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Monday, April 10, 2017

The Power of Philanthropy:

GiveGood

With Give for Good, anyone can become a philanthropist

Helping others has never been easier. The fourth annual Give for Good hosted by The Community Foundation of Northwest Louisiana (CFNL) will take place on May 2, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. The 24-hour day of online fund-raising for area nonprofits (giveforgoodnla.org) has evolved to include early scheduled gifts, individual campaigns for favorite nonprofits and live fund-raising events.

No matter what tugs at your heart strings, Give for Good has a participating nonprofit for you to support that will make an impact in our community. Children’s health and human services, animal rescue agencies, food banks, education and arts organizations all participate making it hard to choose from the worthy organizations.

“The biggest news this year is we have a new technology partner, CiviCore,” said Jennifer Steadman, director of external relations at CFNL. “With our new partner, we are also able to offer two new features: scheduled gifts and campaigns.”

The Community Foundation selected a new technology partner after technology problems last year threatened to shut down the system. Despite those problems, area donors rallied to make 2016 the most successful Give for Good to date.

The two new features should make giving even easier and should accommodate many methods of fund raising. “Scheduled gifts allow donors to go ahead and enter their gifts for May 2, up to two weeks in advance,” Steadman said. “Beginning April 18, donors can visit the Give for Good Web site at www.giveforgoodnla.org and give to the nonprofits of their choice. The donations will be held until May 2, when the actual transaction is processed.”

Another new feature called Campaigns allows anyone to start their own platform to encourage others to give to a particular nonprofit. “Campaigns allow for donors to fund raise on behalf of their favorite nonprofit,” Steadman said. “Similar to other crowdsourcing Web sites, Campaigns allow individuals to create personalized fund-raising pages. Donors can be very specific as to why they are raising money for the organization and can really share personal sentiments about the importance of a particular nonprofit’s services. Campaigns can be created anytime between now and May 1. People can find examples on how to create a Campaign and tell their own story on our Web site.”

Janet Mentesane, executive director at MLK Health Center and Pharmacy, is looking forward to the momentum created by this year’s event. “Give for Good is a fabulous opportunity for area nonprofits to raise unrestricted dollars for programs or critical capital expenses,” she said. “It is also an avenue for more people to become aware of all the services nonprofits provide in our community. We plan to utilize our Give for Good funds in 2017 to support our Building a Better Recipe for Life wellness and prevention programming in Northwest Louisiana.”

The Bossier Council on Aging is also participating this year with a very specific goal. “We are looking to purchase a vehicle for Meals on Wheels,” said executive director Tamara Crane. “Meals on Wheels provides meals for home-bound seniors. The vehicle we are now using is 13 years old, and we need something better and more efficient.”

Bernie Bitting, director of development for Easter Seals, is also excited about the potential for funds and awareness. “Give for Good will help us sponsor as many kids with disabilities as we can at Camp Hardtner. We are also using these funds to start a new autism program called PEERS. PEERS is a program where we will teach children with autism – and their parents – how to make friends and how to keep friends.”

There are also a variety of animal rescue programs participating. Louisiana Baby Mommas is in need of medical equipment. Jean Johnson runs the group, and she said, “We need another incubator for our special-needs babies. We just finished raising four premature Chihuahuas with no hair. They only weighed an ounce and a half when we got them. They shouldn’t even be alive, but with temperature control and the right oxygen level, they made it. We just do things most people won’t touch. One of our cleft palate babies is going back for his final exam this week, and then he’s going to be adopted.”

The North Louisiana Military Support Foundation is also a Give for Good nonprofit. Kattie Hollay organizes the program, and she said the funds contributed on May 2 will help pay for events. “Our military families, they serve, too,” she said. “Some of the things we do are provide money for family days. A lot of the reserve units have to pay out of pocket. We just want to let these families know that they are important, too, and their sacrifices make all the difference.”

Give for Good is also celebrated by area nonprofits with their own live fund-raising events throughout the area. Since 2014, more than $4.5 million has been raised for area nonprofits through the Give for Good Web site. No funds received are retained by the Community Foundation for the benefit of the foundation.

Susan Reeks

MORE INFORMATION:

A list of participating nonprofits and events can be found at www. giveforgoodnla.org. More information is available at the Community Foundation Web site at www.cfnla.org/giveforgood by calling 221-0582.

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