Next Tuesday, Oct. 13, people will have a chance to contribute to several of local nonprofits and have their contribution matched by 50 percent when the Greater Geary Community Foundation holds its annual Match Day.
According to Calvin Pottberg of the GGCF, the community foundation has about $130,000 in matching funds to spread out among to nonprofits that receive donations on Match Day. Donations from $25 to $1,000 per nonprofit will be matched by 50 percent to a maximum of $7,500 per nonprofit, an increase over 2019 when the match funds were capped at $5,000 per nonprofit.
If a person donates $1,000 to a nonprofit, the community foundation will contribute $500. Larger donations than $1,000 are welcome, but only the first $1,000 a person donates will be matched.
“The reason we do that is to spread these dollars out amongst several organizations,” Pottberg said. “They can get up to $7,500. So, if an organization receives $15,000 of eligible match money from individuals, then they'll be able to pick up that $7,500 on it."
An in-person event will take place from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium, where social distancing and similar safety practices will be in place. People can also donate online at GearyMatchDay.org. Donations must be made Oct. 13 in order to be matched. Those who wish to donate by mail may do so by mailing checks dated Oct. 13, 2020 and postmarked Oct. 13 or earlier to P.O. Box 411, Junction City, KS 66441.
Checks need to be made payable to the Greater Geary Community Foundation for a total of all donations to organizations of the donor’s choice. Donors who participate by mail should include a form indicating how much of their donation goes to each participating organization they have chosen.
To use all the match money, $260,000 would have to be donated during the event, which would infuse a total of $390,000 into local nonprofits. Pottberg hopes to see this happen.
This is the second year for the event. The first iteration took place in May 2019, with 27 local organizations participating. The second one should have taken place this May, but COVID-19 postponed it.
Last year, the community foundation had only $40,000 in matching funds, but donations from local charitable foundations have more than doubled that amount this year.
“We took in $98,350 in donations a year ago, plus the $40,000,” Pottberg said. "Plus, we gave out $550 in prizes — hourly prizes — to various ones. So, the community overall received $138,900 in 2019.”
Match money went fast last year, he said, and he believes people will participate this year as well, despite COVID-19.
“Overall, we think that's going to be increased,” Pottberg said. “We may not have as many walk-in customers due to COVID.”
But with two other options, including online and by mail, he feels people who wish to participate will have the opportunity.
There are 34 different community groups taking part this year.
Participating nonprofits include Agingwell, Inc., Boy Scouts of America — Konza District Coronado AC, the C.L. Hoover Opera House, CASA of the Eighth Judicial District, the COVID-19 Recovery Fund, the Crisis Center, Danger FC, Delivering Change, Inc., the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library Foundation, the Episcopal Church of the Covenant Endowment Fund, the First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund, the First Methodist Church, the Flint Hills Regional Council, the Geary Community Healthcare Foundation, the Geary Community Schools Foundation, Geary County Fish and Game Association, Inc., the Geary County Food Pantry, the Geary County Historical Society, Geary County Senior Citizens, Inc., the Greater Geary Community Grants Fund, the Highland Cemetery Association, I.C.A.R.E., the Junction City Arts Council, the Junction City Community Baseball Club/JC Brigade, the Junction City Family YMCA, Inc., Konza Prairie Community Health Center, the Ladies Reading Club, the Little Theater Foundation, Inc., Pawnee Mental Health Services, Inc., the Play JC Fund, Quality Play for All, the JC KS Downtown Revitalization Group, United Way of Junction City/Geary County, and Wheels of H.O.P.E., Inc.
According to Pottberg, many of these organizations lost their yearly fundraisers to COVID-19 this year and are now working to recover from that blow.
“They're hoping that a lot of the people that would have normally gave at those events that they weren't able to hold will now step up to the plate and make a donation and then it would be matched,” he said.
Pottberg hopes to see community members take part, donating to their favorite nonprofits and learning about others they may not have realized were here.
“It's one way of them being able to get the word out and it gives them another avenue to raise funds,” he said.
To take part, go to the Municipal Auditorium at 700 N. Jefferson St. between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., make donations between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. online at GearyMatchDay.org Oct. 13, or send a check by mail P.O. Box 411, Junction City, KS 66441.