Drug treatment. Foster children. Bicycle safety. Homelessness and hunger. Wildlife habitat. Community gardens. Music education.
What’s your favorite charitable cause? More than 100 local charities — and the umbrella Community Foundation for Southwest Washington — are hoping you’ll check in with your conscience and then make an online donation sometime on Sept. 24 via the secure website, give-more-24.org.
This is the second year the Community Foundation is chasing charitable giving into the cyberworld — which is where it’s been headed in recent years anyway — with an event called Give More 24! The idea is to whip up a fervor of community largesse on one special day — all aimed at pumping up local charities and nonprofits that are working to make Southwest Washington a better place to live.
There are 111 organizations from three counties signed up as beneficiaries, from major agencies such as the Clark County Food Bank and Share to kitchen-table outfits you’ve probably never heard of — like “Been There, Done That,” a Longview startup program aimed at mentoring people away from cycles of addiction and crime.
Last year’s inaugural Give More 24! event raised more than $426,000 in one 24-hour period, with 1,262 unique donors giving 1,842 gifts to local charities via the website. This year, the bar has been set substantially higher: the Community Foundation is aiming to raise $750,000.
Give More 24!: www.give-more-24.org
Nationwide, online giving has been zooming — and outpacing the growth in traditional giving — in recent years. According to philanthropy number-cruncher The Blackbaud Index, there was a 5 percent rise on total charitable giving 2013 but a 14 percent rise in Internet giving. And Network for Good, a fundraiser for small and medium-sized nonprofit agencies, processed 20 percent more online donations in 2013 than the year before that.
All day Thursday, from midnight to midnight, visit www.give-more-24.org, search for your favorite charity or general program area — there are 10, from animal welfare to youth development — and make a tax-deductible, minimum donation of at least $10. Multiple gifts to multiple beneficiaries are welcome.
There’s also a $75,000 “stretch pool” — a matching fund, that is — plus $20,000 in additional fundraising prizes, all of which will be distributed to local charities based on their fundraising success through the event. So every donation will leverage some sort of a match or boost of additional dollars.
There’s no fee or cost to participate, although the Community Foundation does charge a transaction fee. Ninety-three percent of your gift will go directly to your chosen charity. There’s even a leaderboard on the website, where you can track the charitable horse race during the day.
But it’s not really a race, Community Foundation president Jennifer Rhoades has said: “This event is not about competition. The goal is to work together as nonprofits and donors, to create a buzz about our community and an effort that empowers everyone … to take part in making it better.”
To stoke up some community excitement and a festive feeling around what’s essentially an individual and markedly unfestive activity — the click of a mouse, the entry of some credit card numbers — the Community Foundation and its charitable partners have cooked up some fun events and sites you can visit in real time during the day. Visit the Give More 24! website for the whole rundown; here’s a selection:
• Give More 24! Lounge. “The hub of all things Give More 24!” will include food, nonprofit and business leaders, giving stations and live music from 4 to 8 p.m. The whole event runs 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, 610 Esther St.
• Piano Hospital music marathon (aka, Play More 24!). The School of Piano Technology for the Blind will have live music going for 24 hours, midnight to midnight. (Volunteers of all ability levels wanted to keep the ivories continuously tickled.) 2510 E. Evergreen Blvd.
• Mill Creek Pub Giving Lounge. Hourly presentations by Battle Ground nonprofits and an “old world sitting room” to do your giving in. 11 a.m. to midnight, 1710 S.W. Ninth Ave., No. 101, Battle Ground.
• National Alliance on Mental Illness for Southwest Washington. Open house, hourly prize drawings, giving stations, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at both Clark and Cowlitz county offices, 5411 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Suite 4; and 109 Allen St. in Kelso.
• Open House Ministries mural. Residents of the faith-based family shelter and two local muralists will install new artwork and beautify the area. 10 a.m. at 915 W. 13th St.
• Share tour, Share selfies. Guided tour of Share’s headquarters and warehouse, the Fromhold Service Center, while enjoying breakfast snacks and beverages. 10 a.m. at 2306 N.E. Andresen Road. True to form, Share has enlisted several local businesses as partners; each selfie you snap and post from these locations gets you entered in a raffle drawing. (Complete information on the website.)
• Children’s Center at Kazoodle’s Toys. 3 to 4 p.m. at Kazoodle’s, 13503 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., B-3. Storytelling and crafting.
• S’mores and solutions. Community Mediation Services will serve up s’mores while talking up the virtue of talking through conflicts. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Latte Da Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, 205 E. 39th St.
• Ensembles from the Southwest Washington Symphony, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Masthead Restaurant, 1210 Ocean Beach Highway, other locations in Longview and Kelso.