Three AAN Pubs Raise Over $2 Million For Local Non-Profits

Three publications — Colorado Springs Independent, Monterey County Weekly, and Willamette Week — have raised over $2 million for charities in their communities through their respective “Give” campaigns.

As of this writing, Colorado Springs Independent has raised $336,872, Monterey County Weekly has raised $526,700, and Willamette Week has raised a whopping $1.15 million. The publications are still in the process of tallying the contributions.

Willamette Week started its “Give!Guide” in 2004 to encourage readers 35 and under to get into the habit of giving. The initial campaign brought in $24,000 for Portland-area non-profit organizations.

“We’re thrilled to have broken the $1 million mark,” said publisher Richard Meeker. “Though it means [editor] Mark Zusman and I have a lot of deliveries to make — of locally produced beer, wine, coffee, tea, and chocolate to 2,500+ donors.”

Meeker added, “I’m happy to train one AAN paper a year in how to make a project like this fun, easy, and successful.”

Monterey County Weekly‘s program began in 2000 as a donor-advised community fund which supported one non-profit per year. In 2009, the campaign was expanded to support multiple organizations with funds donated by readers and up to $100,000 in matching funds from the paper and local foundations. This year’s combined total of $626K will be spread out to 71 Monterey-area organizations.

In Colorado Springs, the Independent‘s “Indy Give!” program grew by nearly 70 percent in just its second year. After including $50,000 in matching funds from local foundations and businesses, the 2010 effort will have amassed $386K which will be distributed to area non-profits.

“It’s truly heartwarming to see a community step up in this manner and support the place they live, work and play,” said associate publisher Carrie Simison-Bitz. “Everyone involved with Give! 2010 from the nonprofits, the foundations, the reward partners, the media partners, our staff and the donors have made our wildest dreams come true.”

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