Warren Gives event starts Wednesday

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry The seventh annual Warren Gives event will be help from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday. Those looking to donate, and have their donations stretched by a matching fund, are encouraged to go to www.warrengives.org.

Over six years, Warren Gives has raised almost $2 million for local organizations and helped by matching about 10 percent of those private contributions.

From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, donors can go online and pick and choose from 106 local entities and contribute as little as $10 to as much as they can.

“Warren County Gives means that 106 organizations that serve Warren County and its residents have an opportunity to raise a lot of money in one day,” Community Foundation of Warren County Executive Director John Lasher said.

As people donate, their money is stretched by the presence of a matching fund sponsored by: the Betts Foundation, Blair, the Community Foundation, the DeFrees Family Memorial Fund, Northwest Charitable Fund, Sara Sokolski Memorial Fund, Superior Tire and Rubber Corp., and United Refining Company.

“We have $40,000 in matching funds,” Lasher said.

Those funds are distributed to the organizations that receive donations by percentage. For example, if an entity receives 4 percent of the donations, it will also receive about 4 percent of the $40,000 matching fund.

The percentages may not be exact because single donations of over $1,000 are only matched for the first $1,000.

Donors may give to multiple organizations.

In addition to the matching fund, there are special prizes for organizations.

“We’re continuing the ‘most states’ prize,” Lasher said. “The organization that gets donations from the most states will receive $100.”

The second most will bring in $50. The record so far is 42 states.

This year, “every organization with donations from 15 or more states will receive $25,” he said.

And, there are incentives for the organizations that make the biggest percentage gains over last year. The three new organizations are ineligible, but the three organizations that have the biggest improvement, by percentage, will bring back special prizes of $100, $75, and $50, respectively.

“We’re trying to give some of the smaller organizations a chance at some prizes,” Lasher said.

There is also a mystery prize that will be announced and awarded during a check presentation event later.

For those who do not have internet access or are uncomfortable with the donation process, there are entities throughout the county offering help. The office of the Community Foundation, 310 Second Ave., Warren, has a computer that will be dedicated to Warren Gives donations on Wednesday and staff will be available to help those who need it.

Donors who think they might forget may set up reminders through www.warrengives.org.

“There will be regular updates on our Facebook, the Community Foundation website, and the Warren Gives page,” Lasher said.