Bridge Builders Launches Largest Regional Philanthropic Initiative To Date

Giving campaign will support rural communities and local charities across four counties

Oil City, PA--Bridge Builders Community Foundations will launch the first area Week of Giving event this year to spur collective charitable giving that will be pro-rated through the foundation and will allow donors to give to numerous nonprofits throughout Clarion, Forest and Venango counties as well as the community of Punxsutawney.

The Week of Giving event kicks off on Monday, March 20 at 8 AM and will run until 11:59 PM on Friday, March 24.

Trenton Moulin, executive director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, says, “Other communities in Western Pennsylvania such as Erie and Pittsburgh have successfully launched giving campaigns and we believe now is the perfect time to develop a similar campaign that will address the needs of our rural communities and the charities that support them.”

The campaign was the next natural step in supporting area nonprofits after Bridge Builders Community Foundations launched their “Community Wish List” initiative a few years ago.

“We had dozens of nonprofits who weren’t eligible for grants through the foundation’s funds or who needed additional funding to complete a project, so we began posting an up-to-date list of those nonprofits on our web site and tracking their needs. We also offered to accept donations on their behalf and manage those donations at no cost to them.  We just wanted to spur more philanthropy and more positive outcomes for the communities we serve.  The Week of Giving takes that idea to the next level.”

Through its extensive work with nonprofits Bridge Builders knows all too well the struggles nonprofits face in raising money and creating change.

“We also know that funding your mission often takes up time and resources most nonprofits lack.  Fundraising has become more competitive in today’s high tech world.  We know that there are wonderful causes and projects that lack adequate funding to turn today’s challenges into an opportunity for immense growth and capacity for tomorrow.”

Moulin stresses that while other campaigns exist to collectively spur fundraising, this will be different.

“The nonprofits are completely in the driver’s seat.  They decide if they want to participate and at what level.  They’re given complete resources and get their donations in hand quickly.  Also, those donations are prorated so the giving goes even further. This campaign isn’t just about getting money, it’s also about educating people on why our community needs people to give.  Our philosophy has always been that anyone can be a philanthropist and we want to show them the power of philanthropy.”

The foundation has been planning the new campaign for the last several months, which includes a new web site design, online and mobile giving platform, as well as resources for participating nonprofits.

The foundation will host two kick-off events for all participating nonprofits on Tuesday, January 24th from 10 AM to noon at the National Transit located at 206 Seneca Street in Oil City and on Wednesday, January 25th from 10 AM to noon at the Clarion American Legion Hall located at 530 Main Street in Clarion.  “We’re going to review the guidelines of the giving campaign as well as walk them through all the tools, resources and best practices they will need to engage their stakeholders and net more donations in their name.  It’s about change through collective visibility, storytelling, and philanthropy.”

Nonprofits will be able to sign-up for participation online until February 15, and must be a registered 501(c)3 to receive donations through Bridge Builders Community Foundations.

Additionally companies can participate by pledging to match their employee contributions up to a certain amount.  Corporate pledge forms are available online.

“We’re going to be acknowledging those businesses that choose to step up their giving capacity by sponsoring the campaign or giving corporate matches.  It will be very exciting to see how much giving, and collective impact, we can create over this short week.”

A Week of Giving results press conference and celebration will be held Friday, April 7th at 10 AM in Oil City to announce the grand totals and hand out checks to each participating nonprofit.  Special prizes will be awarded to the nonprofit with the most individual donations, the largest monetary amount of donations as well as the most creative and engaging Week of Giving marketing campaign.

Community outreach sponsors for the Week of Giving event include Explore Your Town, LLC, which includes Explore Venango and Explore Clarion media.

Donations can be given online at bbcfgives.org between 8 AM on March 20 through March 24 at 11:59 PM:

Donors can select multiple nonprofits to give to within the same transaction, and also allocate varying contributions to each nonprofit selected.  Donations received through the Week of Giving event are fully tax deductible donations under applicable federal and state laws.