Here at the Source Weekly, we've been publishing our Central Oregon Give Guide, in its current form, for the past six years. It's been a helpful compendium of local nonprofits, with a description of their services and their year-end needs. This year, with the help of Rys Fairbrother and his online platform, WhatIfWeCould.com, we decided to do something special. Together, we embarked on a collaboration that allows readers to learn about local nonprofits, and then give directly to those nonprofits through our online portal, centraloregongives.com.
- Illustration by Teafly Peterson
In this day and age of global communication, where it's easy to get emotionally engaged with what's going on in New York, Washington or Los Angeles, it's important to remember that we live in Bend, Oregon. It's here that we have collectively agreed to spend our time together—and hopefully it is here that we can collectively make a significant impact and help those who need it the most.
We're very excited about this opportunity that will usher in a new form of online giving for the more than 50 nonprofits that are participating in this inaugural year. I've heard consistently from the nonprofit community that growing a new donor base of younger givers is one of their biggest challenges. This giving program was designed to meet that challenge by making the online platform easy to use, and by incentivizing donors with great prizes from supporting sponsors.
Each week, any donor who gives $25 or more will receive a gift, such as a free pint of beer from Immersion Brewing, Avid Cider or Worthy Brewing, or a coffee drink from Backporch Coffee Roasters, to name a few. The donation will change each week—not unlike a radio support program—and each week we hope to see support for these nonprofits increase.
We were also fortunate to have a donor come forward who will give $25,000 to the nonprofit that raises the most funds through the program. We've already seen several nonprofits that are shifting their year-end giving program to this platform and excitement is building as local companies begin to use their corporate giving programs to help a nonprofit dear to them achieve their year-end financial goals.
I feel very fortunate that Fairbrother came to me a year ago with his unique approach to establishing an online platform to raise awareness for the Central Oregon nonprofit community. At the time, I had been exploring the idea of creating a nonprofit foundation that would allow our publication to accept donated funds and then distribute them, as some publications in other markets have done. Fairbrother was quick to point out the real-time benefits of giving directly through a website that can be set up to track donations and reward donors instantly. It has been his commitment that has made this happen.
This is where you come in. Starting Nov. 14, the online donation process will begin at centraloregongives.com. You can pick up a copy of our Give Guide! in our next issue, or go to our website, read about all of the fabulous nonprofits that are participating this year and decide which ones align with your values and your desire to help. At that point, go to centraloregongives.com and give! Every donation helps and in any given week one of the many sponsors supporting this program will reward you for your good deed.
Check it out at centraloregongives.com
-Aaron Switzer, Source Weekly publisher and founder