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May 2 online fundraiser to benefit Washington County nonprofits

February 19, 2013|By DAVE MCMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Nonprofit organizations in Washington County will have a new way to raise money on May 2, thanks to the Community Foundation of Washington County, Md., Inc.

The foundation’s mission is to promote philanthropy mainly through endowment funds, but officials with the organization believed it is also important to help nonprofits raise the money they need, according to Brad Sell, executive director of the foundation.

On May 2, donors will be able to go to the website http://washingtoncountygives.org to donate to nonprofit groups. It will be a 24-hour online fundraiser during which donors will be able to look at a list of participating nonprofit organizations, learn about their funding needs and make contributions, Sell said.

“One hundred percent of the dollars raised, along with matching funds and incentive prizes, will go directly to the participating nonprofits,” Sell said in a news release.

Nonprofit organizations with paid staff will have to pay a $200 fee to participate and nonprofit organizations with no paid staff will have to pay $100, Sell said.

Sell said 12 organizations have paid the fee and signed up to participate, and 24 others have made a verbal commitment. Sell said he would like to have 50 organizations participating.

Nonprofit organizations have until March 1 to register for the event. Any 501(c)(3) in Washington County is eligible, but churches, synagogues, mosques and private foundations are prohibited from participating.

Major sponsors including ThompsonGas and the foundation’s Hershey Family Fund have helped raise $48,000 in matching and prize money to heighten interest among nonprofit organizations, Sell said.

Sell said $30,000 of the $48,000 will be distributed to the nonprofit organizations and each organization’s monetary amount will be based on the total amount raised in the event versus how much individual organizations raise, Sell said.

Prizes will also be awarded in categories such as the top three organizations that raise the most money and the organization that has the highest number of donors, Sell said.

The Community Foundation of Washington County, Md., Inc., has contracted with Razoo Inc. to host the online giving platform and track credit card contributions.

For more information, go to http://washingtoncountygives.org or call the foundation at 301-745-5210.

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