Ky. Voices: Support local non-profits by donating to online challenge

Lisa Adkins is president/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation.
Lisa Adkins is president/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation.

As the holidays approach, it's the perfect time to support the local charities that make our community great. That's why Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing developed the GoodGiving Guide Challenge — to make it easy and fun for the whole community to give. This online giving campaign is a fast, simple way to support 68 local charities.

We're all aware of the importance of buying locally. We believe it's just as important to give locally. We also believe the more people know about our community's needs, and the many excellent local charities serving those needs, the more they'll give. Use your credit card to give online at www.GoodGivingGuide.net.

At the Community Foundation, our mission is to promote charitable giving. We help individuals, businesses and nonprofits channel their resources, establish charitable funds, meet community need and make a difference.

We strive to educate all donors of all means about the amazing local nonprofits making a difference right here, right now, in our own neighborhoods —and to grow a more dynamic pool of well-informed givers.

Last year's inaugural Challenge was a testament to our community's generosity — and to its willingness to get involved and excited about giving. Over 1,500 unique donors made an average gift of $108 to their favorite charities through the Challenge. Our goal was to raise $100,000 for the 58 nonprofits that participated in the Challenge. All told, the 2011 Challenge raised more than twice that — $204,439.

But the 2011 Challenge didn't just provide much-needed support for local charities, it also engaged a new generation of donors. Almost one-third of donors were 35 years of age or younger.

In addition, local businesses and philanthropists provided matching grants and prizes for nonprofits and donors alike. Last year the Community Foundation provided $10,000 in challenge grants to participating nonprofits.This year, we've set our sights even higher. We've expanded the GoodGiving Guide Challenge to include charities in seven central Kentucky counties. And we've increased our goal fourfold, to $400,000. We know we can do it. We know we're an exceptionally generous community.

In celebration of the Blue Grass Community Foundation's 45th anniversary, it is offering $45,000 in quick-start grants to participating nonprofits. The first 10 to raise $4,500 will win a $4,500 matching endowment grant to a new or existing nonprofit endowment fund at the foundation.

At Blue Grass Community Foundation, we're dedicated to the idea that one person can make a powerful impact. But we also know that we have the biggest impact when we work together. Together, we can make a difference.

So get involved and invest in your community. Visit www.GoodgivingGuide.net. Explore this year's 68 participating nonprofits. Make a contribution to your favorites. Win prizes, gifts and discounts from our generous, local business partners. It's a fast, easy way to give local.