Charitable giving STOCK

CHEYENNE – More and more, nonprofits are turning to the internet to fundraise, whether it’s through platforms like Facebook or GoFundMe or through viral crazes like the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Now, the Wyoming Nonprofit Network hopes to leverage the online fundraising phenomenon to benefit charitable groups throughout Wyoming with a statewide Day of Giving this summer.

“The whole purpose is to raise awareness of nonprofits in Wyoming and to drive everyone to one site,” Wyoming Nonprofit Network Executive Director Jody Shields said.

Currently scheduled for July 15, the WyoGives Day of Giving will take place virtually at wyogives.org and is made possible by a platform called GiveGab. Thanks to GiveGab, each nonprofit that wishes to participate can create a separate webpage, all of which will be located on WyoGives’ website.

More than 70 nonprofits across the state have already signed on to participate, with registration closing May 15. GiveGab gives the Wyoming Nonprofit Network a way to thoroughly vet the charities that participate to ensure donations go to worthwhile causes and good stewards of funds.

Each nonprofit can customize their webpage, adding photos, videos and offering donation matches. By offering smaller nonprofits without as large as a web presence a chance to fundraise alongside the state’s well-known organizations, the hope is they will be able to reach a wider audience to help raise funds.

“Especially for nonprofits that haven’t delved too much into online giving, it kind of gives them a space to do that,” Shields said.

With the mix or nonprofits large and small, Shields also said the Day of Giving offers people the chance to donate to nonprofits they may not have known about before. The WyoGives website gives lesser-known nonprofits the opportunity to broaden their donor base by reaching new audiences.

For Climb Wyoming, a nonprofit that helps single moms with a focus on mental health, the WyoGives Day of Giving offers the chance to reach donors they haven’t before, according to Katie Hogarty, who does media and communications for the nonprofit.

“We love the idea of the WyoGives campaign because it will help us connect our work to a broader Wyoming audience that cares so much about families,” Hogarty said. “We’re really eager to reach out to people that want to make a difference.”

With the funds raised from the Day of Giving, Hogarty said Climb Wyoming will do what they do best. It will help pay for workforce trainers to help women get sustainable jobs, curriculum on parenting and budgeting, and mental health-based services.

According to Hogarty, fundraising and community giving allows Climb Wyoming to provide “comprehensive support to moms as they’re breaking the cycle of generational poverty.”

While Climb Wyoming hopes to reach more people who feel passionately about family support, other nonprofits like Black Dog Animal Rescue hopes to reach a statewide audience. Though they’re based in Cheyenne, they do rescues all over the state, and they hope to spread that message.

“For every nonprofit, there’s a somewhat different target audience,” Shields said. “But I certainly hope we broaden philanthropy in the state and introduce folks to some new nonprofits.”

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152. Follow her on Twitter at @MargaretMAustin.

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