Impact the Life of a Child

The Buzz

In the articles below, before February 6, 2015, the name NOCO 20/30 reflects NOCO Unify.

NORTHERN COLORADO MEN DEFY VOLUNTEER ODDS

Fort Collins Coloradoan — February 12, 2012

 

coloradoan-imageSo maybe the skill sets of Landon Hoover and other young professionals don’t necessarily include hammering together houses or painting well-worn walls.

That doesn’t exclude them from finding ways to help a community.

Volunteering comes in many forms, and an organization of Larimer and Weld county residents has successfully carved out its own particular niche while championing the cause on behalf of local underprivileged youths.

Northern Colorado United for Youth, until recently known as Northern Colorado Active 20/30, is a group of primarily professional men from ages 20 through 39 whose fundraising formula was developed to match the skills of its members and as an alternative to many traditional volunteering formats.

“Generally speaking, we’re all behind a desk quite a bit,” said Hoover, at 26 one of the group’s youngest members. “(Building and painting) aren’t necessarily our skills, but we do have a lot of leadership, guys with sales and fundraising experience, guys who have strong networking relationships.

“This gives us a forum to leverage the skills we have as professionals and add value in a unique way that can directly impact others.”

Nationally in 2013, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data, only 3.1 percent of men ages 25 through 34 (a prime segment of the NoCo group) volunteered on a given day, the lowest total among six age groups. Meanwhile, the report reveals that men from ages 45 to 54 are twice as likely to volunteer than those 25 to 34, and men over 65 are 33 percent more likely to volunteer than those 45 to 54.

So what has motivated younger volunteers to participate?

“In our minds, charity doesn’t have a lifespan,” said Patrick McMeekin, 34, the group’s president. “The beauty of our group is that you can instill the idea of charity early on. When you’re starting out (professionally), you may not be able to give that $5,000 donation all the time, but you can certainly give 40 (volunteer) hours over the course of a year.”

NoCo United for Youth, which is considering Unify as a shorter version of its name, does require a contribution of $2,000 annually, whether in cash or in-kind, from its members.

Despite the demographic disadvantage suggested by studies, this group of 43 active members has still found time, outside of the organization, to serve on 57 Northern Colorado nonprofit boards for the equivalent of 222 years of service. Its members annually commit more than 3,700 hours to Northern Colorado nonprofits.

“I was blown away when those numbers came back,” said McMeekin, who conducted the internal survey.

Expectations of members are steep. Most are hand-picked by others within the organization and encouraged to apply. But whether through that process or applying without an invitation, candidates are vetted thoroughly by a five-man committee.

“We’re a sought-after group,” said Jeramie Holt, 32, a past membership committee chairman who chairs one of the group’s two main fundraisers. “We require guys to donate their time, and we want them to be in it for the right reasons. We don’t look at this as a networking group where you can just hang out. We’re truly about ‘Let’s get to work.'”

NoCo United for Youth’s fundraisers are its Down & Derby Party in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby each May, and a Suitcase Party each summer. The Suitcase Party, held at the Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport, features a raffle for a free (and immediate) trip via private jet to a pre-determined location.

McMeekin said the fundraising goal for 2015 is $250,000, which would bring the 8-year-old organization’s overall total above $2 million, and he said reaching an annual total of $500,000 is an ambitious long-range goal. Unify would like to find a sponsor that would match fundraising totals, an arrangement that was in place with a foundation until 2013.

“Raising $500,000 is a lofty goal, but if we could do that and find a match that would put it up to a million, then look out,” he said.

Read the article at the Fort Collins Coloradoan

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NOCO 20/30 MAKES GRANTS, PLANS SUITCASE PARTY

By NCBR Staff – August 23, 2010

FORT COLLINS – The Northern Colorado Active 20/30 Children’s Foundation has selected its grant recipients for 2010: The Center for Family Outreach; CHAMP; Child Advocacy Center; Child Advocacy Resource Education; Junior Achievement; Student Recovery Program; La Familia – The Family Center; Mountain Wilderness; NFCBA Coats & Boots Program; Partners Mentoring Youth; Project Self Sufficiency; Respite Care; SAVA; Teaching Tree; TEAM Fort Collins, and Turning Point.

NOCO 20/30 was started in 2007 by five young entrepreneurs looking for a way to give back to their community. Its mission is to provide young adults with opportunity for personal growth, friendship and leadership development, while improving the quality of life for special needs children in our regional community. It has grown to 36 members, and has made grants totaling more than $350,000 to Northern Colorado charities.

These grants are driven by the organization’s unique fundraising events including the Kentucky Derby Party, Christmas for Kids, and the marquee event, the Suitcase Party. Attendees come with bags packed in case they win the evening’s raffle and are whisked away to an exotic destination on the spot.

The 2010 Suitcase Party takes place this Friday, Aug. 27 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Water Valley/Budweiser Hanger at 5833 Langley in the Fort Collins/Loveland Airpark.

For more information or tickets, visit our Suitcase Party Page

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NOCO 20/30 PLANS TO GIVE $175,000 BACK TO COMMUNITY, THE COLORADOAN

BY DAVID YOUNG – NOVEMBER 26, 2009

For a select group of businessmen between the ages of 20 and 39, giving this holiday season isn’t so much a decision as a way of life. The Northern Colorado Active 20-30, or NOCO 20-30, part of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, has grown to 35 members and anticipates giving $175,000 back to the community this year.

NOCO 20-30, is comprised of businessmen throughout Larimer and Weld counties who have pledged a minimum of $2,000 a year for children’s charities through events such as the 2009 Christmas for Kids fundraiser, a fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. The Christmas for Kids event on Dec. 5 includes 75 youth who will get $50 Wal-Mart gift cards to shop for gifts for loved ones. Following the shopping spree, the youth will wrap their gifts at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness south location and receive a surprise gift themselves, said Chris Imsland, executive director of Partners Mentoring Youth.

Imsland said the event will not only help the children buy gifts this season, it will teach them important skills such as budgeting and making lists. “Having the men of NOCO 20-30 to help mentor the children is a big help”, Imsland added. “They are humble partners. … We are thankful to be partners with them; we owe them a great debt of gratitude,” Imsland said.

This is the third year NOCO 20-30 and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado have teamed up to put on the Christmas for Kids event, and despite the recession, Imsland said he has not seen any decrease in support. He added the business leaders have dug deeper and worked harder than ever before. “Regardless of the economic downturn, NOCO 20-30 is a stronger partner this year than any other year,” Imsland said.

aaron-eideAaron Eide, president of NOCO 20-30, confirmed the group is one of a few charitable organizations able to raise more money this year than last year, in part due to an undisclosed partner who matched part of their fundraising. He attributes the success to the members’ dedication.

“It’s the commitment given by the guys. We don’t make excuses of why the economy is tough, we just go out and set a goal,” Eide said. As goals are met, the group is also growing by adding new members. To join NOCO 20-30, which started in 2007 in Fort Collins, prospective candidates must be sponsored or nominated by two current members. The members span a cross-section of the community, from bankers to Realtors. Eide said the group, which adheres to the motto “a man never stands so tall as when kneeling to help a child,” is motivated by a selfless desire to give back to children who might not have the same opportunities they had growing up.

“The biggest thing is the dedication from all our members and relationships in the community, (it is a) testament to a younger group of folks wanting to get involved,” said Eide, who noted some members exceed the $2,000 minimum requirement.

Members raise money for the group through a variety of ways, including personal or company sponsorships. For the Christmas for Kids fundraiser, Eide predicts they will raise $15,000 to $20,000. In August, NOCO 20-30 raised $105,000 at its signature Suitcase Party fundraiser. In 2008, the organization raised more than $105,000, with the intent of raising about $500,000 by 2012.

One reason the Christmas for Kids event is fun for the NOCO 20-30 members is they are able to see firsthand the difference their giving makes in a child’s life. “It is fulfilling to be able to watch the kids when they are wrapping presents,” Eide said.

Shane Hunsinger, general manager at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, has been a member of NOCO 20-30 since its inception in 2007. Hunsinger said he was motivated by the organization’s mission of reaching and helping at risk youth. He said the annual Christmas for Kids fundraiser is special because of the unique opportunity to personally make a difference in a child’s life.

“It is a tremendous event where I get to see, and actually be involved with, the kids directly, which is different than a fundraising event,” he said. “It’s incredibly rewarding and it really is much more meaningful.”

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BOYS & GIRLS CLUB FINDS ALLY IN CLEVER FUNDRAISING EFFORT, 7NEWS REPORTER

Russell Haythorn, 7NEWS Reporter – POSTED: 10:01 am MDT August 20, 2009; UPDATED: 10:27 am MDT August 20, 2009

GREELEY, Colo. — They have twice as many kids as this time last year and yet with donations on the decline, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weld County are finding ways to make it work.

Chief Professional Officer Greg Kimbrough said his organization has seen a 100 percent increase in the average daily attendance since this time last summer.

“We definitely have to be smart about our money,” said Kimbrough. The challenge for this non-profit is finding a way to beat the odds: a steep rise in the need for its services, coupled with a sharp decline in donations.

“‘Is it lights out for some programs if the money’s not there?’ asked 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn.

You know, sadly, it will be for organizations without enough sustainability in their forecasts,” said Kimbrough.

One bright spot for the Weld County Boys and Girls Club – a group of young men, ages 20-39, called Northern Colorado Active 20/30. The group is a fundraising arm for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

“We come together just as a group of guys who want to give back to the community,” said president of NoCo Active 20/30 Aaron Eide.

And they have. The group’s signature event is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 28. It’s called the Suitcase Party, and it invites ticket buyers to come with their suitcases packed.

“With the opportunity to leave that night on a private jet for a weekend in California’s Napa Valley for wine tasting,” said Eide. The event raised tens of thousands last year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weld and Larmier counties.

“It’s a blessing that we could never even think of,” said Kimbrough. “It basically covered a shortfall last year because other fundraising efforts came up short.”

For more information on the Suitcase Party, click here.

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DONATION A ‘GODSEND’ FOR NONPROFITS

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County – along with three other northern Colorado nonprofit agencies – received an early

Northern Colorado Active 20-30 donated a combined $95,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County, Weld County Juvenile Assessment Center, the Partners Mentoring Youth of Larimer County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County. Of that amount, $30,000 will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Weld County – a “godsend,” according to Greg Kimbrough, chief professional officer for the organization.

With the economy in recession, Kimbrough said the organization did not receive as much money as anticipated through this year’s fundraisers – placing an added strain on an organization already under pressure for more services.

“(Northern Colorado Active 20-30) basically filled that gap that we had that we weren’t getting through a lot of the sponsorships for our events,” said Kimbrough in a telephone interview. “And in that sense, it’s helped us stay on budget.”

Kimbrough said the money will go toward operating expenses “in a sense, keep the lights on.”

Northern Colorado Active 20-30 was formed in 2007 to help nonprofit organizations in need of more funding. The money for these donations was raised during the organization’s Vines and Wines Suitcase Party in September.

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20/30 CLUB HAS MANY NEW LEADERS

September 23, 2008

It’s far easier to stereotype young business professionals as being disconnected from their communities than to recognize their contributions.

But NoCo Active 20/30 Children’s Foundation, a local group of “next-generation” leaders, defies such stereotypes.

In September, 21 members of the group hosted its first event – a fundraiser for Partners of Larimer County and Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County. And they raised a whopping $80,000 in one night.

NoCo Active 20/30, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, was launched in May to boost community awareness and benevolence among younger business professionals. The service organization has a goal of generating $100,000 in net donations for children’s-based organizations in its first year, so it is well on its way.

Northern Colorado is no different from other regions in that the same people are usually tapped to organize events and lead public discussions. Sometimes, that approach can create a gap in participation among young professionals.

But members of this new service organization are showing they are willing to break with tradition and ignore boundaries by uniting leaders in Larimer and Weld counties in identifying ways to improve children’s lives.

This new, diverse service organization has found its niche in a region already characterized by its giving spirit.

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YOUNG LEADERS UNITE TO HELP AREA’S CHILDREN

NoCo Active 20/30 connects community, business professionals

It’s far easier to stereotype young business professionals as being disconnected from their communities than to recognize their contributions.

But NoCo Active 20/30 Children’s Foundation, a local group of “next-generation” leaders, defies such stereotypes.

In September, 21 members of the group hosted its first event – a fundraiser for Partners of Larimer County and Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County. And they raised a whopping $80,000 in one night.

NoCo Active 20/30, a component fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, was launched in May to boost community awareness and benevolence among younger business professionals. The service organization has a goal of generating $100,000 in net donations for children’s-based organizations in its first year, so it is well on its way.

Northern Colorado is no different from other regions in that the same people are usually tapped to organize events and lead public discussions. Sometimes, that approach can create a gap in participation among young professionals.

But members of this new service organization are showing they are willing to break with tradition and ignore boundaries by uniting leaders in Larimer and Weld counties in identifying ways to improve children’s lives.

This new, diverse service organization has found its niche in a region already characterized by its giving spirit.

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GROUP GETS ACTIVE IN HELPING LOCAL CHILDREN, THE COLORADOAN

BY PAT FERRIER – December 25, 2007

Twenty/thirty-something men dedicated to raising ‘a bunch of money’

About 50 Larimer County families will open gifts this morning thanks to a group of men who believe they have a mission to help make lives better for Larimer County’s children. The Active 20/30 Club, so named because of the age of the men involved – 20 to 39 year olds – is a group of about two dozen men dedicated to raising a bunch of money for children’s charities.

Last week they took 47 kids shopping to help make the holidays a little brighter. The kids, from Partners Mentoring Youth, were given $50 gift cards to buy gifts, not for themselves, but for their loved ones.
“It was not just a fun event, but also a lesson in how to budget and spend a limited amount of money, said Chris Imsland, Partners executive director. Without the 20/30 group the event wouldn’t have happened, he said. “This was something extra the kids received. We could have just given them $50 and told them to go have fun but that wouldn’t have been as meaningful.”

Giving something back

Time, treasure and talent – that’s all it takes to make a difference in the life of a child, said Shawn Sullivan, co-founder of the local Active 20/30 Club. And, it’s a mission the group takes to heart. In its first year, Active 20/30 raised enough to donate $35,000 each to Partners Mentoring Youth and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County. Within the next few years, they hope to raise $500,000, said Sullivan and co-founder Pete Kelly.

“Pete and I saw a need,” Sullivan said. “There seems to be a gray dividing line … people who are (older than) 45 have their network of people they work with and talk to whether in business or philanthropy and the 20 to 39 year-olds do their own networking and philanthropy,” he said. “We were trying to find something unique that we could get collectively excited about as younger individuals. … The end goal revolves around the kids and raising money for them.”

Imsland said the group is “the next generation of philanthropists. Someone has to pick it up and they chose to do it.”

The club collects its money through the Community Foundation, which makes donations tax deductible. It plans to apply for its own nonprofit designation in the near future, Sullivan said.

Setting a goal

Sullivan and Kelly got the idea to raise money for kids from their work on the board of Partners Mentoring Youth, a group that pairs adult mentors with children. The pair identified a core group of people they believed had the time, talent and treasure to give back to the community.

“We did intentionally go out and recruit high-horsepower people … the people we thought could make a difference, roll up their sleeves and get involved with children’s charities,” Kelly said.

The men already were involved in 13 different children’s charities from Turning Point and Educo to the Boys & Girls Clubs. Three serve on the Partners board. The men each pay $450 a year in dues which helps cover operation costs. In addition, each member is expected to donate a minimum of $2,000 per year.

“We recognize that not everyone can write a check for $2,000 but everyone should have the ability to go out and solicit donations,” Kelly said.

Active 20/30 also raises money to bolster its coffers. In its first fundraiser the group raised $85,000 by throwing a Vines and Wine party and raffling off an exclusive weekend in Napa Valley. At the end of the party, the winning couple flew off to Napa in a private jet for the weekend.

“Time will tell, but we pride ourselves in doing large gifts,” said Kelly, a Realtor with Everitt Commercial Partners.

It doesn’t all have to be big money, but as with the Christmas for Kids event two weeks before Christmas, it has to have a big impact, he said.

shawn-sullivan-pete-kelly

Shawn Sullivan, left, and Pete Kelly, both members of the Northern Colorado’s Active 20/30, helped raise money which was donated to the Boys’ & Girls’ Club of Larimer County and Partners Mentoring Youth. They also took 47 less fortunate children shopping for gifts for their families. The pair are pictured Dec. 18 at the Everitt Co.

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TWO LOVELAND AGENCIES AWARDED PART OF DONATION

LARIMER COUNTY – Two Loveland nonprofits were awarded part of a $95,000 donation recently from fundraising organization Northern Colorado Active 20-30.

Partners Mentoring Youth of Larimer County and the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County were two of the four local organizations to receive the award. Weld County Juvenile Assessment Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Weld County also were awarded money. Each organization was selected because of its longstanding history of operation, reputation and the common mission of Northern Colorado Active 20-30, which is to assist underprivileged youths in the community.

The majority of funding was raised through the organization’s recent Vines and Wines Suitcase Party, which brought in more than $100,000.

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