April event streamlines local giving

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Another outreach to tech-savvy donors will crowdsource support for four Kilgore nonprofits – and 154 other charities throughout the area – and there’s a little less than 10 days to go until East Texas Giving Day 2018.

The city’s library, a local rehabilitation facility, the community college’s foundation and one of Kilgore’s prime cultural outlets are on the donation roster Tuesday, April 24, ready to reap benefits from the streamlined donation process.

In April 2017, the grassroots fundraising operation raised almost half-a-million dollars for scores of organizations in the area, using a web- and mobile-based platform to encourage locals to ‘Donate Now’ through East Texas Communities Foundation.

The public charity serves donors and nonprofits in 32 East Texas counties, including Gregg and Rusk, and organizers report contributions totaling more than $123 million since ETCF was founded in 1989. According to the foundation, it currently manages more than $90 million in charitable assets and has distributed grants in excess of $70 million.

“Giving to – or through – East Texas Communities Foundation is simple,” the group maintains: “Donations can be made in any dollar amount through the creation of a charitable fund or as a gift to an existing endowment fund.”

According to a simple query at EastTexasGivingDay.org, there are four Kilgore-based organizations participating in this year’s initiative: it’s the second year for East Texas Treatment Center and Friends of the Kilgore Public Library with the addition of Texas Shakespeare Festival and the Kilgore College Foundation.

Each participant submitted a profile to recruit donors, including contact information, summaries of programs, photos, event listings and a brief mission statement:

The mission of the Friends of the Kilgore Public Library is to contribute to community enrichment in and for the City of Kilgore, Texas through enhancement of quality public library collections, programs, and services.

Kilgore College provides a learner-centered environment that focuses on student access, success and completion via collaborative partnerships.

The East Texas Treatment Center is a Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) with the purpose of restoring our patients to their highest possible level of independence within the limits of their disability by providing quality therapy services.

The Texas Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to providing an opportunity for theatre artists to work on plays from the world’s storehouse of dramatic literary masterpieces in an environment that is both nurturing and humane and one that creates a spirit of trust, collaboration and mutual respect.

Donors have 18 hours April 24, 6 a.m. to midnight, to log on to EastTexasGivingDay.org, track down beneficiaries from the foundation’s vetted list and make tax-deductible contributions (minimum $20) using a credit card, debit or echeck.

Donations can be scheduled in advance now through the event – transactions won’t be processed until April 24.

According to ETCF’s Frequently Asked Questions, the foundation takes no cut of donations during the giving event.

“ETCF has invested significant staff time and financial resources into the creation and execution of East Texas Giving Day to provide area nonprofits a simplified platform to reach new donors,” the foundation reports. Each participating nonprofit has paid a sign-up fee of $100 or $125, depending on the registration date, and those proceeds have been invested in promotion. With some transaction fees deducted April 24, “Approximately 94 percent of each donation will go directly to the nonprofit.”

For more information and to research participating charities, log on to at EastTexasGivingDay.org.

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