hhhHelp Holly Help grant challenges are intended to challenge the community to do more.  Donations are a difficult ticket these days.  With on-line portals like “Go Fund Me” helping individuals campaign dollars are already being stretched.  If you log on to Facebook you are being solicited for funds by family, friends and organizations.  A lot of times, the organization is just advertising for themselves.  So what is the benefit of donating to a grant challenge?  Your funds are typically duplicated; and ultimately your dollar is going further.

“Holly Geraci’s grant challenges match, dollar for dollar…”

This is what makes grant challenges so enticing.  The idea behind a grant challenge is the duplication of funds.  When you see, “matching contribution” or “dollar for dollar” you’re doubling the donation.  Holly Geraci’s grant challenges match, dollar for dollar, the money contributed by members of the community; up to the allotted amount.  So, if you donate 25.00, you’re actually donating 50.00.  If someone donates 100.00, they are actually donating 200.00.  This is what makes a community grant challenge worth while.

The idea some benefactor is willing to match your contribution can cause more people to donate OR cause others to donate more.  The CER gala more than doubled their prior year’s donations at the same event.  The main difference was the Grant Challenge; which included advertising the challenge.

But be careful.  There are a couple of things you want to check when giving money to a charity.

1.  Make sure they are 501(c)(3).  You will want a tax deduction for your donation.  The deduction can help lower the amount of taxes your to pay for the upcoming year.  It is also important that board members are not receiving a substantial benefit of monies received by the organization.  Most 501(c)(3) organizations have policies in place to prevent an member from receiving a benefit.

2.  Make sure you know what the organizations mission is.  If you are interested in helping an organization, even if it’s with a donation, make sure the mission is something you actually support.  The money you give them can be used in a variety of different ways; so it’s important that your values are in line with the values of the organization.

3.  Look up the not-for-profit.  Some places receive millions of dollars, but very little of the money actually goes towards the cause or mission.  This is due to high salaries paid to employees, paying off debts, or using the money for additional advertising.  You can visit guidestar.com and evaluate various charities and not-for-profits.

About Holly Geraci & Help Holly Help

Holly B. Geraci, longtime member of the Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo, has been helping raise money for years.  Mrs. Geraci has supported not-for-profit organizations and assisted with public outreach.  The Help Holly Help campaign, www.helphollyhelp.com , is intended to further assist not-for-profits, making a positive impact on the community, grow with support and funds.

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