It might not be marked on your calendar as a holiday, but today is a big day for our state. It’s Colorado Gives Day. The mission: raise awareness—and money—for Colorado’s nonprofits via a 24-hour online fund-raising blitz. Last year, Coloradans pledged more than $8.4 million in one day, smashing organizers’ $1 million goal for the inaugural event. Here’s how it works: Until midnight, log on to the Giving First website and search for charities by name or topic (the site even lists each charity’s mission, programs, and successes). Then click donate. How easy is that?

Can’t decide who to give to? Here are some worthy causes we love.

1. American Red Cross The Red Cross responds to a disaster every 21 hours in Colorado. Incredible, especially since they receive no money from the federal government.

2. Susan G. Komen For the Cure With more than 120 affiliates and 100,000 volunteers, Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization.

3. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps This organization empowers youth by exposing them to nature and encouraging respect for community and the environment.

4. Special Olympics Colorado Provides year-round athletic training and competitions for children and adults with disabilities.

5. Foothills Animal Foundation This no-kill sanctuary aims to educate the community about responsible pet ownership.

Update: Due to high traffic and technical difficulties on the website, Colorado Gives Day has been extended until noon on Wednesday, December 7th. Donors who did not recieve an email confirmation of their gift should email

—Image courtesy of Community First Foundation