by Kirby Lindsay, posted 30 April 2012
On Wednesday, May 2nd, between 12:01a and midnight, everyone has an opportunity to participate in an expansive, city-wide fundraiser for everyone’s favorite causes, and all without leaving the privacy of our computers. The Seattle Foundation has organized the GiveBIG on-line donation – an enormous, 24-hour fundraising campaign, to benefit more than 1,300 area non-profits – including several that work right here in Fremont.
“People like to be a part of a broader community,” explained Mary Grace Roske, Seattle Foundation Communications Director. Last year, nearly 19,000 individual gifts were made during the GiveBIG campaign, with gifts of anywhere from $5 to $60,000. The 2011 drive raised a total of $3.6 million, and the second annual on-line donation drive could easily top that, provided everyone takes a few minutes to give.
When A Donation Is More Than Its Face Value
Giving on May 2nd, through the Seattle Foundation portal, will match your donation to a $500,000 ‘stretch pool’. The percentage of the pool each non-profit receives depends on the percentage of donations they got – the more donations, the higher their percentage. The ‘stretch pool’ funds came from donations made by area businesses and individuals including The Boeing Company, Alaska Airlines, Clark Nuber P.S., Deloitte, Colonial Consulting, KPMG, Safeco Insurance, Starbucks, Tom and Sonya Campion, John Stanton & Theresa Gillespie, Bob and Juanita Watt and the Seattle Foundation.
Non-profits also benefit from hourly drawings of the donors. Some will be selected for a ‘Golden Ticket,’ which adds an additional $1,000 to the gift they make.
When Experts In Giving Share Their Knowledge
Established in 1946, the Seattle Foundation is the oldest and largest community foundation in our region. It manages the charitable giving of more than 1,200 family and individuals, as well as granting another 500 directed bequests. Annually, the Seattle Foundation awards more than $50 million in grants.
“The overall mission is to foster philanthropy,” explained Roske, and GiveBIG comes out of a decision by the Foundation Board of Directors. To encourage and engage community-wide giving, the Board decided to go public, at www.seattlefoundation.org, with the wealth of information the Foundation team collects year ‘round on area non-profits.
The on-line ‘Giving Center’ lists 1,300 area non-profits that work in a diversity of fields including arts & culture, basic needs, economy, education, environment, health & wellness, neighborhoods, etc. If you ever doubt the charitable work being done in our area, review this list and doubt no more. Best of all, each non-profit gets a web page (that it maintains) with information on its mission, contact info, financials – and an evaluation, if it received a Seattle Foundation grant.
“Any organization we give a grant to has an opportunity to be on there,” Roske explained, although the welcome other non-profits. For the 2011 GiveBIG, the list had 1,000 entries. Yet, it also gets some culling. “We’ve gotten cases,” Roske admitted, where they discovered a non-profit doesn’t work locally, or “we can’t authenticate their financials,” and Seattle Foundation will remove it.
When Philanthropy Gets Localized
Included on the list, and in the GiveBIG campaign, are several Fremont based non-profits. A quick review revealed (in no particular order):
- Our new neighbor, Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) officially opens its Northlake Community Wharf & Workshop facility on May 4th. From South Lake Union, the CWB serves as a hands-on maritime museum that preserves historic small craft and maritime culture, and provides instruction – for youth and adult – on sailing, boatbuilding and maritime skills.
- Urban Sparks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that facilitates the creation and improvement of public spaces, particularly through education and/or fiscal sponsorship. Urban Sparks began as a part of creating Fremont’s Peak Park, and another project was the ‘Late for the Interurban’ statue of J.P. Patches & Gertrude.
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Washington & Alaska Chapter, which relocated its offices to Fremont in September 2011, works towards the cure of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life of patients and their families until a cure can be found.
- Stone Soup Theatre is Seattle’s only one-act theatre, and Fremont’s only theater with a theater company. Stone Soup also provides youth arts education through after-school programs, school assemblies, Summer Camps and the Stone Soup Conservatory.
- Solid Ground works to end poverty, and its root causes. Operating approximately 30 programs, the organization that started as the Fremont Public Association, remains focused on assisting the marginalized towards self-sufficiency.
- Since 1999, InterConnection has refurbished previously discarded computers and distributed them to nonprofit organizations around the world.
- A community learning center, Literacy Source, addresses the need for adult education in basic English literacy and life skills, to ultimately promote self-sufficiency using learner-centered instruction.
- The Bastyr Center for Natural Health (located on Stone Way), provides naturopathic health care and clinical education, as a part of Bastyr University. The Center empowers its patients and student doctors, and promotes better health and a higher quality of life.
- Serving more than 4,000 students, Seattle Pacific University provides academic programs to serve undergraduate, graduate, and continuing students. A Christian university, SPU is fully committed to engaging the culture and changing the world by graduating people of competence and character.
- A cherished community resource, Woodland Park Zoo serves an increasingly critical role as an ambassador for wildlife and wild spaces. The Zoo offers hands-on, interactive experiences, powerful up-close encounters with animals, conservation and science education programs aimed to awaken in visitors a sense of the natural world.
- The Wallingford Community Senior Center serves seniors of Fremont, as well as other surrounding communities, with programs that build community across generations and foster healthy, secure, positive aging. An inclusive, vibrant, age-friendly organization, WCSC provides opportunities for social connection & support, health promotion, and learning.
Donations can also be made to many non-profits through GiveBIG – including these others that have had fundraisers and/or projects done in Fremont: Share/Wheel, Treehouse, Gay City Health Project, Crisis Clinic, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, HistoryLink, Catholic Housing Services (Catholic Community Services,) Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Little People of America Puget Sound Chapter 31, NAMI Greater Seattle, UMO Ensemble, Seattle Works, National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Greater NW Chapter, Norse Home, Columbia Lutheran Home, Operation Nightwatch, Seattle Public Library Foundation, Seattle Arts & Lectures, Youth Suicide Prevention Program, Washington News Council, PCC Farmland Trust, Phinney Neighborhood Association, Puget Sound Blood Center, Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre, Seattle Police Foundation, and SANCA (School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts.)
When Given An Opportunity To Give
With this campaign, “The Foundation creates the infrastructure, and a basis, that the non-profits can work from,” Roske explained. The charities can get creative – with special marketing campaigns aimed at new donors, offering rewards for May 2nd donations, and “we’re seeing a lot of the non-profits turning this into an in-person event,” Roske reported, with laptops or SmartPhones available to post donations.
An on-line campaign, GiveBIG specifically taps social media and on-line technology as philanthropic tools. It also requires the use of credit cards, with each donation incurring a 3.99% processing fee plus a $.25 per transaction fee. However, the speed and accurate record of on-line credit card donations makes the campaign a powerful opportunity, particularly for the smaller, unstaffed non-profits.
When An Opportunity Presents To GiveBIG
“Spring is traditionally the time of lowest giving,” for many non-profits, Roske reported. The choice of dates is part of an effort to spark philanthropy in spring, as well as partnering GiveBIG with the Seattle Sounders FC, and its match against the L.A. Galaxy on May 2nd.
The ways to participate, and do something very good, can vary as much as the potential recipients of that generosity. Find out more about GiveBIG through the Seattle Foundation website, its Facebook page or the special GiveBIG blog. This is the day our community, our neighborhood, and our city can – together – GiveBIG!
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©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.