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Saturday, March 2, 2024
March 2, 2024

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Clark County nonprofits celebrate GivingTuesday, praise community support

By , Columbian staff writer

Tuesday marked the 11th annual GivingTuesday, a day when many local nonprofits launched campaigns to generate community donations.

One of the nonprofits, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, had raised $15,585 of its $25,000 goal by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The nonprofit featured GivingTuesday pop-ups on its website and the story of a shelter dog named Bean Sprout to meet the match of $3,500 from other donors.

“We really want to demonstrate the impact donors have on their community,” said Sam Ellingson, marketing director at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.

Donation requests also came from email campaigns, such as Evergreen Habitat for Humanity’s email telling donors about “3 Ways to Give This Giving Tuesday.” The email described how to make donations, shop an auction for its event and also visit the nonprofit’s store.

Nonprofits and charity organizations all over the world are using GivingTuesday as a way to bolster community support, but the giving spirit doesn’t have to last for one day only. This year, the Humane Society opened its donations a week before GivingTuesday officially began. Extending the donation campaign helped the organization widen its outreach and avoid restricting community support to a single day.

“GivingTuesday for us and for so many nonprofits has shifted from a single day, to a week long of fundraising, where we develop our giving platform,” Ellingson said.

Local impact

Council for the Homeless, a nonprofit whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness in Clark County, announced Tuesday it was the recipient of a gift from OnPoint Community Credit Union. The credit union donated $5,000 to the nonprofit to help it continue to provide housing services to underserved communities.

The $5,000 donation is a part of the $100,000 in total donations OnPoint announced on Tuesday, which will be given to eight nonprofits that provide food and shelter relief to Oregon and Southwest Washington communities.

And although GivingTuesday is one day out of the year, generosity and kindness are year-round.

Earlier this month on Nov. 17, Rocksolid Community Teen Center received a $1,500 grant from the Clark County Realtors Foundation to enhance education for its Life Skills programming. The Life Skills programming raises awareness of traditions through attendance at cultural events, tours, festivals, field trips, and experiencing new music and food.

“Our team is excited to add this enrichment to our life skills programming. We appreciate the (Clark County Realtors Foundation) believing in the work that we achieve with the youth in our community through bringing awareness of, and appreciation and inclusion for different cultures in the communities in which we live,” said Marcy Sprecher, executive director of Rocksolid Community Teen Center.

Support doesn’t have to just be monetary either, according to Micki Simone, executive director at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.

“You can give to us in other ways that don’t involve cash — give to us by volunteering your time. Give back to us by being an advocate or adopting,” she said.

How to give back

GivingTuesday began in 2012 in New York City as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to be kind and give back to the community. It is now its own nonprofit and a worldwide initiative promoting generosity through community contributions, philanthropy and simple acts of kindness.

Since GivingTuesday is an open-source movement, it’s up to the community to decide which causes it wants to support. However, online directories like Charity Navigator and Guidestar are helpful for learning more about organizations in Clark County and across the country.

Community Funded Journalism logo

This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.