This post was written by Jessica Nguyen, a former member of our team.
Every Saturday, for a large part of my childhood, my entire family would cram into my grandma’s tiny house and we would bond over food and games. One of my family’s favorite games was Super Nintendo’s Tetris Attack. My cousins and I would spend the day competing against one another—going through the different stages, facing each other head-on, advancing to the next level, and ultimately fighting against the antagonist, Bowser.
Gaming isn’t always just for fun though, sometimes it’s used as an innovative fundraising strategy, like the Games Done Quick (GDQ) event. GDQ is a series of charity video game marathons, with two events held annually. During GDQ, “speedrunners” take turns beating various video games in the fastest amount of time possible, and viewers, both the live audience and individuals on livestream, can donate during the duration of the event.
Most recently, SGDQ 2016 raised over $1 million for the charity Doctors without Borders, and over its six-year history, they have raised more than $8 million for various other charities. Colorado Gives Day, another fundraising effort here in Colorado, is an annual fundraising event that involves nonprofit organizations across the state, addressing issues that range from food insecurity to education to ensuring access to health care for all Coloradans. One day, each year, nonprofits push to increase philanthropy through online giving and receive a piece of the incentive fund provided by Community First Foundation and FirstBank.
Efforts like these are so critical to organizations within the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits depend heavily on grants, donors, and fundraising efforts to maintain their programs. Not only that, but it provides an opportunity for other entities to interact with the communities in which they work. With so many organizations relying on fundraising as an important source of income and sustainability needed to achieve its mission, it’s important that we find the causes that matter to us and support when we can.
You don’t have to wait long to support a local cause. On September 20, CCMU will be hosting its annual fundraising luncheon, HEALTHtalks, featuring Dr. Zubin Damania—or as he is more commonly known, ZDoggMD. Dr. Damania will be bringing his expertise to speak broadly about delivery system and payment reform as it relates to vulnerable populations, health equity, and driving change in health care. If we’re lucky, he might even rap for us.
I enjoyed my time spent with my cousins, huddled around the television, rooting each other on as we competed for bragging rights. Fundraising can often feel like a game, but now when we “win”, we get to impact the lives of the people we serve—and that’s something worth rooting for. CCMU, like so many other organizations, relies on the support of the community to help us pursue the work we are so passionate about and we appreciate the support we have received throughout our history. We hope you’ll join us next month at our luncheon; it’s going to take all of us together to achieve change for a healthier Colorado.