State College

Centre Gives donations exceed $660,000; $100,000 more than in 2013

The Centre gives website supports the 36-hour online giving event sponsored by the foundation.
The Centre gives website supports the 36-hour online giving event sponsored by the foundation.

The Centre Gives campaign has surpassed last year’s total amount raised by more than $100,000.

When the donation drive ended at noon Wednesday, fundraising totaled $661,731.94 from 4,927 donors.

Centre Gives is a 36-hour online giving event sponsored by the Centre Foundation, a local nonprofit founded in 1981 that financially helps other local philanthropic agencies.

The event’s mission was to allow the foundation’s 96 partner agencies to help bring in donations through online media.

“This community has demonstrated a tremendous outpouring of support,” foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkel said. “When we started this event three years ago, we wanted our grant money to go further, to help the organizations raise their own money and to raise awareness about the great work that our local nonprofits do every day.”

For the third year, the organization with the most donors was Friends of Schlow Centre Region Library, with 345 donors who contributed $37,221.

ClearWater Conservancy had 183 donors, but raised the most money — $45,045 — an increase from 148 donors and $36,000 from last year.

“We’re ecstatic,” Executive Director Jennifer Shuey said. “We’re really appreciative of the Centre Foundation’s efforts to put this on, and help us and the other nonprofits to learn social media techniques to reach out to our donors in a younger and new way.”

One reason the conservancy has exceeded last year’s totals was due to a multiyear pledge by its board members, Shuey said.

“We’ve always had this larger campaign going on, and take advantage of that and leveraging the ability it gives us,” Shuey said.

Money raised this year will go toward land conservation, stream restoration and environmental outreach.

“We aim to protect the best, restore what we’ve had an impact on and educate others,” Shuey said. “It’s nice to see work go toward our mission with the help of Centre Gives and the Centre Foundation, and to see its potential.”

On Tuesday, the Centre Foundation added $5,000 to the matching fund amount received from the Favorite Community Contest through the Give Local America program, Kunkel said.

On Wednesday, the foundation received $10,000 through the Give Local America power hour prize, increasing the prorated Centre Gives match pool to $115,000.

“We’re thrilled,” Kunkel said. “I think it’s largely due to support of (the) community and a lot of efforts by participating organizations who were actively involved with donors. A lot of organizations did a good job of getting the word out.”

Kunkel said the foundation hasn’t started to think about next year’s event just yet, but, she said, it could grow again.

“I think this is an example of how generous our community is,” Kunkel said. “This is an initiative that is still new but growing because more people are getting involved.”

Staff and volunteers at the foundation will send out thank yous and issue checks to participating agencies in the next few weeks, Kunkel said.

She also said the foundation is working on its next fundraising effort, called “Centre Inspires” — a new program that would provide funding to organizations working to help enhance the community.

“Rather than having this unrestricted money, it’s more targeted on organizations who are doing something to make the area a better place in a particular way,” Kunkel said.

More information about Centre Inspires will be available next week, Kunkel said.