Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Georgia Gives Day offers a chance to help nonprofits keep their lights on

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Volunteers sort food at the Atlanta Community Food Bank

Every day, thousands of nonprofit groups across Georgia work to solve homelessness, protect the environment, and promote the arts - all with little cash to support the mission. Today you can help nearly 2,000 of these groups by participating in Georgia Gives Day. The daylong event organized by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits is modeled after similar efforts in other cities, where the 24-hour fundraising drive has helped raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations.

"Whether or not you realize it, you live the arc of your life in nonprofits," says Karen Beavor, president and CEO of GCN. "You may be born in a nonprofit hospital, walk the dog you adopted from a shelter in a nonprofit park, take your kids to nonprofit daycare and sporting leagues, enjoy the fine arts and nonprofit theater, and in many cases you spend the last days of your life with the care of a nonprofit hospice. These organizations make all of our communities stronger across Georgia, rely heavily on individual donations to continue their work, and it is important to take some time to reflect on how they touch our individual lives and give back what we can."

Know you want to help an organization protect the environment but don't know who should get your cash? GGD has built a website that allows you to search organizations by name, cause area, location, or keyword. It's holding contests throughout the day that could result in your favorite nonprofit becoming eligible for even more funding.

Last month, CL and WABE collaborated on "The Heavy Lift," a four-part series about metro Atlanta's vibrant and vital nonprofit community. Over the course of five weeks, the team:

* looked at the Great Recession's effect on the nonprofit sector, which included insight from the Atlanta Recovery Center and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
* profiled the Atlanta Community Tool Bank, one of metro Atlanta's smallest nonprofits, and CARE, one of its largest organizations.
* documented the work of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, which operates what's considered to be the state's only needle-exchange program.
* spotlighted two people who have played a pivotal role in helping fund nonprofits: Robert Woodruff, the former Coca-Cola executive who started the Woodruff Foundation, and Alicia Philip, president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Starting last year, CL also coordinated the Do Good Campaign, a series of grassroots partnerships that help raise funds for neighborhood-based projects that might not have found the resources otherwise. Up to $2,500 in contributions are matched by the Home Depot Foundation. The cash has helped fix up Oakland Cemetery, spruce up Capitol View Manor, create a pocket park in Old Fourth Ward, and will soon build a greenspace for veterans living in Vine City.

Consider giving. And if you don't have the extra cash, consider volunteering.

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