The Community Foundation of Dickinson County’s fourth annual Donate Dickinson County takes place March 18.
The event, which allows people to donate funds to local nonprofit organizations and have those donations matched by up to $5,000 by the community foundation, runs all day Friday.
Director Elizabeth Weese said there would likely be more than 30 nonprofits taking part in the event by the time it takes place. A nonprofit must have an account with the community foundation in order to take part.
“They have to have an endowed fund with the community foundation,” she said.
Weese said she hoped all the matching funds were given away by the end of the event.
“I would like to be able to give out all of our match,” she said. “We have $100,000 in match money and how we’re going to do it is up to $5,000 per organization.”
The matching funds are in part due to a donation of $50,000, according to the Donate Dickinson County website.
The matching funds will be offered to nonprofits “on a first come, first serve” basis until the matching funds have run out, Weese said.
“Until monies are exhausted, we will match up to $5,000,” she said.
Much of the event will be online at www.donatedickinson.com/ and in drive-thru format at 418 NW Third St. in Abilene.
“This year, the Bennington State Bank is occupying the front of the building,” Weese said. “So they are being gracious enough to allow us to use the drive-thru for that day. This event originally started out as an in-person event and all of the nonprofits were supposed to be able to come and have a little booth. So it was kind of a trade show for the nonprofits and then people could come in and pick up their slip of paper and visit the nonprofits and donate to as many as they wanted to. When 2020 hit, we kind of had to move everything virtual and we used the drive-thru window. But the bank wasn’t in this building at the time and it just worked out so great that year that we did it again the next year and we’re going to do it again this year. I would say most people donate online.”
This event was started to help local nonprofits save money, Weese said.
“It is extremely hard for these nonprofit organizations to save for their future,” she said. “They are trying to pay the bills and keep the lights on and do programming throughout the year, so for them to save obviously is hard. So that really is what match day is all about — it’s being a savings account for these nonprofits for sustainability for the future. And a their endowment grows, obviously the amount of money that they will receive each year from the community foundation will increase.”
From a statistical standpoint, Weese said, about 8 percent of any nonprofit’s operational budget ought to come from an endowed fund such as the funds offered through the community foundation.
“That’s the beauty of the community foundation,” she said. “We can hold these funds.”
A full list of participating nonprofits can be found at www.donatedickinson.com/ online where donations can also be submitted the entire day March 18. People can also use the drive-thru at 418 NW Third St. to drop off their donations in person during business hours March 18.
To donate and have a nonprofit receive matching funds, donations must be presented during the event.
“I just hope everybody is feeling generous on donate day and supporting as many organizations as they can,” Weese said. “All that money is staying local in Dickinson County which is extremely important for our community and our community’s quality of life and the longevity of what we’re trying to do.”