Utahns can give where they live during March 22 online fundraising effort
Mar 09, 2013 (Standard-Examiner - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Nonprofits and schools are bracing for the fallout of the federal government's budget-cutting sequestration.
But here in Utah, the light at the end of the funding tunnel may be something called Love UT Give UT.
That's an online effort, set for March 22, when everyone in Utah will be asked to give a little that will help accomplish a lot when added all together.
"If people are concerned about what's going on in their communities and the potential loss of support for some very crucial organizations in our state, then supporting those organizations is important," said Fraser Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation of Utah, which is sponsoring the effort.
"One important theme is to give where you live."
Nelson said the effort will benefit 368 Utah organizations as of Friday.
"Nonprofits and schools of every size and every variety of budgets ... are involved."
She said the largest nonprofit on the roster is the Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab with an annual budget of $44 million.
"We would love nothing more than if people recognize that a great way to support those organizations would be to give through Love UT Give UT."
The advantage to donating to a nonprofit or school during the online effort is that there will be matching grants and opportunities for organizations to win additional funding as a result of the number of donations they receive.
Nelson said corporations, organizations and individuals have offered to match donations made that day. Some companies have offered to match employee gifts.
"Flying J will match employees' gifts, up to (a total of) $50,000," she said. "In Ogden, the Bill Phillips estate is giving money to a number of groups he supported in his lifetime. Weber Pathways is one of them."
Leaders of Ogden-area nonprofits are excited about the opportunity to raise funds that day.
Lynne Goodwin, executive director of Ogden's Treehouse Children's Museum, said the museum will hold a party the night of March 22 to celebrate.
"We're encouraging parents to talk about philanthropy and what that means.
"We've emailed members who are donors and our board," she said, explaining that the emails ask for donations March 22. "We encourage them, in turn, to email to their friends who are interested."
She said different incentives will help the effort for the Treehouse on that day.
"If we raise $300 in the first hour, then we have a company that will match that," she said. "We have some doubling of gifts. We have autographed copies of books. If a family gives, they will get that book."
Chris Zimmerman, executive director of the Weber School Foundation, another benefactor of the online event, said Love UT Give UT is an "outstanding concept."
"We often rely on our corporations and our foundations to be our donors that help us get through the year," he said. "With the concept of Love UT Give UT, they are asking everyone to step up in just a small way and support their favorite nonprofit. With the concept of their website, they are making it easy for people to step up."
To participate or for information, visit loveutgiveut.org.
The website has a search engine for Utah residents to type in their ZIP codes to find out which nonprofits and schools near them are participating.
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