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‘More than ever’

Organizers know Wednesday’s Warren Gives matching fundraiser badly needed

Wednesday is an annual Warren County day of giving.

For 16 hours today, the eighth annual Warren Gives will collect donations, and provide a total of $40,000 in matching dollars, for Warren County organizations.

It’s an unusual year.

Organizers of the event considered canceling it.

But, it’s all online and “we know that the organizations need the money probably more than ever,” Community Foundation of Warren County Executive Director John Lasher said.

They’ll see how it goes.

This year, 101 non-profit organizations are signed up for the event.

Donors may log on to warrengives.org. There is a minimum donation of $10. Each visit, donors may contribute to up to 10 different organizations. Single donations of over $1,000 are welcome, of course, but only the first $1,000 of a single donation will qualify for matching dollars.

The matching dollars are distributed in the same proportion as the donations received. If one entity receives 10 percent of the donations, it will receive 10 percent of the matching funds, or $4,000.

This year, the matching funds were provided by: The Betts Foundation; the DeFrees Family Memorial Fund; Northwest Charitable Foundation; Sara Sokolski Memorial Fund; Superior Tire and Rubber Corp.; United Refining Co.; and the Community Fund of Warren County.

In the first seven years of the event, it has distributed a total of $2,378,267.

Last year was the single biggest year, bringing in $450,887 from 4,258 donations, and another $41,000 matching funds.

There is no target amount, but Lasher said “if we go over half-a-million, we’d be thrilled.”

Those who are looking to keep an eye on the total are welcome to log on to the Community Foundation’s website at cfowc.org.

“We’ll be posting updates every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” Lasher said. “Last year, the first hour in the morning and the last hour of the day were the biggest.”

The online donation period will have a leg up.

“We accepted checks this year,” Lasher said.

That limited opportunity allowed some, who couldn’t access appropriate internet connections, to make their donations and secure some of the matching funds for their chosen organizations.

“We accepted over $75,000 in checks,” he said. Organizers do not know yet if the bulk of those checks represent dollars that typically would have been donated online or new funding streams.

Prizes will be awarded to entities that top the charts in certain categories.

The organization that receives donations from the most states will take one of those. Last year, Miracle Mountain Ranch set the bar at 40 states.

The entities that increase their donations — both in dollars and donors — by the highest percentage will receive prizes.

The ‘most improved’ category was a very tight race last year. Youngsville Public Library at 295 percent, edged Sheffield Township Library (280 percent), and Lander Volunteer Fire Department (272 percent).

There will also be a mystery prize.

Those prizes and the checks will not awarded in the usual manner. There is normally a post-event event at which representatives get together. Due to pandemic conditions, that event has been canceled this year. On the bright side, “The organizations will get their checks sooner,” Lasher said.

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