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Giving back in Kitsap just got much easier | Kitsap Week

John Costello volunteers at North Kitsap Fishline, a food bank and one of many organizations to donate to during the Kitsap Great Give event on May 6. - Richard D. Oxley / Kitsap Week
John Costello volunteers at North Kitsap Fishline, a food bank and one of many organizations to donate to during the Kitsap Great Give event on May 6.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Kitsap Week

By LESLIE KELLY

Kitsap Week

It was an idea that Kol Medina thought he wanted to try. And now, the first Kitsap Great Give is set for May 6.

For 24 hours on that day anyone can give to their favorite participating Kitsap nonprofit and their gift can earn more value. What that means is more money for that charity.

“I heard about it happening in King County,” said Medina, executive director of the Kitsap Community Foundation for about a year and a half. “They call it the ‘Give Big.’ When I was interviewed for the job over here, I told them that if I was hired, I wanted to try something like it.”

And so was born the Kitsap Great Give.

As Medina explains, it’s a 24-hour time when anyone can give any amount to the nonprofits in Kitsap County that sign up to participate. The financial donations are made through one website, www.kitsapgreatgive.org. And by participating in the event, donors’ givings will be increased through the give itself.

The way it works is that the Kitsap Great Give has financial sponsors who have given funds that will be divided up among the participating nonprofits.

For example, Medina said, the nonprofits will be splitting about $100,000 given by sponsors, based on the percentages that each nonprofit gets on the day of the give.

“If we raise what we hope to—a half million dollars—then each dollar given to a charity will be matched with 20 cents from the sponsorships we’ve raised,” he said.

The event has three main goals, he said. First is to raise $125,000 in sponsorships.

“We met that,” he said. “In fact, we raised about $135,000 so far. That money will be used for the matches, along with about $25,000 of it that will go for the costs of the event, including staff time.”

The second goal was to get at least 100 nonprofits in Kitsap County to take part. To date, there are 197 nonprofits signed up to be a part of the Kitsap Great Give.

The third goal was to raise $500,000 on the day of the event for the participating nonprofits.

“So far, it’s looking great for that,” he said. “We have a lot of people interested and planning to give.”

In King County, Medina said $3.6 million was raised the first year. That amount doubled in the second year when $7.4 million was raised.

One important step to the success of the event was when the United Way of Kitsap County signed on, Medina said.

“That was something that helped this event so much,” he said. “We are grateful for their participation.”

While there is no gathering planned, and the give is simply something individuals can do online, some of the participating nonprofits are having events.

“There are some that are having lunches as a way to get their supporters together to celebrate the give,” he said. “And another one has a wine tasting planned.”

As a part of the give, there will be prizes and contests, of sorts. Incentive awards are being given. For example, the nonprofit with the most donations by 9 a.m. will be given an extra $1,000.

Another incentive is named the “Golden Ticket.”

“From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., each hour, the system will draw the name of one donor who gave that hour and they will be given an extra $250 to go to their charity,” Medina said.

That’s why some groups are getting together and giving all within one hour, he said. It will up their chances of their charity being drawn as the Golden Ticket of that hour.

There may also be some national incentives (more funding) with other places that are hosting big give days.

Having a day for giving financially to nonprofits is a way “to shine the light on charity for just one day,” Medina said.

“This is a way to give without having to get dressed up and go to an auction or event,” he said. “People can just stay home and decided how much they want to give and to what organizations and then go online and do just that. It’s as simple as that.”

To learn more, or to see which nonprofits are participating, go to www.kitsapgreatgive.org.

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