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Frequently Asked Questions: For Nonprofits

What is Give Local St. Joseph County?

In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County will host Give Local St. Joseph County, a 24-hour giving day event on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Designed to support our county's best charities now and from now on, Give Local St. Joseph County will inspire people to give generously to their favorite nonprofit organizations whose important work they want to support.

It's our day to make a big impact! Every dollar donated on May 9 will be increased by a share of $2.4 million dollars in matching funds provided by our generous Give Local St. Joseph County sponsors.

Which nonprofits are eligible to participate in Give Local St. Joseph County?

To be eligible to participate in Give Local St. Joseph County, your organization must:

  • be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization;
  • have established an agency endowment of at least $25,000 with the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County by December 31, 2016;
  • be based in St. Joseph County, Indiana, or, if located outside the county, must be the primary provider of your service for the people of St. Joseph County;
  • have adequate professional staff capacity to actively participate in the Give Local St. Joseph County campaign, including attending pertinent training sessions and support functions;
  • agree to use dollars received as a result of Give Local St. Joseph County, whether as a grant or addition to your endowment, for the benefit of St. Joseph County;
  • not be an organization of religious worship, such as a church or synagogue, or operating strictly for religious purposes.
  • NOTE:  Registration closed on March 1, 2017.

Do eligible organizations have to participate?

No. Organizations can choose not to participate simply by not registering for the event.  This is perfectly acceptable.  Some organizations sit out due to conflicting priorities, staff vacancies, etc.

Will Give Local St. Joseph County happen every year?

No. The Community Foundation conducts Give Local St. Joseph County as a special event.  It requires a rare and special lead contribution that gives the whole event an exciting scale and provides a special incentive for local citizens to give above and beyond their normal annual giving.  In 2015, such a contribution was provided by Lilly Endowment.  In 2017, a lead gift was made in honor of founding board member Judd Leighton on the occasion of the Community Foundation’s 25th Anniversary. 

What is an endowment?

Gifts to endowment are permanently invested to generate earnings. Each year, the Community Foundation pays out a portion of the earnings as grants to local charities. A portion is reinvested so the endowment grows over time. Endowments provide an important source of income to charities that they can depend on, in good times and in bad. Dozens of local charities have endowed funds at the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County. Give Local St. Joseph County is specifically designed to increase the size of these endowed funds so they provide a growing source of support to charities year after year.

What is the major matching pool?

Thanks to a lead gift from the Judd Leighton Foundation and major gifts from a small group of generous sponsors, the Community Foundation has created a major matching pool of $2.4 million that will be used to increase gifts to participating charities.

What is the difference between a challenge grant and the major matching pool?

Some charities will secure challenge grants from special donors who agree to match other gifts to a particular charity dollar-for-dollar up to a specified amount. Each challenge grant and the gifts they attract will increase that charity's share of the major matching pool. See the "Challenge Grant" tab at for a list of such opportunities.

How will Give Local St. Joseph County funds be allocated to participating charities?

Participating charities will receive 75% of the net funds they raise through Give Local St. Joseph County (total gifts less direct expenses including credit card and Kimbia fees for gifts made online) for immediate use, paid by the Community Foundation no later than June 30, 2017.

The remaining 25% of net funds raised PLUS each charity's share of the matching pool will be placed in the charity's endowment at the Community Foundation.

Here's how it works: The Give Local St. Joseph County matching pool is $2.4 million. Because we don't know how many dollars will be raised on May 9, we don't know how much each charity will receive. The first $10,000 each charity raises will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The maximum amount of matching funds any individual charity can receive is $200,000. We estimate the actual match per dollar will be between $.50 and $1.00, so let’s take $.75 for purposes of this general illustration, understanding the actual result may be a bit higher or lower.

Illustration: If Charity A raises $100,000 on May 9 (Give Local St. Joseph County), $75,000 (net of fees) will be distributed to the charity no later than June 30, 2017. $25,000 plus $75,000 in matching funds from the Give Local St. Joseph County matching pool will be added to Charity A’s endowment with the Community Foundation. End result: $75,000 now plus about $5,000 in annual endowment revenue from now on, for a total benefit of $175,000.

How will the major matching pool be allocated to participating charities?

Because it is impossible to predict how much money will be raised on Give Local St. Joseph County (May 9, 2017), the major matching pool will be allocated according to a formula rather than a specified amount of match per dollar. Major matching pool dollars will be allocated as follows:

  • The first $10,000 raised by each charity will be matched dollar for dollar;
  • Gifts raised in excess of $10,000 will receive a proportionate share of the remaining major matching pool.

In the event that any of the participating charities raises in excess of 10% of the total dollars raised, that charity's matching fund opportunity will be capped at $200,000 (or 10% of the total matching pool).

How does my organization register?

Registration for eligible nonprofit organizations ended on March 1, 2017.

Why should my organization participate?

  • Raise more money from donors, including major gifts, from donors who are motivated by the matching opportunity
  • Increase your endowment to provide greater annual support
  • Expand your donor base
  • Raise awareness about your organization
  • Build your online fundraising skills and presence

How can I help make the day a success for my organization and our community?

Take full advantage of the resources provided on this website and the trainings offered. If you're not currently involved in social media, set up accounts for your organization now. Also, HAVE FUN on May 9, 2017! Your creativity and energy are what make this day a success. Visit the “Toolkit” tab at for more tips and tools.

Can we encourage donations by giving away prizes or free gifts?

It is an organization's responsibility to ensure that they are compliant with state and IRS regulations for gaming and charitable deduction. The Community Foundation of St. Joseph County is issuing a gift acknowledgement form saying that the donor's gift is 100% tax-deductible. Charities contemplating giving tokens are urged to consult their tax advisor about whether they are in compliance with state and IRS regulations.

When will my organization receive its share of the Give Local St. Joseph County proceeds?

You will receive your share of the money eligible for immediate needs in a single disbursement check by June 30, 2017. All disbursements will be made by check from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County.

What if the amount my nonprofit expected based on the initial Give Local St. Joseph County results does not match the final calculations?

Although each nonprofit will be able to see its gifts in real time, please be aware that reconciliation must be completed and, even though gifts are considered nonrefundable, a donation can be revoked from the time of receipt to the time of disbursement if major donor error is involved. Therefore, donation "reports" cannot be considered final until the nonprofit receives a disbursement from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County by June 30, 2017.

Does my organization need to send letters to donors for their tax deduction?

No. After making a gift online, the donor will immediately receive an email confirming the gift from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County during the event. Gifts by other means will also be acknowledged either by email or in writing. Note that all donations must be 100% tax deductible (i.e., no additional benefits). However, this tax deduction form is not a "thank you." We encourage you to acknowledge donations by following up with donors and letting them know that you appreciate their donation.

Will my organization receive donor information for acknowledgements?

Yes. You will have access to donor information during the event via an Excel spreadsheet that will update in real time. We also encourage you to reach out to your donors after the event and thank them for supporting your organization.


General questions:

Please email our administrative team.

Questions regarding donations, challenge grants, sponsorships:

Please email Rose Meissner, president of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County.


If you wish, you can download a .pdf copy of the FAQ: FOR NONPROFITS.

Presenting Sponsors
Supporting Sponsors