Checkoff Colorado is a statewide, grassroots public awareness campaign focused on educating taxpayers and tax preparers about check-off giving—a program that allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to their favorite charitable organizations when they file their state income tax return.
- In 1977, Colorado became the first state in the country to allow a taxpayer to “check-off” a voluntary contribution to a state program. Now almost every state in the country has a checkoff program. In 2003, the funds that were part of the Colorado check-off program decided to band together to make a bigger impact. Colorado was the first state to have a collaborative campaign like this.
- The goals of the Checkoff Colorado program are simple: to increase the number of taxpayers making donations and to boost the total amount that taxpayers contribute each year.
- Since the tax checkoff program was established in 1977, well over $44.4 million for the 31 organizations that have appeared on Colorado’s income tax form since the program’s inception.
- Over $1.5 million was raised in 2016.
- The average checkoff donation is $10. The typical taxpayer gives to three funds.
- This year, nine funds are participating in Checkoff Colorado, the collaborative public awareness campaign, including:
Red Cross Fund
9 Health Fair Fund
Military Family Relief Fund
Colorado Youth Corps Fund
Special Olympics Fund
Healthy Landscapes Fund
Homeless Prevention Fund
- Each of the nonprofit organizations that are eligible for checkoff contributions undergoes a rigorous review by the State Legislature in order to even be considered to be on the tax form.
- Donations can be made to any of the organizations listed on the 2016 Colorado tax return and typically come from a taxpayer’s refund. However, a donation can still be made if money is owed on your taxes. Donations are collected by the Colorado Department of Revenue and then distributed to each fund. Funds use the donations to help communities all across the state.
- The great part about Checkoff Colorado is that every single dollar donated goes to the nonprofit and every single dollar stays in Colorado.
- Year to date contributions (Updated January 2017):
Military Family Relief Fund – $11,103.00
Colorado Youth Corps Association – $1,671.00
Special Olympics Colorado – $5,701.80
9Health Fair – $2,475.00
Homeless Prevention Activities – $8,505.00
Colorado for Healthy Landscapes – $1,856.00