Initiated by Lincoln Community Foundation in 2012, Give to Lincoln Day — a donor-driven community philanthropy event held on May 26 this year — continues to support and strengthen a community-wide culture of generosity by connecting charitable contributions from donors to various local nonprofits in the Lincoln community. Now in its 11th consecutive year, there are over 480 local nonprofits participating.
The primary goals of Give to Lincoln Day include introducing new donors to local nonprofits, helping the nonprofit community share their stories and shining a spotlight on the importance of fundraising for the benefit of the community.
A Decade of Impact
In the years since its creation, Give to Lincoln Day has raised more than $41 million for local organizations in Lincoln.
“The cool thing about Give to Lincoln Day is that anyone can be a philanthropist,” said Lincoln Community Foundation CEO Alec Gorynski. “Regardless of how much their contribution is, we recognize and appreciate that it is meaningful to that individual and it will make an impact. It’s a day where everybody can come together and be charitable. We use this moment in time to celebrate the act of giving, while raising a significant amount of money for the community.”
Last year was a record year, as Give to Lincoln Day connected $8 million of charitable contributions to over 450 nonprofits.
According to Gorynski, Give to Lincoln Day is an expression of Lincoln Community Foundation’s mission and responsibly to provide vehicles for community members to give back to Lincoln’s meaningful organizations.
Furthermore, Lincoln Community Foundation does not generate any operating revenue from the event. Instead, every donation makes a bigger impact on Give to Lincoln Day because nonprofits also get a proportional share of a $500,000 match fund made possible by Lincoln Community Foundation and generous sponsors.
How to Donate
The minimum donation is $10 and there are a number of ways to contribute now through May 26. While online donations are preferred at givetoLincoln.com, checks are also accepted and individuals may also use their donor advised funds through Lincoln Community Foundation.
Those who are 70 and 1/2 or older are also welcome to make an IRA qualified charitable distribution.
“We meet folks where they are at in their philanthropic journey,” Gorynski said. “Give to Lincoln Day is a wonderful expression of that.”
Without a doubt, philanthropy is an important element to strengthening a community. West Gate Bank has been a long-time sponsor of Give to Lincoln Day, and Kirby Reardon, assistant vice president/commercial lending, said the event has had a tremendous impact over time.
Each year, the event increases the amount of donations contributed by individuals, which allow nonprofits to continue operating and providing services.
“We are proud to partner with Lincoln Community Foundation each year on this event,” Reardon said. “As a community bank, a large part of our mission is to give back to the community by reinvesting deposits.
“We encourage our team to get involved in the community on an individual level, with the hopes that if we’re all contributing, then we are helping our community grow stronger. As the presenting sponsor, it is an important event that we’re happy to partner with Lincoln Community Foundation on to help raise awareness and donations for the nonprofits that do important work to support our community.”
The energy that surrounds Give to Lincoln Day continues to increase each year. Michelle Paulk, vice president of community outreach at Lincoln Community Foundation, said the event definitely serves as a valuable tool to educate and raise awareness for the nonprofit community.
“Give to Lincoln Day is fun,” Paulk said. “It’s a day (and a month) our community comes together for the common good. People are watching the leaderboard, checking on how their favorite causes are doing and showing their support for nonprofits that help our community to thrive.”
Paulk said individuals are also encouraged to share information about their favorite Lancaster County charities through their channels and network to spread the word about giving to causes they care about through Give to Lincoln Day.
While people have the opportunity to be charitable year-round, which is certainly encouraged, Gorynski said Give to Lincoln Day is Lincoln’s one big day of giving where the community can work together to give a little bit more.
“Give to Lincoln Day shows our community that generosity is cool and important,” Gorynski said.
“We have the opportunity to collectively raise millions of dollars in one day, which all goes back into our local community. It’s really about elevating and celebrating a culture of philanthropy.”