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Giving Tuesday raises more than $210,000
new slt giving tuesday
The top five groups in the Giving Tuesday fundraising event shared an incentive grant from the Golden Belt Community Foundation. Representatives, and the endowed funds they represent are, from left: Shannon Somers, Barton County Pool Endowment; Josh Leu, First Christian Church, Great Bend; Rachel Mawhirter, The Prairie Godmother Funds; Alan Moeder, Heartland Cancer Patient Care and Support; and Sheryl Cheely, Almost Home Inc. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Area endowed funds received a total of $210,780 during  the Golden Belt Community Foundation’s Giving Tuesday event on Dec. 1. The event, also billed as “Give Where You Live,” attracted more than 400 donors to organizations throughout Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties. The total includes a $50,000 match.

Delete-Merge UpChristy Tustin, executive director of the Golden Belt Community Foundation, said the matching grant was distributed in proportion to the amount raised. For every $3 a group brought in on Giving Tuesday, it received about $1 from the matching funds.

The top five organizations to raise the most funds for their endowed funds were: The Prairie Godmother Funds, $19,250; Barton County Pool, $19,185; Heartland Cancer Patient Care and Support, $14,721; Almost Home Inc. , $12,117; and First Christian Church of Great Bend, $8,629. The amounts shown do not include the matching funds they will also receive.
These five organizations all received a portion of a $3,000 incentive grant for raising the most funds.
Rachel Mawhirter, representing The Prairie Godmothers, noted the difference between the top two organizations was less than $100. Every dollar donated counted, she said.
Tustin said gifts ranged from $1 to $12,000.

Rounding out the top 10 organizations by amount raised were: Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors Association, $7,575; Locust Grove Village, $7,415; Holy Family School, $6,641; Santa Fe Trail Center Museum, $6,530; and Rush County Historical Society, $5,700.

Also in the top 20: Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer, $4,191; Sunflower Diversified Services Foundation, $3,775; Meals on Wheels, $3,385; Housing Opportunities Inc., $3,200; Golden Belt Humane Society, $2,725; ElderCare Inc., $2,550; Stafford Community Improvement Fund, $2,275; United Way of Central Kansas, $2,198; Great Bend Zoological Society, $2,095; and Prince of Peace Parish, $1,925.

Efforts to grow the endowments of these participating organizations and increase giving were strategic and goal oriented, Tustin said. The first Giving Tuesday in 2014 raised over $127,000 in the one-day giving event, including $30,000 in that year’s matching pool.
New this year, the foundation opened up donations to be received via mail beginning Nov. 16 through Dec. 1. “We wanted to offer people the option to donate in person on Giving Tuesday or to mail their donations in the event they were not able to make it on Dec. 1. This also opened up the possibility for out-of-state donors to support their favorite organization ‘back home,’” Tustin commented.
The gifts have been designated, matching funds allocated, and incentive grants awarded. In January the GBCF Board of Directors will discuss the 2015 results and the possibility of hosting Giving Tuesday 2016. The GBCF also will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016.