Three AAN Members Raise $3.7 Million for Local Non-Profits

The 2012 year-end “Give!” campaigns by the Colorado Springs Independent, Monterey County Weekly, and Willamette Week raised a combined $3.7 million for local non-profits, a 25 percent increase over the previous year’s effort.

In Portland, Ore., Willamette Week publisher Richard Meeker said the $1,967,423 donated by readers was 100 times the amount given during the first campaign nine years ago. Since 2004, the program has raised over $7 million for area non-profits in an effort to promote good citizenship and a spirit of giving in the 35-and-under crowd.

“We are all simply wowed by the energy and determination shown by the participating nonprofits, as well as the spirit of friendly competition in which they do their great development work each fall,” Meeker wrote. “WW‘s annual [Give!Guide] effort has become such a big project that we now have a full-time executive director, Nick Johnson, and about a quarter of our staff chips in to help in one way or another.”

The Colorado Springs Independent also raised an all-time high in 2012, tallying $982,222 worth of donations in the fourth year of its Give! program.

“Give! has grown so much because our nonprofits play hard, our media partners know how to tell great stories, and our fantastic local foundations and businesses dig deep into their pockets to supply matching and challenge grants, pay credit card fees and provide rewards to our donors,” said general manager/associate publisher Carrie Simison-Bitz in a letter to the community. (PDF) “When they say, it takes a village, we know what they mean!”

And the Monterey County Weekly campaign — which started in 2000 as a donor-advised community fund — raised $751,144 through a combination of donations and $100,000 in matching funds from its community fund.

“In our nearly twenty-five years of reporting on the local news, arts and culture, we’ve grown to respect and deeply value the nonprofit community,” wrote Bradley Zeve at the outset of the campaign. “Without the more than 1,000 local nonprofits working tirelessly to fulfill their missions — everyday — our community would look and feel like a very different place.”

This year the philanthropy effort will spread to North Carolina, where INDY Week — which was acquired by the owners of Willamette Week in August — will launch its own Give! Guide.

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