Nonprofits Benefit From Program That Promotes Voluntary Donations on State Tax Form
If you are one of those people who procrastinate about filing their taxes, you might be interested in a way to make paying your taxes less unpleasant. Checkoff Colorado is a simple way for Colorado taxpayers to help communities around the state by "checking off" a donation to a diverse list of worthy causes when they file their state income tax return. Even a small donation goes a long way, so anyone can make a big difference.
Last year, the program raised over $1.5 million for Colorado nonprofits, and over $45 million has been raised since Colorado became the first state in the country with a tax checkoff program in 1977. The problem is that only a small percentage of taxpayers are aware of this option. That's why the charitable funds in the program join forces each year on a statewide public awareness campaign to educate taxpayers and tax preparers about this simple way to give, and the critical need for these donations.
This year there are seven nonprofit organizations participating in the campaign that are eligible for taxpayer contributions and are included on the 2016 Colorado 104 individual income tax form.
The funds provide critical programs and services to communities throughout the state. The participating organizations in the collaborative campaign include:
- American Red Cross
- Colorado Youth Corps
- Colorado for Healthy Landscapes
- Homeless Prevention Activities Program
- 9Health Fair
- Special Olympics Colorado
- Military Family Relief Fund
"What makes check-off giving so special is how easy it is to help worthy local charities," said Jon Pushkin, spokesman for Checkoff Colorado. "Even a $10 donation can make a huge impact, and every dollar donated stays in Colorado to support the critical services and programs these nonprofits provide."
In a survey commissioned by Checkoff Colorado, participants said one of the most important factors in their charitable decisions is knowing that they're giving to credible organizations.
"Taxpayers can be sure that each fund went through a vigorous review process by the Colorado State Legislature," said Pushkin. "To become a part of the check-off program, each fund must demonstrate that it provides an important service to communities across the state."
The Checkoff Colorado campaign was initiated in 2003, when the charitable organizations eligible for voluntary donations in Colorado decided to take the bold step of banding together because their voices would be louder if spoken in unison. The result has been increased awareness for check-off giving in general. In 1977, Colorado became the first state in the country to allow a taxpayer to "check-off" a voluntary contribution to a charitable program from their state income tax return. Today, nearly every state has a tax checkoff program.