September 14, 2020
The Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) is pleased to announce that its annual day of giving, WCCF Gives, has set a new giving record with over $1,200,000 contributed through check contributions and on-line credit card gifts. Mailed contributions will be included if postmarked by September 10, so the total amount contributed might increase over the next few days. Gifts will be increased by the Foundation’s $100,000 bonus pool resulting in a record-breaking $1,300,000 to support local charities.
In 2019, donors contributed $984,000, which when combined with the $100,000 bonus pool, resulted in more than $1,084,000 to support local charities, the first time that the overall total to charities reached seven figures.
“The Washington County community showed its heart today,” remarked Betsie Trew, WCCF President & CEO. “Going into this year’s day of giving, we were uncertain how local giving would be impacted by the economic implications of COVID-19. We knew local charities were struggling financially because of the pandemic, but we also knew that many individuals and companies were also struggling. The fact that this year’s giving exceeded last year’s giving by 20%, is a testament to the many generous hearts in our community.”
The pandemic is having disastrous consequences on the charitable sector in Washington County. Arts and cultural organizations that rely heavily on admissions revenue were forced to cancel their concerts and activities. Both human services and health organizations have seen dramatic increases in the need for their services and many must provide their services in new ways that have increased costs. Many charities have implemented more technology into service delivery which has also increased costs. And most charities in our community rely on at least one fundraising event to secure operational revenue. One by one, these fundraising events are being cancelled; even the WCCF has cancelled its own fundraising banquet, which secures operational support for the Foundation.
To assist charities through this challenging time, the WCCF made some changes to its annual day of giving, to help secure greater financial support for local charities and to provide a safer overall experience for everyone through the implementation of social distancing measures.
The first change was that donors were encouraged to give by credit card from the safety of their own homes. Donors responded to this ask with 58% of contributions made this year by credit card, as compared to 46% in 2019.
The second change is that the Foundation will accept checks that are postmarked by September 10, 2020. In the past, check contributions had to be received by 8 p.m. on the day of giving, which resulted in many donors and charities hand-delivering checks to the Foundation on the days leading up to and on the day of giving.
“We greatly enjoyed the opportunities to visit with donors and charities delivering check contributions for previous days of giving,” remarked Trew. “While we missed those social interactions this year, we knew that they had to be eliminated in this time of social distancing.”
The third change to the WCCF Gives event in 2020, is that the WCCF is covering all credit card fees, in addition to continuing to cover all other transactional fees. This will result in more money going to participating charities, which was a primary objective in the changes that were implemented this year.
Sponsors of WCCF Gives 2020 include: ANSYS, Chapman Corporation, Washington Financial Charitable Foundation, Alex E. Paris Contracting, Observer-Reporter, Washington Auto Mall, and the WCCF Acorn Fund.
About the Washington County Community Foundation
This year marks the Washington County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Washington County by promoting and facilitating philanthropy. Since its inception, the WCCF has grown from a fledgling charity with only $5,000 in assets, to the largest publicly supported grant-making foundation headquartered in Washington County with assets over $46 million. Cumulatively, it has provided more than $18 million in support of local charitable activities.