One-day crowd-funding event will encourage local giving

local-logoA one-day crowd-funding event designed to encourage local support of local nonprofits is being planned for Billings and the surrounding seven-county region.

Give Local Yellowstone County Valley Region is being hosted by the Billings Community Foundation and will run from noon to 11:59 p.m. on May 3.

Potential donors will be able to go to a website during that period where all participating nonprofits will be listed, along with background information on what they do and the people or communities they serve.

“It’s kind of geared toward the younger generation and building a habit of giving,” said Ralph Spence, a board member and past president of the Billings Community Foundation. “We really want to reach out and hit that particular audience.”

The one-day event is part of a nationwide effort to encourage people to support local nonprofits, expanding on the familiar notions of eating and shopping locally.

Spence said Give Local is relatively new to Montana but has already been done in Missoula, Bozeman, Glendive and the Flathead Valley. Last year, nonprofits in Montana raised $640,000 during Give Local campaigns, he said.

“This will bring a host of nonprofits together at one time for people to check out and, if motivated by what they’re working on to make our lives better, make a donation,” foundation President Teresa Darnielle-Morse said in a press release.

The BCF’s mission is to promote philanthropy and charitable giving in the Billings region and it has about 50 client organizations it works with, Spence said, but this is a fundraiser for those individual agencies, not the foundation.

Nonprofits that work with the foundation support numerous local groups and causes, including the Billings Public Library, Rimrock Opera, Arts Without Boundaries, Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Broadview Community Center and the Stillwater County Library.

The event, however, is open to all nonprofits in the region, not just those already working with the foundation.

You can learn more about the campaign here, and more about the Billings Community Foundation here.

Starting on March 7, nonprofits will be able to begin signing up to participate on a special website that will go live that day. The foundation is partnering with the Kimbia company to provide the website that will be created and used for the 24-hour fundraising event.

The BCF is also looking for sponsors whose donations will be used for cash prizes that will be awarded throughout the day of the event to organizations that reach certain fundraising goals.

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