Community Shares of Colorado, Inc.

Colorado's Community Giving Fund

Denver, CO   |


Our mission is to connect the people of Colorado to the charities they care about the most. We accomplish our mission by offering employees, through their workplaces, opportunities to support local nonprofit community organizations.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Erin Atwell

Main address

789 Sherman Street, Suite 230

Denver, CO 80203 USA

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NTEE code info

Fund Raising Organizations That Cross Categories includes Community Funds/Trusts and Federated Giving Programs) e.g. United Way (T70)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Workplace giving is one of the oldest, most efficient, and most consistent forms of fundraising and corporate community engagement. A longtime pillar of what is now frequently referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility, workplace giving still provides an accessible way for individuals to give at all levels and for nonprofits to connect with donors in the community. We encourage donor choice--which extends the reach of employees, allowing them to see themselves reflected in their giving opportunities by selecting the charities and causes they care about most. We democratize local philanthropy so it reflects our vital, diverse, vibrant community in Colorado. We inspire accessible, meaningful, and transformational philanthropy for all in our community, honoring and celebrating all gifts with no minimum donation amount. And, we believe in shared progress through the partnership and support of the work of our member nonprofits, we are building a more socially just Colorado.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Workplace Giving Campaigns

Our major operating program is our workplace giving campaigns. In the fall of each year, we organize 150 plus workplace giving campaigns across Colorado. These campaigns help raise over $1 million for our member agencies each year.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Community Shares of Colorado was founded in 1986 as the “Alternative Fund” because it was bringing a different approach to the 100-year workplace giving industry primarily served by regional United Ways. While other providers primarily track success in terms of total dollars raised, Community Shares focuses on democratizing philanthropy and welcoming all who wish to give. Our core differentiating qualities are: (1) featuring grassroots nonprofits and a diversity of social justice issue areas; (2) encouraging donors to designate their gifts to individual nonprofits rather than to general funds discretionarily distributed; (3) honoring all donor-directed gifts with no required minimum; and (4) focusing on accessibility and overall participation rather than a small group of major donors.

As large public giving campaigns like the Combined Federal Campaign is no longer profitable for federations, we see many of our long-time competitors and collaborators moving away from the federated model of supporting giving and competing in the provision of workplace giving platform technology. Both for-profit and nonprofit workplace giving partners boast the most inclusive giving platforms because they now offer “open” giving campaigns, allowing employees to give to any 501(c)(3) they would like. Employees have an empty search box that they can use to give to any charity across the country; however, Community Shares knows that “open choice” does not mean inclusive or equitable. The same biases that were barriers to entry in workplace giving for small organizations working for social change 30 years ago are reinforced within the trends of current technology and corporate platforms.

We aim to continue work to extend our relationships with worksite partners and further engage employees. We will do this with the intention of (1) increasing employee participation, (2) civic engagement of individuals in our community, (3) manage contributions with the intent to provide a predictable revenue stream for our nonprofit members, and (4) seek opportunities for collaboration-inviting more Coloradans to participate in philanthropy.

Strategic Priorities:

1. Exceeding Donor Expectations
2. Increase Value-Add and ROI for Member Nonprofits
3. Essential Value for Worksite Partners
4. Social Justice through Social Responsibility
5. Focused Organizational Infrastructure Investment

Guiding Principles:

Choice in Giving-we believe that individuals should decide what they wish to support
Local Significance-we believe in the capacity and vitality of local nonprofit organizations that address issues of concern affecting Colorado
Membership Diversity-we believe that including a broad spectrum of nonprofit organizations in our membership best serves our community
Financial Clarity-we believe that organizational efficiency and financial accountability provide the level of integrity that donors seek.

Goal #1: Essential Value for Worksite Partners

-Become the market leader in corporate philanthropy customer satisfaction
-Become a preferred philanthropic solutions provider for employers
-Deliver customized philanthropic solutions that reflect each employer’s brand and goals.
-Increase average participation rates at existing worksites
-Increase donation amounts at existing worksites
-Needs assessment with current partners to identify and provide additional services in support of increased philanthropic support of local nonprofits.

Goal #2: Increase Value-Add and ROI for Member Nonprofits

-Enhance access to educational trainings and networking opportunities with other nonprofit members.
-Increase visibility of member nonprofits work for social change; quantify and report value of visibility efforts to membership
-Overall growth of annual Community Giving Campaign reach
-Re-evaluate and update business acquisition program
-Increase participation in ELI Groups.
-Increase ELI peer-group offerings to include new subject areas as requested by nonprofit professionals.
-Expand ELI program into new regions as requested by nonprofit professionals.

Goal #3: Focused Organizational Infrastructure Investment

-Ensure we are using the best technical infrastructure solutions across organization needs.
-Develop streamlined processes for best practices across organization.
-Prioritize collaboration across internal teams and community partners
-Identify opportunities for acquiring a long-term solution for new or existing online giving platform
-Receive insight from our top campaigns to provide a customer-centric needs assessment

Goal #4: Social Justice through Social Responsibility

-Introduce Social Justice concept to new/existing worksite partners
-Continue to develop and pilot CSR Solutions of Colorado with community partners.
-Enhance workplace giving foundation to become year-round strategic consultative partners in corporate philanthropy, employee volunteer engagement, and employee giving.
-Elevate our role in CSR by branding our services as a CSR solution to corporate partners
-Leverage existing strengths and relationships to increase Community Shares’ earned revenue income through expanded service offerings.

Goal #5: Exceeding Donor Expectation

-Align our services, fees, and distribution structure with changing donor expectations
-Continually increase our value-add for donors while consistently and compellingly demonstrating our value proposition.
-Expand opportunities for and engage individuals to connect to Community Shares and philanthropy, empower and celebrate everyday philanthropists
-Expand monthly giving program for individual donors; Increase sponsorship funding; Increase number of fundraising events annually.

1) The Community Giving Campaign is our primary service to our member nonprofit organizations and Colorado’s “everyday” philanthropists. We reach an audience of more than 250,000 employees in more than 130 workplace giving campaigns. We foster community involvement by educating Coloradans about the importance of becoming a part of the local culture of giving.

2) The Building Community Program leverages Community Shares’ relationships with charities, donors, and businesses to increase community participation, education, volunteerism, and philanthropy across the state. Our newest collaboration is the Colorado Collaborative for Nonprofits. bringing long-term cost reduction and partnership opportunities for participating organizations whose missions are to strengthen the infrastructure of the Colorado nonprofit community.

3) The Nonprofit Sustainability Program is key to strengthening the nonprofit sector and creating sustainable, mission-focused organizations that can best utilize the funds we raise.
• Our Executive Leadership Institute hosts 50+ nonprofit professionals who meet to discuss leadership issues on a confidential, peer-to-peer basis. Community Shares serves as fiscal manager for PFC, CShares of Cincinnati, and Denver Employee Volunteer Organization. We provide governance evaluation and technical support to our members.


Community Shares of Colorado, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Community Shares of Colorado, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 04/29/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Carolyne Schultz-Ash

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Term: 2015 - 2020

Stephen Meswarb

ACLU of Colorado

Andy Dunning

St. Andrew United Methodist Church

Kristal Bernert

KLB Services, LLC

Susan Bonsall Rosenberry

Community Leader

Jennifer Lackey

Project Angel Heart

Christine Moritz


Brenda Roush

The Gathering Place

Diana Sadighi

Arrow Performance Group

Rob Smith

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute

Thomas Stites

Community Leader

Linda Tyler

Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Mendy Evans

The Gathering Place

Lea Devereaux

College Track Colorado

Jill Higham

ACLU Foundation of Colorado

Joe Mauro

JFM Consulting, Inc.

Daniel Ramos

One Colorado

Diana Sadighi

Employers Council

Chris Sautter

Pinnacol Assurance

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes