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Online donation drive focuses on DeKalb County nonprofits

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:06 p.m. CDT

More than 40 area nonprofits are hoping for a donation frenzy May 6 through Give Local DeKalb County, an online donation drive designed to support local agencies.

The one-day online giving challenge asks people to make donations to local nonprofits in hopes of supporting those agencies and increasing philanthropy in the community.

“This is really an effort to ramp up the visibility of nonprofits in DeKalb County,” said Anita Zurbrugg, DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership coordinator.

DeKalb County will take part in the inaugural national event, Give Local America, marking 100 years of community foundations across the country. Locally, the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership and the DeKalb County Community Foundation are sponsoring the event.

Those wanting to donate can visit givelocaldekalbcounty.org on May 6 and select which agency or agencies they want to support. Donations must be at least $25, which Zurbrugg said is because of the transaction costs. She said about 95 percent of each donation  would go to the specific local agency.

As a bonus for the local agencies, the DeKalb County Community Foundation will match $20,000 in donations proportionally based on the amount each agency received during the 24-hour giving period.

“We didn’t set a goal for how much we hope will be donated,” Zurbrugg said. “It’s kind of up in the air, but I hope it will be more than the matching funds.”

Participation was limited to the agencies that are members of the local nonprofit partnership, including DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention agency, Safe Passage.

Marj Askins, Safe Passage’s community education and prevention specialist, said donations are a critical piece of the agency’s funding because unlike federal or state grants, the money can be used to meet the day-to-day needs of local clients without restrictions.

“We can put that money to use in much more creative ways that will best serve our clients,” Askins said. “A lot of times, we need things and there isn’t a budget line for that. Some times needs arise and there’s not an easy way to pay for them.”

Zurbrugg said the event isn’t meant to deter people from giving to national nonprofits, but is designed to celebrate the local organizations.

“What we’re really saying is: this is a time to honor local nonprofits and recognize the value they provide in the community,” she said.

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