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Giving Tuesday features fun 'election'
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The Golden Belt Community Foundation office in Great Bend is one place to celebrate Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29. GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin, left, and Communications and Program Coordinator Megan Barfield are shown with some of the Giving Tuesday decorations. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

There should be a name for the six-day period that starts on the fourth Thursday of November. After all, five of the days are already tagged: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now Giving Tuesday. (Sunday is still Sunday, thank goodness.)
Now in its fifth year, Giving Tuesday has become a global holiday to kick off the giving season. The Golden Belt Community Foundation introduced the idea to central Kansas two years ago, and it has paid off for dozens of philanthropic endeavors, according to GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin. Her office is the 2016 Giving Tuesday headquarters for Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties.
Here’s a quick tutorial on all that’s new and what you need to know:

Where to Give
On Nov. 29, Golden Belt Community Foundation will accept gifts for 70 different endowment funds at its office, located at 1307 Williams St. in Great Bend, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will accept donations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at four other locations:
• The Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, 123 N. Main, Hoisington
• E-Z Mart, 1409 Main, La Crosse
• Sweets ‘n Eats, 422 Broadway St., Larned
• Courthouse Annex, 210 E. 3rd St., St. John

Where to Celebrate
The public is also invited to join the GBCF in celebrating its 20th anniversary that evening at the Columbus Club, 723 Main, Great Bend, from 5-7 p.m.

Where to Vote
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday and to celebrate its 20th Anniversary, the GBCF will award $20,000 in grants across the four counties. A $5,000 grant to one program or project within each of Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties will be selected by donors.
“We selected programs or projects, some of which are larger, ongoing projects, that we knew needed funding, or projects that would enhance the community,” stated Tustin.
Individuals over the age of 18 are encouraged to vote for their favorite program or project in person at any of the giving locations, or all day at the GBCF office on Nov. 29. Folks are on the honor system; limit one vote for person.
The choices on the ballot are:

Barton County
• Kansas Wetlands Education Center — Playscape
• Hoisington GPS Kids Club — Playground
• Ellinwood Rotary — Splash Pad
• United Way of Central Kansas — Imagination Library

Pawnee County
• Jordaan Memorial Library — 3D Printer
• Rozel Pride — Scoreboard for ballpark
• USD 496 Pawnee Heights — Aquaponic System
• Pawnee County 4-H — SPIN Club

Rush County
• La Crosse — Swings for city park
• McCracken — Merry-go-round
• USD 403 Otis-Bison — Computer Drafting Class
• Walnut Creek Extension District — Drone

Stafford County
• Stafford — Playground
• USD 350 St. John-Hudson — ZipKrooz
• Hudson — Playground
• Macksville — Merry-go-round
Giving Tuesday celebrates generosity, said Megan Barfield, communications and program coordinator at the GBCF. She encourages people to participate in the event by voting whether they give or not. And she encourages people to give if they can, whether they choose one of the GBCF endowed funds or some other cause.
People can also vote at the GBCF 20th anniversary celebration on Tuesday. Voting will end at 7 p.m.

Matching Funds
Those who participate in Giving Tuesday will expand the power of their gift, in more ways than one.
Just like the prior two years, the foundation raised funds to match Giving Tuesday donations, Tustin said. There are two match pools: at least $40,000 for organization/area of interest endowments, and at least $10,000 for county-wide endowments.
Matching funds are awarded in proportion to the total amount raised on Giving Tuesday. For example, if Fund A raises 10 percent of all gifts received, then Fund A receives 10 percent of the matching funds pool. While all gifts are added to the permanent endowment funds, all matching funds will be granted directly to the organizations or communities.

Cyber options
A complete list of the endowed funds can be viewed on the Giving Tuesday Donation Form that can be found on the GBCF’s website. New for 2016, donations may be made online at, as well as by mail and in-person. When donating online, credit card processing fees do apply.

Why to support endowment funds
Endowment funds provide a source of long-term support for local organizations and causes in area communities, Tustin said. “Giving to endowments is a great way to support an organization long-term and to ensure that it will have the resources necessary to continue serving our communities well into the future.”

About Golden Belt Community Foundation
At $19.70 million in total assets and more than 175 funds under management, Golden Belt Community Foundation has been connecting people who care to causes that matter since 1996. Golden Belt Community Foundation exists to provide non-profit organizations in central Kansas with a permanent source of support and to serve as a vehicle for charitable giving for donors. For more information about Golden Belt Community Foundation, call 620-792-3000 or visit their website at