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A Day to Make a Difference

A Day to Make a Difference

Living in North Idaho, we are witness to not only many nonprofit organizations that are serving the needs of those in our communities but also to the countless number of people and businesses who step forward to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Whether it’s a food bank, homeless shelter, an organization that helps cancer patients or those who provide support for neglected or abandoned children, the need is great.

These organizations rely heavily upon year-round donations, but there is one day set aside each year to make a conscious effort to do what you can to contribute to those groups that mean the most to you.

This year’s date for Idaho Gives is May 2, and for those organizations who want to take part and provide an online venue for people to donate, they must register by April 15. Idaho Gives is a program administered by the Idaho Nonprofit Center and is designed to bring all Idaho residents together to raise both money and awareness for the countless 501(c)(3) organizations who work to make Idaho a better place. The Idaho Nonprofit Center provides a simple platform where donors can search, support and donate.

Kristin Ludwig is the director of development for CASA of North Idaho, which has participated in Idaho Gives for the last several years. She said they raise approximately $1,000 each year. “As with any state-wide nonprofit promotion, I see the value in being part of the community of nonprofits,” said Ludwig. “They do provide us social media ideas and other tools to help promote giving locally.”

Idaho Gives is a great way to promote an organization’s fundraising efforts and provides eligible nonprofits the opportunity to reach potential new donors with the visibility that only a state-wide effort can generate.

With the abundance of nonprofit organizations in North Idaho, it can be overwhelming for one in need. Determining which organization would best be able to serve them can be daunting. Thankfully there is an organization in North Idaho that can assist people with this search. Sandpoint Community Resource Center (SCRC) bridges the gap between those who serve and those in need in both Bonner and Boundary counties.

SCRC will be participating in Idaho Gives for the first time under the direction of new Executive Director Linnis Jellinek. Through the Volunteer Idaho Panhandle program, SCRC helps other nonprofits find volunteers, new board members and other services. The organization also helps volunteers find a place to share their passions in the community.

“Working with Idaho Nonprofit Center has given me solid resources as a new executive director in the area,” said Jellinek. “We are participating this year because I trust their recommendations, and this is going to be a fun way for us to get the word out regarding the broad scope of SCRC's services.”

A donation to Sandpoint Community Resource Center through Idaho Gives will go to help support the local community in three ways: The Resource Center where people get connected to the resources they need in a time of crisis; the Service Provider Information Network (SPIN), a community of service providers who can and will help those in need; and the Volunteer Idaho Panhandle (VIP) is where other nonprofits are supported and volunteers find their perfect match.

For the past five years, The Pearl Theater in Bonners Ferry has participated in Idaho Gives and continues to meet or exceed its fundraising goals each year. It’s now become one of the theater’s largest annual fundraising events.

“Idaho Gives is easy; it provides the structure, support and training for nonprofits to expand their fundraising,” said Board Member Valerie Thompson. “Since our organization depends almost entirely on memberships, volunteers and admissions to shows, we rely on donations to make up the difference, especially on big ticket items.”

The ease of the program and being able to market a small theater near the Canadian border to the entire state are reasons The Pearl continues its participation.

“Whether a person has been to The Pearl recently or ever, Idaho Gives provides individuals, businesses and organizations the chance to demonstrate that our dedication to fostering the performing arts throughout Boundary County is important to them, too,” said Thompson.

For an organization to be eligible to take part in Idaho Gives on May 2, they must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered or providing services in Idaho and registered and in good standing with the Idaho Secretary of State. They must also register with Idaho Gives.

All organizations will be asked to provide the following:

• Primary contact information

• Mailing address

• EIN number

• Idaho Nonprofit Center Member number (if applicable)

• Banking information

• 990 document or postcard verification

While there is a fee involved to participate, it is nominal, and organizations say it is well worth it for the exposure it provides.

The fee to participate in Idaho Gives depends on the size of the organization and whether you are a member of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. Member prices run from $50 to $100, and not yet member prices range from $100 to $200. Costs are associated with annual operating expenses. The ‘Small’ category is up to $99,999, while ‘Large’ qualifies with operating expenses of $500,000 and up. Medium falls in between the two.

Nonprofits interested in participating, or those looking to make a donation themselves, should head to This article mentions just a few of the organizations that will participate across the state. Donors can click on the ‘View All Participating Nonprofits’ link for a complete list. You can then narrow the list by city, county and/or what type of cause you would like to support. This includes anything from homeless advocacy and disaster relief to education, senior citizens and veterans.

May 2 is a day for all of Idaho to come together to help those committed to making their communities a better place. Volunteers spend countless hours and personal sacrifices helping those in need, providing needed services, being mentors or promoting the arts and outdoors. You can say thank you with even a small donation during Idaho Gives. Set aside a few extra dollars, find a great organization to support and help turn many contributions into an incredible impact across the Gem State.

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