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August 22, 2004

Strengthening The Good: The Gulf Coast Community Foundation Of Venice Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund

1 September 2005 Update: If you've found this page because you're looking to help with Katrina relief, or because you're looking for a matching donation program, please visit our Matching The Good: Katrina Relief page. We're matching donations up to a total of $1,000 with a donation to the Red Cross 2005 Hurricane fund. If you'd like to join in the match challenge (helping us up the match to more than $1,000) through a donation of your own, please email me at alan at strengthenthegood dot com. Thanks.

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[Update: We've had a great resoponse to our first charity. Here's another way you can help: I'm donating all Google Ad revenue to the charity we profile for the time its profile runs. So if you can't donate directly, click on the Google Ads in the right-hand column and visit those sponsors, and I'll donate the resulting revenue on your behalf. Thanks.]

[Update 2: This from the GCCF of Venice website:

In an effort to direct additional funds to nonprofit organizations in the areas devastated by the hurricane, the Board established the Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund with an initial gift of $25,000 and voted to match contributions to the Fund up to $200,000. The community met the match this weekend.

I'm sure we helped in reaching the goal, and thanks for working to strengthen the good. And if you've not yet helped, people in Florida still need help, and assistance is still welcome.]

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I lied. I said that the scope of Strengthen The Good is to raise awareness of:

“micro charities”—charitable opportunities that are simple, personal, non-bureaucratic, and, like Susan Tom, inspiring. Charitable opportunities where someone can feel great about giving $1, or even just from reading the story of the charity, it’s sponsors, and it’s beneficiaries.

And here, with our very first charity, I’m going to vary from that scope.

MJ29.jpgHere’s the issue: a burning charitable need at this moment is relief for people affected by Hurricane Charley. And while I very much want to highlight a Charley micro-charity, the fact is that the need right now is macro … incredibly macro. Fundamental needs: housing … water … huge quantities of baby formula … needs that are best met by macro charities such as the Red Cross, the Christian Contractors Association, and Salvation Army, and it’s going to be this way for some time.

But I also think I’ve found something you can get behind and feel good about: The Gulf Coast Community Foundation Of Venice Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund.

Call it a “macro-micro charity.” From its website:

A community foundation is a charitable organization that derives its funds from gifts provided by its citizens. Citizens can contribute any amount of money to a community foundation, which in turn invests the gifts for growth and income. The community foundation then uses that income to make grants that strengthen the community. As a community foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice operates under the principle of perpetuity ensuring that gifts made to the Foundation will grow and make a lasting impact for the community now and in the future.

Founded in late 1995 as a result of the sale of Venice Hospital, it was originally named The Venice Foundation. In 2003 the name was changed to Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice to reflect the communities it serves, from Osprey to Boca Grande. It has awarded grants of more than $40 million to the community in the areas of arts and culture, health and human services, education, and civic affairs.

In addition to making grants that benefit our area, the Foundation also help donors to achieve their charitable dreams. When a donor creates a fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, they get the resources and expertise of our staff...and the service that could only come from a community foundation. We work with our donors to make sure their fund(s) meet their needs and allow them to have an impact on the community and issues they care about.

As you can see here, the GCCF of Venice has been extremely involved in supporting the local community … funding everything from public libraries to scholarships to senior centers to animal rescue to YMCAs.

Venice was just north of Charley’s most severe effects, but with the devastation in nearby Charlotte and North Port, it’s no surprise that such an active foundation would create a Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund.

MJ10.jpg

But here’s the really good part: last Tuesday The GCCF of Venice Board of Directors voted to match contributions to its Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund up to $100,000, noting they are "pleased to be able to offer a means for giving where 100% of the donations will be directed to the agencies providing the services required to sustain and improve life for the victims."

That’s right: a total match, of every dollar, until they’ve raised $100,000.

Only have the resources to give one dollar? Fine … count it as two. Think you can pony up ten? Call it twenty. Think you can part with fifty … feel good about contributing one hundred. And what’s more, you can do so knowing that you’re supporting a local Charley relief effort, staffed by and benefiting people from the community and administered by professionals.

You can donate online with a MasterCard or Visa here (all transactions are processed through a Verisign secure server site). If you do, be certain to select the Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund from the drop-down menu, and if you would, please note “Strengthen The Good” in the Special Instructions field … I’d be interested to learn how much our network ultimately contributes.

If you prefer not to donate online, you may mail a contribution to:

Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund
601 Tamiami Trail South
Venice, FL 34285

If you donate via mail, please note “Strengthen The Good” in the memo line on the check. Finally, if PayPal is your thing, you may donate via the Strengthen The Good PayPal account … the button is over in the right-hand column of the main page. I’ll write a single check to the fund for all donations made via PayPal over the next three weeks (and will find a way to offer a full accounting online so we can all exercise due diligence). Note that if you do donate via PayPal (1) it’s not tax deductible (although I’m working on that for future charities), and (2) PayPal will be taking a cut of the donation for their service fee … so unless you absolutely don’t want to, I’d suggest donating to the fund directly via their online donation form.

Now … be responsible. Just because I’ve satisfied my qualification of this charity does not mean you’ve satisfied yours. You are responsible for satisfying your own qualification of this or any other charity STG may point to, and while I am profiling this charity, I do not guarantee its legitimacy, its use of whatever funds you might donate, or the accuracy or of the information on its web site.

Hopefully that’s satisfied the attorneys, and we can get back to the business at hand.

Thank you for working to strengthen the good.

[If you've come here from an external link and are wondering what Strengthen The Good is all about, go to the main page, start at the bottom, and read up. And if you're a blogger, we'd love to have you join our network ... you can learn how on the main page as well.]

Posted by Alan at August 22, 2004 09:18 PM

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Comments

I have 3 Gmail invitations to give away to the first 3 people who forward a PayPal receipt to me, showing their $15.00 or more donation to STG.

Posted by: Eric Akawie at August 26, 2004 10:10 AM