GiveChoose. Why We Do It.

I just spent 20 minutes on the Community Foundation’s Twitter and Facebook pages re-posting all recent social media posts from our GiveChoose charities.  Is it good use of my time? Heck.  Its not just time.  The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has invested a fair $ amount in GiveChoose, set for this next Tuesday.  Its a 24-hour charitable crowdfunding event for almost 50 local charities that starts at 12:01 AM on Tuesday May 5th. Check out the giving portal at GiveChoose.org. One more fad, you say?  The best thing since sliced bread, maybe?  Really, its somewhere in between.  But, here are some of the meaningful details. Online fundraising is the fastest growing form of new income for charities.  They need to be proficient at it.  (We launched the program earlier this year with a half-day training program for all charities.) Its fantastically cost effective–no paper or postage, and design is typically an in-house creative moment. In our first year of GiveChoose (last year), 44% of all donors were First Time Donors to the charity they gave to. That’s awesome stuff. And, finally, it builds community — a connection between businesses (Toth Financial, Alpha Graphics, Backflow Technology, Middleburg Bank, and Alpha Graphics, a private foundation, and others), that, together, created a Prize Pool of gifts to incentivize giving during the 24 hours.  There’s nothing quite like winning a prize. Charities get too few of them. It builds community among charities, as they row together to inspire giving here at home. And, it builds community as our local households see that remarkable array of local charities, doing remarkable things, helping...
The Power of Partnerships

The Power of Partnerships

The Community Foundation was part of three very different evening meetings this past week.  Each gathering depended on strong partnerships from our community. Tuesday was a convening among dozens of charities willing to suss out ideas to help local citizens move from Food Insecurity to Food Security.  One can expect our food pantry and backpack program  leaders to show up for that topic, right? The invitation was also answered by groups who work with the same patrons:  Loudoun Abused Women Shelter , Loudoun Literacy, Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, Crossroads Jobs, and Loudoun Cares, to name a few.  I applaud the breadth and scope of these caring groups willing to come together, to think, and share, and work toward community improvement. On Wednesday, I joined the annual announcement of grantees from the 100 WomenStrong giving circle.  This distinguished group of local philanthropists made grants totaling $113,000 this year, to ten charities carefully selected for their work in hunger, education, shelter, and health.  It was an evening of joy. Thursday night?  A sparkling new partnership with a sister community foundation, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  Together, the Loudoun Impact Fund and its donors (each who tithe in $1,000 per person, or $5,000 per business) will build a local grant making pool to help youth and elderly.  This pool of funds, expected to approach $50,000, will offer substantive and meaningful impact to grantee charities.  Boom! As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so...
GiveChoose Prize Timeline Announced

GiveChoose Prize Timeline Announced

GiveChoose Prize Schedule 2015 For our charities:  these timeframes may be very helpful in energizing your donors. Donors:  making a gift during these peak periods will help your favorite charities win bonus prizes during GiveChoose. Thanks, too, to our latest Prize Pool Sponsor Toth Financial...
Hone Your Golf Skills with E.J. Pfizer and Chris Tidland

Hone Your Golf Skills with E.J. Pfizer and Chris Tidland

JOIN One of the World’s finest Teaching Pros E.J. Pfister and Tour Pro Chris Tidland, plus John Mascatello and Len Shapiro for a Short Game Clinic and Skills Challenge while benefiting your local Community Foundation. Two Short Game Clinics will be offered. Both groups will convene for lunch and a presentation with guest speaker Len Shapiro. 9:00 am: Breakfast and Registration for the Morning Clinic 10:00 am – Noon: Morning Clinic (this Clinic gives participants the opportunity to reserve a full round of golf after lunch at a generously reduced guest rate) Noon – 1:30 pm: Luncheon and Presentation for participants of both Clinics 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Afternoon Clinic *Please Note: Both Short Game Clinics will conclude with a competitive Skills Challenge Short Game Clinic and Skills Challenge: $500 per session ($300 tax deductible) includes a tee gift, lunch and all day use of the practice facilities. Short Game Clinic and Skills Challenge with Golf Included, greens fee and cart fee for 18 holes: $675 ($300 tax deductible) Visit our Smore Page to Register!  We can’t wait to see you swing!  ...

10 Tips for Twitter during #GiveChoose

May 5, 2015  GiveChoose.Org A Day of Giving Benefitting Community Charities  Twitter Tip Sheet Twitter is an amazing way to quickly engage and transmit information, and can be a great tool for your online fundraising and building community around your charity. Here are some quick tips. First, follow the Community Foundation Twitter. Our “handle” is @LoudounFauquier. We’ll be reposting tips and ideas for the #GiveChoose event. “Follow” people and organizations that are important to your cause, community and your organization’s mission. You can search for them by name and organization and choose to “follow” them. “Listen” to conversations going on, just like at a party, and then begin talking as you would face-to-face. “Retweet” conversations of those you’re following. In fact, one suggested rule of thumb is to “retweet” 80% of the time, and post fresh tweets 20% of the time. This is how you build community around your organization. Include pictures. Pictures and videos are the most popularly retweeted posts out there. Include “hashtags”—that quintessential element of Twitter. Using a hashtag symbol #before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in a Tweet helps to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. Hashtags help to create or identify trending topics. Don’t use more than two hashtags per Tweet, and some experts suggest the hashtag should appear toward the end of your message. When you click on a hashtag, you see all other Tweets marked with that keyword. On May 5th, 2015, create a hashtag unique to you, like #ChooseArtSqure during #GiveChoose! Track and research. You can do searches on hashtags to identify conversations...
100 WomenStrong Social Impact Institute

100 WomenStrong Social Impact Institute

The Social Impact Institute in its Leadership Development Program will enroll six executive directors in a six-month executive coaching program focusing on each participant’s goals—and, equally important—how achieving their goal will positively affect the nonprofit that employs them. The six participants will benefit from three one-on-one sessions with Executive Coach Leigh Shields, plus three cohort meetings with the full group between March and September 2015. Full application information is on our website under For...
New Offices, New Leaders, New Name

New Offices, New Leaders, New Name

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Fauquier Counties has announced a series of changes: a name change, a new headquarters, and the next slate of board leadership.   Kirsten Langhorne, a long-time member of 100WomenStrong (a giving circle within the Community Foundation) and Lansdowne resident is the newly elected president of the all-volunteer board of directors, with John Rust from Leesburg named as Vice President. Both have been with the board for years.   As part of the Community Foundation’s emphasis to serve all of Loudoun County, Executive Director Amy Owen and the organization’s headquarters have been relocated to Leesburg within Healthworks’ Fort Evans Road facility. Healthworks is a nonprofit Community Health Center providing medical, dental and behavioral health care to people from all backgrounds, of all ages, and of all incomes. They are the medical home to over 9,000 Loudoun County residents, most of whom are low income.  The Community Foundation has assumed vacant offices on the first floor.   “We not only appreciate the hospitality of one of Loudoun County’s leading charities for office space,” said Owen, “we will benefit from several meeting areas and rooms within the building as we flip-flop board meetings between Leesburg and Middleburg.”   The name change was adopted by the Community Foundation Board of Directors to better explain the grantmaking group’s service...