By JESSICA WETZLER
Daily News-Record 6/22/20
For the last two years, local nonprofits have turned to the community for a day of online fundraising, known as the Great Community Give. But during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and budget cuts, this year’s day of giving, set for Wednesday, is more crucial than ever.
“Nonprofits are really needing the funding this year,” said Revlan Hill, executive director of The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, which hosts the Great Community Give. “Many have had to cancel their fundraising events and some haven’t even gotten back to serving their mission, so nonprofits are in a different state from previous years.”
For Anicira Veterinary Center, $50 could provide two animals with full veterinary care for a year.
As little as $10 would provide materials needed for “littles” to stay connected with their “bigs” by mail at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
And a donation to the Central Valley Habitat for Humanity would go toward buying framing boards to build a house. One $10 donation equals one framing board, and 300 framing boards are needed to build a house.
There are 102 organizations asking for donations of any amount to help their cause and give back to the community, and a day like the Great Community Give helps to make those dreams a reality. Of those 102 participants, 18 are newcomers seeking assistance for the first time.
“If we each do what we can, we can do some amazing things for the nonprofits who work each and every day to serve our community,” Hill said.
A donation to the Family Life Resource Center, which helps children, adults and couples with behavioral health needs, would go toward the center’s scholarship fund that allows those who can’t afford counseling to get help.
For Massanutten Regional Library, a donation could alleviate the more than $20,000 in accrued fines that have been eliminated from patron accounts in response to COVID-19.
And as personal protective equipment remains a necessity, a $100 donation to The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham, which serves those with intellectual and development disabilities, would help pay for PPE for a community engagement team of four.
The Community Foundation has set of goal of $600,000 for local nonprofits, and Hill said she hopes to hear from 4,500 donors on Wednesday.
To encourage people to give, The Community Foundation is putting up $70,000 in incentives to be awarded to nonprofits, in addition to the money they raise.
Grand prizes will be based on most individual donations, as well as most money raised, with first place earning $6,000, second place earning $4,000 and third place earning $2,000. To level the playing field, nonprofits participating have been split into two classes — small nonprofits with revenue under $500,000 and medium to large nonprofits with revenue above $500,000.
There will also be hourly prizes of either $1,000 or $1,500, alternating between a combination of most individual donors, most money raised and a golden ticket random prize of $500.
Nonprofits with 80% of their boards donating by 4 p.m. will be eligible to win an additional $ 3,000, Hill said.
To make it easier to donate to multiple participants, Hill said a new addition this year is a cart feature on the Great Community Give website. In the same way a to-go order is placed online, donors can add a number of donations to their cart and check out once finished.
The Great Community Give will run from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.