Idaho Gives 2019: Sweet Charity 

"What I love about Idaho Gives is that donors choose exactly where their funds go."

click to enlarge idaho_gives_montage_2.jpg

Idaho Nonprofit Center

With the possible exception of Election Day, no other day on the calendar brings the entire Gem State together like the first Thursday in May. The 24-hour give-a-thon, better known as Idaho Gives, is quite simply Idaho at its best.

Last year, 10,843 Idahoans donated more than $1.5 million to 570 nonprofits in every corner of the Gem State. Over the last 6 years, Idaho Gives has raised over $6.3 million for charitable organizations; and if all goes as expected, that grand total will surpass $7 million at some point on Thursday, May 2, 2019. To be sure, it will be a rather historic achievement, but what it really means is that a single Idahoan will make an equally historic donation—perhaps $5, perhaps $50 or more—to a support a worthy cause.

"What I love about Idaho Gives is that donors choose exactly where their funds go," said Idaho Nonprofit Center President and CEO Amy Little. "Plus, it's a wonderful example of Idaho's nonprofits coming together in collaboration and community."

The give-a-thon begins at midnight on May 2, and the eye of the hurricane will be IdahoGives.org. The genius of the website is its simplicity. Idahoans are generous but, more often than not, they may not be familiar with the long list of charitable organizations that share their passion. That's why there are multiple categories grouped by cause: Animals, Arts and Culture, Community Advocacy, Disability Service, Disaster Relief, Education, Emergency Response, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Health and Wellness, Homelessness and Housing, Politics, Poverty and Hunger, Religion, Seniors, Social Justice, Substance Abuse Prevention, Veterans, Women's Issues and Youth. You may opt to peruse the list of nonprofits that pop up under each category, or you may want to narrow that search by entering your hometown. You can even further filter your search by typing in a specific word or phrase, such as "food bank," "horses," "theater" or "wildlife." Click the "profile" button next to any charitable organization to find exactly what your donation will help pay for. For example, a $20 donation to Alley Repertory Theater funds a can of paint; a $25 donation to Dreamhaven Ranch will pay for one month's supply of hay for a miniature donkey; and $50 to the Idaho Foodbank is equivalent to 250 nutritious meals.

Understanding that some people prefer a person-to-person conversation about a possible donation, this year Idaho Gives volunteers will also man the phones at 1-877-ID-GIVES, beginning at 4 a.m. on Thursday. The phone bank will be situated in the studios of KTVB NewsChannel 7, which will also showcase remote broadcasts from Idaho Gives events across the Treasure Valley, beginning with the Start Strong Breakfast at Even Stevens Sandwiches in downtown Boise, and ending with the Thursday night BFF Block Party, which will fill La Pointe Street in Boise's Lusk District (see a full calendar of Treasure Valley Idaho Gives events on page 16).

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