Community generosity a win for everyone

Closeup of gift in female outstretched hands

The Valley Giving Guide (VGG) raised more than $2.5 million in December 2021 for 131 different nonprofits. The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin announced the results in an article published January 3, 2021.

“Our community is filled with many, many organizations doing important work. It was an honor to be part of this effort, and we are grateful to the Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF). The website they created, the fees they covered, the match they arranged…they set all of us up for success,” said Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin.

A history of community caring

The giving guide owes a debt to the Sustainable Living Center (SLC) for introducing the Alternative Gift Fair back in 2018, a way to give mindfully and meaningfully during what is often a season of material excess. When BMCF first took on the project in 2020, the “All In Washington” matching funds caused unprecedented excitement around giving. And this year, a promised 10% match kept enthusiasm high.

“I’m so grateful for gifts of all sizes,” Schwerin said. “We received 138 donations, and some of those were from people completely new to our mission. I think the giving guide made that happen. It introduced an amazing group of caring people to causes they might not have been aware of.”  

Why did YWCA participate in the Valley Giving Guide?

In 2021, all our end-of-year fundraising was all directed through BMCF instead of directly to YWCA. Here’s why:

No. 1: The matching pool. Thanks to several corporate and individual donors, gifts grew by about 10 percent!

No. 2: No card fees. BMCF covered card fees for all online* gifts.

No. 3: To spread the love. The guide was full of other essential community partners that also needed support.

Additional LiNC funding is good news for survivors

In addition to meeting the 2021 operating budget, gifts this year will allow us to fully support one of our most transformative programs, Living in New Circumstances (LiNC). The LiNC program was facing a shortfall from changes to the way crime victims’ services are funded, and now the program is in a strong position, “This is great news for survivors working to build independent lives,” said Schwerin.