Supporting the Supporters

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Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut

‘‘Everyone can be a philanthropist,” John Lasher, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Warren County (CFWC), told the Jamestown Gazette last week.

Warren Gives is an innovative project that started in 2013 by recognizing the generosity and community spirit of Warren County residents. “That first year we raised $146,194 for area non-profits,” Lasher said. Last year Warren Gives raised $414,000 (which included $40,000 in matching funds) in support of 102 local non-profit community service organizations.

One Great Day

The entire event will cover the span of less than a single day — between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The goal is to raise awareness and appreciation for Warren County non-profits, to encourage new giving and to top last year’s remarkable 16-hour online fund raising achievement. More than 3,600 donations combined to average nearly $26,000 in every hour of giving.

At any convenient time between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., donors will be able to make online contributions to any of this year’s 103 organizations simply by logging on at WarrenGives.org. A list of all the non-profits and vital community organizations is available at http://warrengives.org/organizations-2/. A list of the categories of the non-profit organizations and the number of organizations in each category can be found on page 12 of the May 21st edition of the Jamestown Gazette.

According to CRCF, the specially designed Warren Gives online donation process is secure and makes donating to one or many of a donor’s favorite organizations quick and easy. Warren Gives accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards.  Receipts are e-mailed to donors within minutes.  The minimum donation is $10 to any organization.

A Beautiful Pool

A Contribution Matching Pool of $40,000 made last year’s contributions go even farther than the individual contributions could have on their own.

Matching dollars, according to Lasher, will be distributed proportionally among organizations based on the amount of donations they receive. A bigger contribution sends more match dollars to the organizations that each donor supports. The 2017 match pool was sponsored by the CFWC, Betts Foundation, Blair, DeFrees Family Memorial Fund, Northwest Charitable Foundation, Sara Sokolski Memorial Fund, and United Refining Company. The 2018 match pool is hoped to be even bigger.

All administrative and processing fees are paid by CFWC which guarantees donors that 100% of every donation and match dollar goes directly to the organization which a contributor designates.

Adding Excitement

“We have contests as a part of Warren Gives to add some excitement and interest to the event,” Lasher said.  “One such contest is the “Most States” contest. Organizations compete to see who can raise money from the greatest number of states across the country.  Many of them use advertising, road signs, newsletters and social media campaigns to alert their donors about the event. The Kids In Need Fund, for example, reached out to all Warren County School District Employees and asked them to contribute to Warren Gives on event day.”

Last year the winning organization – Miracle Mountain Ranch – received donations from 31 states. The prize was $100 dollars in addition to the funds they raised.”

Want A Reminder?

The Community Foundation of Warren County will be pleased to email a reminder to anyone who would appreciate it on the event day. Readers can simply go to http://warrengives.org/organizations/1220-2/ and sigh up.

Learn More

Go to Facebook: Warren Gives, contact CFWC and John Lasher at 310 Second Avenue, P.O. Box 691, Warren, PA 16365, call 814-726-9553 or email cfwc@westpa.net.

Lasher added a special note to all Jamestown Gazette readers. “I hope your readers will visit Warrengives.org on May 23 to donate to the organizations they wish to support. We like to say “Everyone Can Be A Philanthropist!”

The Community Foundation of Warren County – For Good…Forever.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.