Starting last Friday, those purchasing the Go Local discount cards can designate which Asheville-grown group will receive the $5 donation included in the purchase.
Previously, all proceeds directed to the Asheville City School system. Shoppers can now choose a specific Asheville school, or direct their donation to a nonprofit providing education or extracurricular activities for Asheville’s children. The new recipients include LEAF in Schools and Streets, Our VOICE, FEAST Asheville, NC Stage, Francine Delany New School for Children and ArtSpace Charter School.
Projected proceeds for these groups are based on the ability and willingness of each to promote the Go Local card, according to Franzi Charen, founder of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, which produces the discount cards.
So far, the purchase of Go Local cards has raised nearly $10,000 for Asheville City Schools. The proceeds currently fund two programs within the schools, the commission of a mural at Hall Fletcher Elementary and the Real-Life after school program.
“Thanks to Go Local we can keep building partnerships that ensure kids can find something fun, educational and safe to do everyday after school at Asheville Middle School,” said Kate Pett, executive director of the Asheville City Schools Foundation.
Charen said selection of new recipients was based on an interest to expand the project to other groups that served the children of Asheville.
“The process was pretty organic,” Charen said. “It was a non-formal selection. We chose programs we would like to build relationships with.”
Ideally, each group would focus on spreading the word about the cards to constituents and garner donations for each program, according to Charen.
The choice of nonprofits should be available for the next two months online, although Charen said the partnerships could, and hopefully would continue on through the rest of the year.