Conscious party: Give!Local 2016 seeks nonprofits

TOP GARDENERS: The Lord's Acre, a Fairview-based nonprofit garden that brings the community together in order to grow tons of fresh, organic produce to donate the hungry, was the top fundraiser in the 2015 Give!Local campaign — raising a grand total of $5,922 during the 60-day event. Photo courtesy of The Lord’s Acre

WHAT: Mountain Xpress invites nonprofits and businesses to participate in this year’s Give!Local fundraising platform

WHERE: Western North Carolina

WHEN: Nonprofit applications must be received by Saturday, July 30

WHY: Give!Local’s end-of-year fundraising platform generates money, awareness and new donors for its nonprofits. In its inaugural year, Xpress‘ Give!Local initiative brought in $37,679 in online donations for 30 local nonprofits with four focus areas: people, environment, animals and arts. This year, Give!Local Director Susan Hutchinson has set a new goal: $100,000, to be raised by Dec. 31.

“Give!Local’s fund drive will start Nov. 1 and close down Dec. 31 at midnight,” Hutchinson says, noting that the Give!Local website makes it quick and easy to give a little or a lot to multiple causes via one online visit. “Using an online shopping cart, you pick and choose which nonprofits you like, and then you give them any amount you want. At the end, you complete just one credit card transaction and you’re done.”

Give!Local rewards modest philanthropy (the kind you wouldn’t bother reporting on your taxes). Thanks to the program’s local business partners, donors making a minimum gift (last year, it was $10) get a fun voucher book full of freebies and discounts from local businesses. Bigger donations earn additional rewards (all the way up to gift baskets delivered to the donors’ doorsteps). Give!Local also delivers drama and excitement, too: On select “Big Give Days,” there are drawings for featured prizes (for example, last year, one donor received a $500 gift certificate from Ski Country Sports).

Applying to be a Give!Local nonprofit is free. Participating nonprofits pay a modest fee, but Give!Local guarantees each nonprofit it will generate at least that much in donations. All proceeds from donations (less credit card processing fees) go to the designated nonprofits.

Groups interested in applying to be a Give!Local nonprofit, may attend an informational meeting Wednesday, July 6, at noon, at The BLOCK Off Biltmore. For more information, email Susan Hutchinson at shutchinson@mountainx.com. Nonprofits must apply by July 30 online at avl.mx/2poto be considered for this year’s Give!Local awareness and fundraising program. To be eligible, applicants must have 501(c)(3) status, be locally focused and commit to utilizing Give!Local as the organization’s main fundraising effort during the months of November and December. 

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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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