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Big GIVE Month Raises More Than $300,000 for Area Groups

Big GIVE Month Raises More Than $300,000 for Area Groups

The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation’s Big GIVE campaign, Oct. 12-Nov. 12, yielded big results for area organizations.

Donors pledged and contributed more than $307,500 to 36 different funds administered by GPCF. This was the first year for a month-long fund drive, which emphasized donor participation and was further stimulated by matching challenges offered by private donors, local businesses, the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, and several non-profit organizations themselves.

“Donors responded well to the matching challenges and to the extended time to actively engage with area organizations,” reports GPCF Community Relations Coordinator Delphina Baumann. “The results reflect the passion that people have for these non-profit groups.  We are so grateful for the generosity our community has shown during Big GIVE month and throughout the year.”

The Central Park improvement project raised more than $37,000 that was doubled by a dollar-for-dollar challenge from an anonymous donor. The park project also benefitted from two $1,000 challenges for highest level of participation and most dollars raised during Big GIVE, as well as an Imagine Grinnell challenge.

The Grinnell-Newburg Educational Excellence fund (GNEE) won four of the matching incentives. GNEE was the beneficiary of matching challenges for the greatest number of online donations on opening and closing days of Big GIVE. The school district’s foundation was also placed in two drawings and won $1,000 each for 100 percent board participation and for creating their own challenge to donors during Big GIVE.

“The boards of many organizations worked very hard to go after the challenge dollars, and it was fun to see friendly competition for great causes,” Baumann said. “We saw individuals making several donations throughout the month to match incentives that would benefit a particular cause, while other individuals split their gifts between organizations so the impact could be spread among groups they cared about.”

As the holiday season approaches, opportunities to support those less fortunate are also plentiful for year-end contributions. Tiger Packs and Kids Against Hunger are two hunger awareness and food insecurity programs supported by donations to funds at GPCF.

“We continue to work to raise awareness of hunger and food insecurity in our community,” said Baumann. “Our challenge is to combat hunger and the related issues that affect people, such as the importance of meeting standards for third grade level reading. We know that kids can’t learn to their fullest potential if their basic needs aren’t being met.”

The mission for Kids Against Hunger (KAH) is to reduce hunger around the world through local volunteers working together to package food. The Grinnell board of KAH coordinates four community-wide packaging events each year where teams assemble meals that are shipped domestically and internationally. Between 2006 and 2015, Grinnell KAH packaged more than 650,000 meals. Baumann noted that KAH received an extra $500 from the Blast Off challenge because a KAH supporter made the first online donation at midnight on Oct. 12.

Tiger Packs also benefitted from a matching challenge when Dental Associates matched $1,000 in contributions that totaled more than $2,000.  Tiger Packs provides a take home bag of kid-friendly, nutritious food each Friday during the school year to local pre-kindergarten-high school students for use on weekends when they do not have access to the school lunch program. This year, nearly 200 students—all of whom qualify for the school district’s free and reduced meal program—receive the food packs confidentially.

Donors to any of the funds and projects of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation may specify which funds they wish to support and send checks to GPCF, P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, Ia., 50112, donate online at www.greaterpcf.org, or contact Baumann at 641-236-5518.

The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) is a non-profit organization that assists donors in supporting local non-profit organizations to make life better for people in the area.  The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation partners with GPCF to provide back office support services through the foundation’s Community Support Services (CSS) program to achieve greater efficiency and increased organizational capacity by sharing office space and administrative services.

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