Area nonprofits invited to join Give!Local’s fourth year

On the heels of helping raise over $123,000 for area nonprofits in 2017, the Give!Local team plans to raise even more in 2018 via Give!Local’s end-of-year online giving platform. Donations grew in both the second and third year.

Area nonprofits can apply through June 15 to participate in the 2018 effort.

“On May 16, we’ll be meeting with local nonprofits who are interested in participating in our fourth year. We’ll be discussing what they can do to ensure they have a successful Give!Local campaign,” says Susan Hutchinson, Give!Local project director.

“Give!Local is a fairly elaborate program offering many opportunities for nonprofits seeking to raise awareness and funds. It takes some effort to understand all the possibilities and bring the fundraising possibilities to fruition,” Hutchinson notes.

2017 Give!Local print guide cover, featuring fifth-grade students on a Muddy Sneakers expedition
2017 Give!Local print guide cover, featuring fifth-grade students on a Muddy Sneakers expedition

At the core of Give!Local is a website that is active during November and December. The site includes information about the campaign’s current 40 or so local nonprofits and allows donors — through a single credit-card shopping-cart transaction — to designate how much money they want to give to whatever mix of nonprofits they designate. The minimum donation is typically $20. Donations can be divided in $1 increments to any of the participating nonprofits.

In addition to any tax benefits donors receive, Give!Local rewards all donors giving $20 or more — but particularly new and young donors, who may not be in a position to itemize their donations to the IRS — by sending them a voucher book for goodies and other incentives provided by area businesses.

“Many of our donors are young people who can’t afford to give a lot, but everyone who gives $20 or more gets something, like a free slice of pizza and an ice cream cone, along with other items redeemable with vouchers from local shops,” says Hutchinson.

Give!Local emphasizes young donors for a reason. “People who get in the habit of giving when they are young are more likely to continue giving when they are older, when they often have more disposable income. We hope we are developing the donor habits for the coming decades,” Hutchinson explains.

Donations last year ranged from $10 to $10,000.

“In 2017, we launched the ‘Every Penny Counts’ campaign,” Hutchinson adds, in which the campaign covered all credit card fees. “Every penny donated through Give!Local went to the designated nonprofits. We’re very proud of that,” she says.

“We are currently searching for nonprofits who want to participate in this year’s fundraising campaign, as well as for local businesses who want to help incentivize donors,” Hutchinson says.

The deadline for nonprofits to apply to be a part of this year’s Give!Local is June 15. The online application is here.

An organizational meeting for nonprofits wanting to know more about Give!Local will be held at The Block Off Biltmore on Wednesday, May 16 at 1 p.m.

Give!Local is a project of Mountain Xpress, which is seeking business partners to help sponsor the program. If you have a business that is interested in participating, contact Hutchinson at givelocal@mountainx.com.

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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