By Kelly Werthmann

(CBS4) – The deadline to file your taxes was extended to May 17 this year and, for those receiving a refund, there is an easy way Coloradans can use that money to support great causes. The Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund program (ReFUND CO) allows taxpayers to choose to donate to any eligible Colorado-registered charity with a simple designation on their state income tax return.

“The way it works is you look for a line on your tax return either as you’re filing it yourself or through TurboTax or your tax preparer that says ‘Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund,’” Lydia McCoy, vice president and chief operating officer of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, said. “You need two things in order to make that nonprofit choice — one is their name, the other is their registration number.”

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McCoy explained the best way to get that information is through refundwhatmatters.org. That website, she said, promotes the ReFUND Colorado opportunity and walks users through all the steps and ways to support your community.

With that said, McCoy knows 2020 was a hard year on all of us. Some people might not be able to afford to give back.

“The nonprofit sector was hit hard, too,” she told CBSN Denver’s Kelly Werthmann. “For those people who are maybe getting more of a refund than they expected or perhaps weren’t expecting to get a refund, this is a great opportunity for you to reinvest in your community. It’s kind of a win-win for those who can afford to make that investment.”

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Plus, there are plenty of charities to choose from that support a wide range of industries.

“There are over 7,000 options,” McCoy explained. “In order for [nonprofits] to be eligible, you have to be in good standing with the Secretary of State and have been in existence for 5 years. So, not every nonprofit is eligible, but there are tons [to choose from]. It ranges from conservation to animal welfare to people experiencing food insecurity, anything that really piques your interest or something that is near and dear to your heart is definitely represented.”

For taxpayers who may not be able to pitch in with some or part of their refunds, McCoy said there are certainly other ways to support deserving charities.

“You can always reach out directly to any nonprofit you have an interest with or relationship to ask the best way to support them,” she said. “Whether it’s financially, donating your time, some nonprofits need in-kind donations that can offset some costs. There are lots of different ways you can support nonprofits, ReFUND CO is just one good option.”

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To learn more about the Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund program, and to see a list of eligible charitable organizations, visit www.refundwhatmatters.org.

Kelly Werthmann