Donate Dickinson County Day Raises more than $150,000
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
ABILENE REFLECTOR CHRONICLE: “I am amazed right now,” said Elizabeth Weese, executive director of the Community Foundation of Dickinson County. “Here’s the thing, part of me should never be surprised because people and Dickinson County citizens are just generous, generous people, so I shouldn’t be surprised that (they are), but I am every year. I am just amazed and flabbergasted, quite frankly, of the generosity of people.”
Over a 24-hour period, the community foundation spent March 18 promoting a day for people in the county to donate to non-profit organizations. Between 451 donors, the event raised $175,359.06. The foundation dedicated $100,000 to match donations.
During their open hours, Weese, Veronica Murray, administrative assistant, and other foundation staff sat inside by the Bennington State Bank drive-through window. With permission from the bank, donors could give their checks or cash through the drive-through or come inside the bank. The foundation also set up a website, donatedickinson.com, dedicated to the event, allowing people to donate online, explain the event’s purpose and display the money raised.
A total of 32 non-profits were qualified this year to receive donation money. For a non-profit to be eligible for donations from the event, organizations must have had an endowed fund at the Community Foundation.
“This is their savings account. A lot of the non-profits, they are getting by the skin of their teeth. The money that they are getting in the door, it’s hard to put some of that back for the future. They’re worrying how to make payroll, keep the lights on and do what they do with boots on the ground with helping people,” Weese said. “That’s why the community foundation is doing this. It’s to help them build their sustainability by being their savings account.”
For the three highest donation totals, the Eisenhower Foundation received the most at $21,420, Talmage Library and Event Center at $13,575 and Great Plains Theatre at $12,340. Talmage Historical Foundation received the most donations at 36, the Eisenhower Foundation received the second most at 32 and the Dickinson County 4-H Foundation received the third most at 30.
“The people of Dickinson County are generous to a fault. They really are, and (people) are always there being generous. There are times when I am absolutely amazed. Even in 2020,” Weese said.
The donations to each organization will go into each of their endowed fund, Weese said. She said the foundation will distribute the match funds sometime this week. The foundation almost did not match their $100,000 match total of last year. A donor gave the foundation $50,000 to raise the foundation’s funds for the event. Since the event earned over $100,000, Weese said she is going to approach the board about securing more funds to match the rest of the donations.
“I think it’s really nice to be able to have something that you have those organizations, who are working so hard to do what they are doing, and maybe they don’t have the resources in time that they can just be on the list and people can give,” said Anita Miller, board member of the foundation. “It’s an easy way to recognize those organizations.”