It’s the time of year when charities are holding their year-end fundraising drives, and while not all of us have a lot to give, most of us have at least a little to spare.
Fortunately there’s a way to give – whether it’s a lot or a little – to more than one worthy cause at the same time. It’s called the Napa Valley Give! Guide.
This year’s magazine contains descriptions of 46 local nonprofits and gives you the chance to help any, some, or all of them with a single donation. Many of them have business partners offering matching donations or special deals for donors. Saturday donors are entered into a raffle for a prize.
The guide, modeled after one in Portland, Ore., raised $960,000 in its first four years. It crossed the $1 million mark in November, and had already raised $130,000 this year, as of Friday, volunteer Amy Garden told us.
The nonprofits that serve the Upvalley are We Care Animal Rescue, Sunrise Horse Rescue, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, St. Helena Preschool For All, Upper Valley Girl Scouts, Girls on the Run Napa & Solano, Ole Health, NEWS, and The Pathway Home serving returning veterans.
We talked to Sue and Stu Clark, volunteers at We Care Animal Rescue, who said the Give! Guide helps spread the word about the as many as 250 cats and five dogs that live at the no-kill shelter.
We Care’s entry also includes a testimonial from a happy adopter, a photo of a cute cat, contact information, and matching donations from an anonymous donor, the late Susan Wren and her husband Bill, and Old Republic Title.
Julio Olguin of St. Helena Preschool for All said he’s hoping to raise enough to provide one scholarship to a local 3- or 4-year-old to attend preschool, at an average cost of $4,500. Last year his nonprofit collected $3,000 through the Give! Guide, and they’ve already raised $3,100 this year.
But aside from the money, the Give! Guide raises awareness and gets the different organizations on the radar of potential donors, even if they don’t necessarily donate this December. It also provides the nonprofit staff or volunteers a one session professional training on how to promote their nonprofit on social media.
Each participating nonprofit is responsible for contributing a raffle prize and helping promote the guide. This collaboration is a valuable networking opportunity that builds connections among the nonprofit community.
We’ve written before about the constant need to strengthen our community fabric, and to interweave the fibers that bind together our valley-wide neighborhood. The Give! Guide provides a convenient and informative way to do that.
It’s especially valuable in the run-up to Christmas, when a lot of us are scrambling to buy gifts for our loved ones. The Give! Guide is a chance to extend that spirit of giving to the entire community.
Why not choose an amount you can afford, sit down as a family, browse through the guide, and talk about how to divvy up your donation in a way that reflects your family’s values? Even if you only have $100 to spare, you can give $10 to 10 nonprofits.
Are you passionate about kids? Animals? The environment? Veterans? All of the above? The Give! Guide allows you to turn that passion into activism and to reflect on the true meaning of giving, which is about a lot more than just wrapped presents under a tree.
There’s a strict deadline of Dec. 31 to donate through the Give! Guide, although you can still donate directly to the nonprofits year-round. The Napa Valley Give! Guide is a project of Napa Valley CanDo.
To learn more, visit NVGiveGuide.org. Spread some cheer and give today.