Annual day of giving scheduled for Sept. 24 with many organizations in need
CLARK COUNTY — Philanthropy is becoming ever more important to many Clark County nonprofits in the pandemic-era. That’s why 2020’s Give More 24! plans to be a powerhouse of giving.
The Community Foundation of Southwest Washington (CFSWW) created Give More 24! in 2014, and has grown the annual 24 hours of intense giving to a massive local push to empower many organizations.
This year’s Give More 24! will take place from midnight on Sept. 24 to 11:59 p.m. that same day. Several Clark County nonprofits are participating, and many are hoping to raise awareness as well as financial support with the added benefit of waived entry fees this year.
“All of the nonprofit’s are in the same situation in terms of scrambling for donations and funding,” said North County Community Food Bank (NCCFB) Executive Director Elizabeth Cerveny. “I think the economic situation has certainly made everyone slow down and really think about their donations more cautiously, but also the need growing with the number of people that are unemployed growing. There’s that two edged sword kind of thing going on within the nonprofit world.”
NCCFB first began in 1980 as a grassroots organization, before growing into a widely and robustly supported mechanism for feeding thousands of hungry people every year in north county. Their current board of directors includes Clark County Fire & Rescue Chief John Nohr and Washington state Sen. Ann Rivers. Last year, NCCFB raised nearly $100,000 during Give More 24! and reached that largest dollar amount raised overall.
In total, 2019’s day of giving brought in nearly $1.7 million and supported 169 nonprofit organizations. In addition, nearly three-quarters of donations came from within Clark County specifically.
The largest categories for organizations who received donations last year were education, health and wellness as well as poverty and hunger. The money for these causes was raised by the combination of large scale sponsors matching donations from independent donors. Davidson and Associates Insurance, Pemco Insurance and Kaiser Permanente were among the top sponsors.
“For us, it’s friendraising,” said Executive Director Sharon Pesut of Partners in Careers (PIC). “We want people to get to know Partners and Careers. In the past, it hasn’t been as much about the money as it’s been about getting people connected to what we do. Part of our niche in the market, so to speak, is giving people work experience, whether that’s high school students going out and having internships in local businesses, or even our adult clients that we put in a work experience at a nonprofit or government agency, where they can really build their skills.”
Pesut spoke to how PIC works with everyone from young children to homeless veterans; working to get them stability and independence. One of the most shocking things Pesut learned when she began with the program, was that there were people in the community who were the third generation in their family to have never purchased food with money.
When people in that kind of situation come under the mentorship of PIC, they are exposed to new opportunities and can have a re-ignition of independence and perseverance, Pesut said.
With the pandemic, PIC and many other organizations like NCCFB will not only be seeking relationships, but will truly be seeking funds. The deficit for PIC specifically comes from a cut to state and federal contracts of 25 percent across the board. PIC has been slowly growing fundraising each year, and this year hopes to do so even more to fill in the gaps and continue to get jobs for those in need.
Other organizations, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Vancouver Chapter, are joining Give More 24! for the first time. Brittini Lasseigne is managing fundraising for both the NAACP and Clark County YWCA this year. Since the Vancouver chapter is a 501c4, it needed a fiscal sponsor to participate in Give More. YWCA is operating as the fiscal sponsor, as they are also participating in this year’s event.
“NAACP and some of the smaller nonprofits that participate, it’s almost like the Community Foundation is vouching for them that they’re a great nonprofit to participate in,” Lasseigne said. “The Community Foundation has such a big reach that it allows all of these people to learn about a bunch of new nonprofits. When I approach my giving for Give More 24! I really love to look at the leaderboard and see who’s at the bottom and who is struggling throughout the day. I love to give my gifts to those people that maybe haven’t gotten as many gifts because you can see a big impact with that.”
NAACP Vancouver has seen a massive influx of new donors ever since the in-custody death of George Floyd, Lasseigne said. The organization is anticipating many of those new donors to contribute during Give More 24! this year, and they hope to use it as a moment to help them learn more about the NAACP, Lasseigne said.
With YWCA Clark County, the 24-hour fundraiser has not historically been centered on the money, but the relationship building, much like PIC in the past. With very little overhead, the YWCA has been able to focus its efforts on COVID-19 response including helping with testing sites and gift cards to those in need. The YWCA will still use the event as a fundraiser to try and offset similar deficits to PIC, but is going to use it’s annual luncheon as its main source of donors, Lasseigne said.
Technology will obviously play a much larger role in the event this year, with all components moving to online. The impact of needing tech expertise and equipment has also hit many participating nonprofits.
“What we’re having to look for this year is being more aggressive around how do we stay connected to our clients, because we’re very much relationship based,” Pesut said of PIC. “We have to connect to them through technology. There’s a huge challenge with that. We got some money from the CARES Act to buy more Chromebooks so we can loan them out to our clients. The community has been amazing about getting access to hotspots, so that people can hopefully connect somewhere when they can’t get into a library or a community center.”
To find out more about the Give More 24! Funraiser, to become a sponsor and to see how you can contribute both financially and through in-kind services, visit the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfsww.org.