Richmond nonprofit donation drive begins

 A marathon donation campaign is under way in Richmond, the first of its kind in California.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday, the Richmond Community Foundation’s “We Give – 2013!” campaign kicked off, a 36-hour, non-stop social media donation drive to benefit city nonprofit organizations. The campaign is at the heart of the foundation’s mission to use philanthropy to build healthy, sustainable communities.

“Nonprofit organizations … in Richmond struggle with reaching out to individual donors,” Jim Becker, Richmond Community Foundation’s vice president of community investments, said. “So we and other community foundations across the country, have come up with this idea of these regional giving campaigns to highlight the work they’re doing and make it easy for donors to find them.”

The campaign uses social media to reach out and attract donors “to support organizations that are making a difference in Richmond,” Becker said.

More than 80 Richmond nonprofits, which offer everything from youth development to senior services, stand to benefit. Potential donors can visit a website, set up by the Richmond Community Foundation , to learn about each nonprofit organization. Becker said every organization completed an application and provided IRS tax documents certified by GuideStar, an information service that reports on nonprofit organizations and verifies that donor money goes to where the donor intends. 

Though the foundation asks for a minimum donation of $25, it will accept any amount. Ninety-three cents of every dollar donated goes to the chosen nonprofit organization, Becker said.

Becker said the goal of the Richmond campaign isn’t a large monetary figure, but a large number of donors.

“We hope to get 5,000 donors to go in and make a gift on the site,” he said, adding that it will also allow for a dialogue to open up between the donor and organization. “It’s not only making the gift, but also learning more about the organization and hopefully making future gifts.”

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