The year’s winding down. You’ve got some extra cash or extra time to share, and are wondering where to donate in Boulder.
You could choose (and absolutely should consider) some of the more expected nonprofits: the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Eco-Cycle, the Center for People with Disabilities, Imagine. These are all hugely important in the community and have proven their value over time.
But many of the businesses and buildings you regularly interact with may also have nonprofit roots. By supporting these groups, you are also supporting a bigger cause. And if you’re looking for somewhere new to donate your time or money this holiday season, these groups are worth a glance, too — even if their social spirit doesn’t immediately come to mind.
For example, many people don’t realize the Boulder County Farmers Market is a nonprofit. Every Saturday and Wednesday throughout the agricultural season, this market in downtown Boulder gives space for farmers, local crafters and artisans to share their crops and creations. Today, the market includes more than 150 different vendors and boasts the longest farmers market season in the state.
Lesser known: The market also partners with the city of Boulder and county to allow qualifying residents to use SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) at double their value when shopping for produce. This makes locally grown, healthy produce more accessible for people in need.
If beer-drinking is your passion, look a little deeper at the Boulder-based Brewers Association, which is also a nonprofit. This trade group is committed to supporting small, independent brewers and brew-lovers. It boasts more than 4,465 U.S. brewery members and even supports more than 46,000 homebrewers, so the wide is reach.
If you’re looking to entertain and educate your kids over winter break, while supporting a nonprofit organization, head to Lafayette, where you can go to the World of Wonder Children’s Museum. This interactive and exploratory museum of kiddos has fun activities from music-making to theater to science experiments, plus an oversized pirate ship in the front room to run around on.
If you are visiting Boulder for the holidays, see if you can rent a cabin at the Colorado Chautauqua. Not only are these historic cabins ideally located at the base of the Flatirons and boast some of the best views in Boulder, but the Chautauqua is also a nonprofit organization.
While shopping for holiday gifts, contribute to a worthy cause and browse the fashionable racks at Ramble on Pearl. This shop, on the Pearl Street Mall, sells designer clothes at a discounted rate, saving you money, while also employing people with developmental disabilities and preparing them for more opportunities in the workforce. Yes, this is a designer-driven fashion boutique with a nonprofit soul.
Arts and Entertainment
You might be surprised to learn how many of your favorite arts and entertainment groups are actually nonprofits. It seems most of them are. The new Museum of Boulder on Broadway and the longstanding Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art are both impressive and exciting museums, as well as nonprofits that need support.
In addition, the KGNU Independent Community Radio and eTown, with its weekly radio show broadcast on NPR, are both nonprofits where you can donate time or money.
Here are just some other local arts and entertainment nonprofits:
- The Boulder International Film Festival, an annual event featuring more than 50 new films from around the world.
- Open Studios, an artist association that organizes an open-studio tour where you can visit local artists’ studios and watch them work and meet them firsthand.
- The Boulder County Arts Alliance, a website collective of information about arts and cultural organizations in Boulder County.
- Third Law Dance/Theater, an award-winning modern/contemporary dance company.
- Frequent Flyers Productions, an aerial dance school and production company.
- Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Boulder’s classical orchestra.
- The Boulder Chorale, the oldest and largest community chorus in Boulder, as well as one of the oldest and biggest in the area.
- The Boulder Bach Festival, a musical event centered around musician Johann Sebastian Bach.
- Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, which supports kids in their orchestra music passions.
- The Dairy Arts Center. Now, you may know that the Dairy Arts Center is a nonprofit, but this arts organization has such a massive reach that it’s worth reiterating. The Dairy puts on more than 250 performances a year, dozens of art exhibitions, about a thousand film screenings and is home to more than a dozen arts organizations.
- Local Theater Co., an “Actor’s Equity Association Small Professional Theater” with a conscious emphasis on diversity.
- The Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts, a Lafayette-based group that provides a wide range of music education opportunities and performances.
- The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Boulder’s professional symphony orchestra.
- The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Co., a professional group that produces scripts from today’s playwrights.
Other Surprising Nonprofits
Active, fitness-driven Boulderites, these nonprofits are for you. Bike-lovers will be happy to know Community Cycles shares their values. This Boulder-based, nonprofit bike shop sells inexpensive, quality bikes, does bike repairs and offers cycling workshops, in an attempt to spread the joy and value of biking across the community, even to people with financial limitations.
Take that passion to the hills, when you support the International Mountain Bicycling Association. This nonprofit is all about supporting mountain biking trails and promoting the activity, while protecting the environment.