Op-Ed

Think globally, give charitably, locally

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

Thanks to your generosity, the 2014 GoodGiving Guide Challenge is well on its way to realizing its goal of raising $2 million for 155 Central and Eastern Kentucky charities. Blue Grass Community Foundation is delighted to again partner with Smiley Pete Publishing to host this innovative fund-raiser.

Now in its fourth year, the challenge is an online giving campaign designed to engage the entire community — and to make charitable giving easy, rewarding and fun.

It provides an attractive, user-friendly platform that allows local nonprofits to tell their story and to receive donations from generous supporters. In addition, nonprofits in the challenge also compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and match dollars made possible by the Community Foundation and dozens of public and private partners including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Joe Rosenberg Jewelers, Jenna and Matthew Mitchell, and a coalition of local banks.

Donors are rewarded, too, thanks to local businesses. After giving to the charities of your choice at BGgives.org, you can print coupons for prizes of your choice.

In 2011, the challenge raised $204,000 for 58 local nonprofits. In 2012, the amount raised more than doubled. And in 2013, $1,607,863 was raised for the benefit of 107 local charities. That's an 800 percent increase, and this year, just a little over halfway through the six-week campaign, the challenge has already raised over $1 million.

There is no doubt that our community wants to give back and that the challenge offers the perfect vehicle to do so. But it is more than a way to provide much-needed support for local causes. It also shines a light on the amazing nonprofits that are working so hard to make a real difference, right here, right now, in our own neighborhoods.

Our nonprofits feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, safeguard the environment, protect vulnerable children, teach adults to read, improve our health, ensure the ethical treatment of animals, make the arts accessible to all, and give us all hope for a better future.

And now, thanks to the challenge, donors know who these nonprofits are, what they do, and most importantly, how they can support them.

During all three previous challenges, one third of donors reported that they gave to nonprofits they never supported before, and 12 percent reported giving to nonprofits they learned about only through the challenge. In 2013, 93.5 percent of nonprofits reported receiving challenge gifts that came from new donors.

The 2014 GoodGiving Guide Challenge runs to Dec. 12. Donating is fast and easy. Go to BGgives.org and, with the click of a button, support your favorite charities. While you're there, you might discover nonprofits whose missions speak to you.

At Blue Grass Community Foundation, our mission is to grow charitable giving across Central and Eastern Kentucky. We want to ensure giving is accessible for all so that our communities can be the best places possible to live, learn, work and play.

Join us. Make your donation at BGgives.org, today. And please help us spread the word about the challenge via Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To learn more go to BGgives.org. To learn more about the Community Foundation, contact ladkins@bgcf.org or call 859-225-3343.

Together, we can make a difference.

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