

"It has both sides of the coin of course, you have 31 days to capture people’s attention and hopefully have them give you, make a tax deductible donation to your organization," Poses said. "On the other hand you have 31 days that you have to sustain this program, so it becomes the focus of what we do for this month."