‘Warren Gives’ fundraiser counts on online donors

A new fundraising initiative through the Community Foundation of Warren County is coming in May.

On May 8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Foundation will host “Warren Gives,” an exclusively online fundraising event.

According to a press release, a new website has been designed, warrengives.org, to facilitate the effort.

This year, the foundation has connected with over 100 organizations, based on prior relationships. Organizations that have existing accounts with the foundation, or have received grants in the last three years, are eligible to participate.

“Our goal is to generate $100,000 in donations, which will receive an additional $20,000 match from the Community Foundation of Warren County and DeFrees Family Memorial Fund,” said Bob Crowley, who serves on the foundation’s board of directors.

On the day of the event, donations will be tallied throughout the day and, at the end of the event, matching funds will be proportionally divided based on the amounts generated by each group. Essentially, the more donations raised by the organizations, the larger their match will be.

Ines Nelson, the event coordinator for the foundation, said at a workshop on Thursday evening in the Slater Room at Warren Public Library that the event will “almost be like a shopping experience for donors.”

Event planners also are optimistic that the event will bring in new donors. Hopeful that the format will appeal to younger generations, Crowley said the foundation is “hoping to generate a new cadre of donors for all of us.”

“We are excited to bring this new fund-raising method to our community and look forward to raising awareness for the organizations that make Warren County a special place to live, while generating a much needed financial boost,” Dr. Charles McKenzie, foundation executive director, said. “Most importantly, the event should help people learn how easy, quick and secure donating online can be.”

The Erie Community Foundation hosted Erie Gives last August and raised over $1 million to support approximately 200 organizations. “Online fund-raising events are becoming popular around the state and the country,” according to the press release. Pittsburgh has a similar event.

According to warrengives.org, the minimum donation for the event will be $25 and persons can make up to 10 donations per transaction.

More information about the event can be obtained from visiting the website or emailing info@warrengives.org.

“Let’s look forward to seeing what we can do as a community for this event,” Nelson said. “We’re in our first year. Let’s see what we can make of it. (We live in) such generous communities. It’s just amazing.”