Give Local St. Joseph County
Community giving days have become a popular tool for nonprofit fundraising. Generally, they’re focused on a single city or county, take place over a short period of time, and involve many different charities. Often, they offer a pool of matching funds or prizes that serve as incentives for people to contribute.
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 for 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 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, we 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 had a total matching pool of $2.4 million.
The results were even more amazing: Local citizens gave over 9,500 gifts, leading to more than $8.2 million to benefit 67 local charities. Top fundraisers included Center for Hospice Care, 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.