You have plans for later this month to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and a big dinner.
You have plans for shopping for family and friends on Black Friday.
You have plans to make more purchases when you Shop Small at local businesses that Saturday.
And you have plans for yet more shopping online during Cyber Monday.
That it? Well, we hope not.
The Community Foundation of Jackson County asks that you consider giving to local charities — including the endowment funds we administer — on #GivingTuesday on Nov. 27. Right now, gifts to the Jackson County Community Endowment can earn a generous $2 match from Lilly Endowment for every $1 you donate. Other community (unrestricted) funds are also eligible for the match.
#GivingTuesday is an effort to raise awareness of the needs of charitable programs at home and around the world during a time when so many seem more focused on spending for wishes and wants rather than the needs of others.
The event, however, can be — and really should be — about much more than one day each Christmas and holiday season. We ask that you consider pledging to do more next year. Perhaps give a certain amount every month to a local nonprofit such as Community Diner or pledge to volunteer every month with an organization such as the Jackson County History Center or maybe Turning Point.
We hope that #GivingTuesday spurs you to help others through bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during this upcoming holiday season and throughout next year. You could make a donation in a loved one’s name rather than buying them yet another necktie, sweater or Bass-O-Matic.
Or you could start a new fund at the foundation in memory of a loved one, perhaps one that benefits a particular nonprofit or church or provides general granting for community needs. In fact, gifts to start a new community (unrestricted) fund or help grow an existing community fund can earn $2 in match dollars for every $1 donated.
The earnings from community funds help finance our Fall Grant cycle, when charitable organizations across our community apply for grants to help with important programming needs that touch the lives of people of all ages in all corners of the county. Just last month, the foundation awarded 16 fall grants totaling more than $54,000.
I’d be happy to speak with you about donating to any of the more than 200 funds the Foundation administers. Either way, your gifts to endowed funds can benefit others in perpetuity, a gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving to help make a difference.
We also encourage you to keep an eye out for the foundation’s annual Holiday Gift Guide. It includes a list of all of the foundation’s funds and offers information about how to give. Information about #GivingTuesday and other gifting opportunities may be found on our website and our Facebook page.
Thank you, and on behalf of the foundation staff and our board of directors, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving, a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas to come.
Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The foundation administers more than 200 funds with assets of more than $11 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Dan Davis at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].