As the holiday shopping season ramps up, a local foundation is set to jump-start the region’s holiday giving season by doubling money given to its nonprofit partners.
“The money is great for the nonprofits — it is very much needed,” said Conny Bogaard. “But we also want to send a message of community philanthropy. We are stronger together, and the power of collective giving is what we want to model.”
Bogaard is executive director of Western Kansas Community Foundation, an organization hosting its annual Match Day on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 3, a charitable holiday aimed at fostering giving in the midst of a traditionally shopping-saturated week. During Match Day, donations from $20 to $2,000 per person per organization are eligible to be matched from a $75,000 pool.
Donors can give online from midnight to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday or in person from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at WKCF headquarters, 402 N. Main St. in Garden City. As extra incentive to donate in person, hourly prize grants will be given throughout the day, drawn from the previous hour’s donors contributing in person, WKCF officials said. Organizations can earn prize grants if they raise the most money or have the most individual donors. Agencies can also earn up to 50% of the pool if contributions to their organization that day equal 50% or more of the total amount raised.
Match Day partners with over 30 area nonprofits. For organizations like Family Crisis Services, 106 W. Fulton St. in Garden City, events like Match Day allow them to meet needs in the community’s most vulnerable populations.
“Events like this help us keep victims housed during their time of crisis,” said Hailey Knoll, executive director. “Funds go toward food and things like activities to keep their mind fresh, instead of worrying about the storm they find themselves in.”
For others, Match Day helps them walk the fine line between providing useful services and closing up shop.
“It affects us 100%,” said Robbin Marsh, CEO of Emmaus House. “Last year when we participated, we were about a month and a half away from closing our doors. It helped us to be able to continue functioning as a food pantry, a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter.”
Now in its third year, match day started with 16 nonprofits participating the first year, a number that grew to 28 the next year and climbed to 34 in 2019. The giving increased as well; Match Day raised $160,000 in its first year and $411,000 the next year, a figure that included funds raised by Wichita County Community Foundation, a WKCF affiliate that runs a parallel program.
Between the two programs, Match Day’s reach extends to 15 counties in western Kansas.