Giving Weekly Style
The annual Monterey County Gives! kicks off with an eye on funding the creative big ideas of local nonprofits.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
MC Gives! 2012: Read More
Here we go – time for Monterey County Gives! In just the past three years, Gives! has distributed more than $1.7 million to area nonprofits. This is an astounding number for a grassroots drive, and a credit to both the readers of the Monterey County Weekly and the nonprofits who inspire such support. This partnership between the Weekly and the Community Foundation for Monterey County continues to be one of the Community Foundation’s annual highlights. We’re thrilled to be assisting a program that brings the work of nonprofits to the Weekly’s readers, and, potentially, introduces the idea of charitable giving to a new generation of donors. A young professional recently told me that when the Gives! issue hits the streets, it is all the buzz in her circles. That was music to my ears.
: : Donate online now until midnight Dec. 31, 2012 : : www.montereycountygives.com
- Track donations (real time)
- Compare categories and view the top 10
- Link to nonprofits’ websites
- Donate easily
When we introduced the Gives! website in 2010, the hope was that it would allow us to reach this new wave of donors on their own terms. With such a tremendous amount of commerce now performed electronically, we expected this new ease of giving to significantly increase the annual totals. That has certainly proven to be true. But a nuance we hadn’t anticipated was how the website creates a virtual menu – one-stop shopping for choosing and supporting the work of Monterey County nonprofits. When my wife and I sit down to do make our Gives! selections, it’s almost like ordering sushi.
“Um. Let’s have something from arts and culture. How about another helping of environment and sustainability? But look at health, wellness and food. We should order some of that, too.” Last year’s totals of 1,360 gifts from 1,042 donors (we like those return customers) generated $673,000. All these are Monterey County Gives! records. And thanks to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel – and some support from the CFMC and the Weekly – $100,000 in matching funds was essential to that total.
The 96 Big Ideas found inside this issue demonstrate the depth and breadth – and impact – of our nonprofit sector. Large organizations and small, new and old, Salinas Valley and the Peninsula all are represented. So is a broad representation of work: food banks; recycling; youth mentoring; dance; education; arts. It is a stunning list that speaks to the indelible benefits brought to Monterey County by its nonprofits.
Yet it goes deeper. While the gifts made through Monterey County Gives! go to agencies, the true beneficiaries are the individuals they serve. We are a community blessed with amazing assets, both land and sea, and certainly home to great wealth. But many in our county struggle with basic needs, such as access to health care, living in a safe neighborhood, transportation, education, having a stable home life. Historically, services that mitigate these issues were the exclusive province of government agencies. Today the vast majority are provided by nimble, entrepreneurial organizations overseen by citizen-led boards of directors. And low and behold, the IRS recognizes the value of these agencies to such a degree that private support is tax deductible. It is a system from which we all benefit.
Gives! derives its greatest impact through you, the individual donor. Don’t think that being one of 1,042 somehow diminishes the significance of your gift. In fact, it is just the opposite. Your gift, your co-worker’s gift, your cousin’s gift, the gifts from members of your book group, poker party, golf foursome, walking friends, you name it – you telling all your friends to go to www.montereygives.com and have fun, order the combo plate, shop early, shop often, understanding it is the cumulative impact of “you” that can change the lives of so many. This is the power of Monterey County Gives!
DAN BALDWIN is president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Weekly’s partner in Monterey County Gives!
SPECIAL THANKS to our key partners:
- The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
- Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel
- The Community Foundation for Monterey County
Monterey County Gives! is a special project of Monterey County Weekly’s Community Fund, a donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation for Monterey County.