Community Foundation of the Ozarks to Host May 5th Online Only Day of Giving

Mar 31, 2015

Tuesday May 5th from midnight –midnight, The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, along with its affiliate foundations in communities across southern Missouri, will host the inaugural Give Ozarks/ Day of Giving, an online only opportunity for donors to contribute to a favorite non- profit CFO managed fund.   In this, the first feature in a series of Making a Difference reports leading up to and following the May 5th event, producer Mike Smith has a brief history of Giving Days, and talks with a representative of the Knight Foundation about its role in supporting them.  You’ll also hear from the President of the Greater St. Louis Community foundation about its first Giving Day in 2014, and the President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks will touch on training Day of Giving volunteers.  www.giveozarks.org

Bahia Ramos is Director of Community Foundations at the Knight Foundation
Credit Knight Foundation

  Bahia Ramos is Director of Community Foundations at The Knight Foundation:  “Having an occasion when everyone is a philanthropist for a day really spurs a lot of energy and builds good morale within a community.  The whole act of crowd funding for a day allows those non-profits to have more visibility, but it also allows anyone to engage and support at whatever level they can on that day.  So all their energy is fueled around this great moment in time and it creates an opportunity for non-profits to touch a wider audience that isn’t part of their service demographic or of the service they provide to the community.”

Bahia Ramos says The Knight Foundation signed on early to support the concept of Giving Days: “We used 9 community foundations is 2012 to test to see if this thing was actually a thing. If this was something that could click with audiences and it the feedback we got was Yes it Did!  We have since supported 18 Giving Days over the last 2 years (2013-14) and we’ve raised about 32 million dollars.”

It should be noted Knight Foundation Giving Day grants are awarded only in the 26 cities and communities where its newspapers are published but nationally a number of non-profits were awarded an alternate form of support.  Bahia Ramos: “What community foundations and people who ran Giving Days needed, was some kind of peer network to tap into to share best ideas with, and also a playbook to coalesce all these best practices and put them in an open source place where you can search and learn along the way.  So we did that!”

Amelia Bond is President and CEO of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation
Credit Greater St. Louis Community Foundation

  In early May 2014 community foundations around the country coordinated their efforts and using the KIMBIA on-line fundraising platform, raised 53 million dollars to support the local causes of some 7,000 non-profits.  Amelia Bond, President and CEO of the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation shares her experience with Give STL Day: “Last year was our first year of participating in a Day of Giving, and during the day we raised 1.1 million dollars and had 14,000 individual gifts that day.  We spent a lot of time last year rallying and educating the non-profits and getting them involved. It is fun to watch the momentum build.  It was something between a cross of holding an election and holding a wedding.  We spent a lot of time training the non-profits on social media and giving them all the tools and language.  Many of the non-profits haven’t used Facebook or twitter so we did a lot of education, and quite frankly, it’s the modern era way of fundraising.”

Brian Fogle is President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.  He says CFO began planning for the May 5th Give Ozarks Day of Giving over a year ago.  In November at the SGF Art Museum this producer attended CFO’s introductory training session for Day of Giving volunteers and recorded Fogle welcoming the group:  “I look out and see the talent in this room and think we can change the world with everybody in this room, and as a matter of fact I think we DO change the world with everybody in this room.”      

Brian Fogle is President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks

  In a phone conversation recorded in early March for Making a Difference, Fogle said this:  “We’ve been having lots of training on social media, and providing templates on how they might do it.  The key to this is each of our participating non-profits have to do their own outreach, marketing and promotion. Again, most of this will be done on social media but to get the donors to their favorite non-profit and their cause, they’re going to have to do their marketing and that’s the key.”                                                                                    

From midnight to midnight May 5th at giveozarks.org, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks will use Cause Momentum, its own on-line fundraising platform to deliver your donation to your favorite area of interest in your favorite area of the Ozarks.  For information on Community Foundation of the Ozarks affiliates:  cfozarks.org.  In mid-April on the next Making a Difference Where You Live, we’ll visit with a few of the non-profits taking part in the May 5th Give Ozarks/Day of Giving…