Nonprofits Ask For Donations During Pledge Drive
By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record
More than 950 nonprofits will participate in this year’s Omaha Gives campaign tomorrow.
The one-day effort, organized by the Omaha Community Foundation, asks the public to pledge $10 or more to nonprofits of their choice making a difference in the community. The foundation also gives prizes to amplify the effect of giving throughout the day.
“It just amplifies the opportunity for your money to go a little bit farther,” said Ally Freeman, communications manager of the Omaha Community Foundation in an interview. “Over 10 percent of the nonprofits participating will win a $1,000 prize.”
Sara Boyd, president and CEO of the Omaha Community Foundation, said Omaha Gives is a day to celebrate, inspire and impact the region’s nonprofit community.
“We’re continually awed by the support and generosity of the donors who choose to give,” Boyd said in a release.
More than 30,000 people have given more than $42 million in unrestricted funds to more than 1,000 nonprofits over the past several years. Freeman said that last year’s campaign brought in about $7.4 million, including nearly $800,000 from 14,261 first-time donors to nonprofits.
“We tell those nonprofits that they know that they’re getting donations from people who have never given to them,” Freeman said. “That is a huge part of how we talk about Omaha Gives with the nonprofits that participate.”
Freeman said the foundation has made it easier to discover new nonprofits on the campaign website, omahagives.org, by making them keyword searchable and by grouping causes into categories.
Many legally minded groups are participating, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, Thomas More Society, Immigrant Legal Center, Veterans Legal Support Network and Legal Aid of Nebraska.
Legal Aid will be soliciting support during a public event from 3 to 7 p.m. at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing. The nonprofit will bring out live entertainment, children’s activities and games.
The Omaha Gives campaign also is working with the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation to offer special prizes to Iowa-based nonprofits serving the metro area. Additionally, Sarpy County residents can search for nonprofits in their communities.
Freeman said individuals have also started hundreds of “cheer pages” where they are challenging members of their social networks to help raise targeted amounts for nonprofits of their choice. These pages are similar to Facebook fundraisers, and they often offer a personal reason for donations.
“We have really worked to make it easier for people to find nonprofits doing work in causes that they are really interested in,” Freeman said. “The nonprofits on the site are really making a difference in our community, and they are serving needs in our community that are unmet. They are addressing challenges in our community.”
Omaha Gives runs 24-hours on Wednesday. Find more information, including a leaderboard, on the omahagives.org website.