Washington County “Day of Giving” announced

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Nonprofit organizations across Washington County will have a new opportunity to raise extra money in a one-day, Web-based challenge next year based on similar events that have met with great success in Pittsburgh, Erie and across the country.


Washington County Community Foundation on Thursday announced it will sponsor a “Day of Giving” and offer a prorated $100,000 in matching money to charities that sign on to the fundraiser, which will be held over one 12-hour period at no cost to them, said Betsie Trew, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer.


“There is tremendous potential for all of us,” Trew said.


There are more than 300 tax-exempt charities across Washington County that are eligible to take part in the Sept. 10, 2013, event. All they need is an email address and to certify they comply with the federal charitable organization law and related rules and regulations.


The foundation made a considerable investment to update its website, www.wccf.net, to accept donations on behalf the other nonprofits, not only on the day of giving, but at any time of the year, through its WCCF Gives initiative, Trew said.


As for the one-day event, the foundation has elected not to accept donations, she said.


“This should be all about giving rather than receiving,” she added.


The Washington-based organization has worked closely in developing its event with the Erie County Community Foundation, which took in $1.1 million in donations for participating charities during its last day of giving. The Washington foundation has set a goal to raise $400,000 in its first attempt at the event, Trew said.


Nonprofits that promote these fundraisers need to involve themselves with social media, including Twitter and Facebook, she said.


“The charities that embrace this through Twitter will be more successful than those who don’t,” she said.


As an added bonus, the foundation will offer marketing training to the organizations that take part in the project, which was announced a year in advance to give the charities time to register and get involved, she said.


Through the initiative, the foundation hopes to increase charitable giving in the county, move current check-writing donors toward online giving, help charities attract new donors and reach a younger generation of donors comfortable with the Internet.


Chapman Foundation and Washington Financial have each contributed $25,000 toward the matching fund.


The day of giving will build excitement to support nonprofits, “particularly the smaller charities with no mechanism for Web-based giving and no development staff,” stated Brian J. Smith, Washington Financial president and chief executive officer.


“In addition to providing our communitywith a Web-based vehicle through which charitable donations may be collected efficiently, effectively and securely, WCCF Gives is sure to build excitement in the community for this county-wide Day of Giving,” he added.


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