Community Foundation of St. Joseph County

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Give Local St. Joseph County

Benefitting Our Local Nonprofits, Now and From Now On

Outside the "Donation Station" at the Morris

The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County has conducted two highly successful giving day events.

Community giving days have become a popular tool for nonprofit fundraising. Most share several characteristics: They're focused on a single city or county; they take place over a short, defined period of time, and they involve many different nonprofit organizations. Finally, they offer a pool of matching funds or prizes that serve as incentives for people to contribute to their favorite charities.

Because the Community Foundation's primary mission is to build permanent endowment for our community, we designed Give Local St. Joseph County with our own special twist. Our goal was to help participating charities both now and from now on by combining current support and an endowment piece, in order to generate permanent future support. Our model called for passing through 75% of net dollars raised directly to each participating charity, while placing the remaining 25%—plus a proportional share of a multi-million dollar matching pool—into that charity’s endowed fund.

The response was amazing!

Our first Give Local St. Joseph County event on May 5, 2015, offered 53 local charities a $2 million matching pool, attracting $5.2 million in gifts for a total result of over $6.7 million.  St. Joseph County ranked third nationally among the 180 communities that participated in Give Local America.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, the Community Foundation conducted Give Local St. Joseph County again on May 9, 2017. Thanks to a lead gift of $1 million from the Judd Leighton Foundation and major gifts from a small group of committed donors, we were able to offer a total matching pool of $2.4 million.

Incredibly, the results were even more amazing. Local citizens gave over 9,500 gifts, leading to a final result of over $8.2 million to benefit 67 local charities. Top fundraisers included the Center for Hospice Care, the Women’s Care Center, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County, YMCA of Michiana, Hope Ministries, and South Bend Civic Theatre. You can view our final Give Local St. Joseph County 2017 numbers here.

Thanks to Give Local St. Joseph County, dozens of local charities are receiving additional annual support they can rely on. The Community Foundation will continue to look for creative ways to help our community’s best charities become stronger by growing their endowed funds.