Big Ideas For All of Us
MCGives! launches its 2011 season of giving.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
It’s a great thrill to be introducing Monterey County Gives! 2011. Last year’s campaign was a clear demonstration of how all of us, working together, can support critical programs around the county – we raised more than $529,000 and an additional $100,000 of matching funds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, supporting 75 nonprofits.
There is no reason to think this year won’t be as good or better. The campaign is being kicked off in these bound pages of Monterey County Weekly, with a special glossy cover. As this paper went to press, the MCGives! website went live, making it easy to see profiles of all the participating agencies, read about their “Big Ideas,” then donate instantly to those that strike a chord. The website also allows donors (and readers of the Weekly) a constant source of information during the campaign: which groups are receiving the most donations, in real time; comments from donors as to why they’ve supported certain organizations; cool graphics and dynamic charts. As much as I cherish this issue of the Weekly, over the course of the six-week campaign it is nice to be able to go quickly to a source that updates and reinforces all this valuable information.
Monterey County Gives! is emblematic of the community partnerships necessary for nonprofits to carry out their missions, to make an impact on Monterey County and improve the lives of all its residents. Last year 1,335 donors made 2,199 gifts to MCGives!, meaning that many of you made multiple gifts. That’s a lot of folks utilizing philanthropy as a tool for community betterment. Additionally, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel, The Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey County Weekly combined to provide the $100,000 in matching funds, as well as funding for special grants for the agency receiving the Ingenuity Award (best Big Idea), the agency with the most donors and the nonprofit with the most donors under age 35. The drive, energy and passion for all of this comes from the headquarters of Monterey County Weekly – MCGives! is the core project of the Weekly’s donor-advised fund, established at the Community Foundation for Monterey County.
We live in a remarkable area. We enjoy the benefits of its stunning beauty and rich cultural life, every day. These don’t come free. Organizations that protect the environment or those that present the varied offerings of music, theater, and art – whether on large stages or small – need our constant support.
And, as we all know, Monterey County is also a place where many struggle to obtain the basics – food, shelter, literacy, education, healthcare, or a stable and healthy environment for youth. The challenge facing those most in need and the nonprofits who serve them compounds in difficult economic times. It’s a tricky formula: The need for services increases while the availability of resources, whether through public funding or charitable giving, diminishes. This means the very people who need the most have fewer remedies for their difficult and very personal challenges.
This is the backdrop for MCGives! Inside this issue you’ll find profiles on the 95 Monterey County nonprofits selected for this year’s campaign, each of them working hard to make some part of our lives better. Each group has its own Big Idea for 2012, and while some of these may serve a smaller constituency, collectively there is a huge potential positive impact. We want them all to succeed. I encourage you to explore these pages, spend time on the website, give to the agencies whose work resonates with you, then tell a friend, co-worker or family member to do the same. The power of Monterey County Gives! is how the generosity of each one adds up to a whole lot.
DAN BALDWIN is the president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Monterey County and a key partner of Monterey County Gives!