The power of collaborative giving was on full display at the June 6 launch of Pop-Up Giving.
More than 80 people joined United Way to show how even a small amount can make a big impact when individuals give together.
Participants gathered at Cherry Tree Financial, and by contributing at least $20 at the door, they raised $2,500 for the night’s donation pot. Abraxas generously matched the amount for an amplified grant total of $5,000.
“I was thrilled to see so many people come out for the launch,” said Hayley Wasser, Associate Director of Major Gifts. “It seems this is an idea that resonates within the community. People really embraced the idea of collaborative giving.”
While enjoying refreshments by HopCat, attendees heard three health-based nonprofit organizations – 4Dad, Family & Children Services and YWCA – present their cases in three-minute pitches. The audience then filled out ballots, choosing 4Dad to receive the grant.
“The participants had a very difficult choice,” Wasser said. “I was impressed with the organizations who presented. It was great to provide a platform for their voices to be heard and their projects shared.”
Community Educator Jacob Pinney-Johnson gave the pitch for 4Dad, a program of Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services that goes hand-in-hand with Healthy Babies Healthy Start to support parents and their families.
“Although it was somewhat of a competition, it didn’t really feel like that,” he said. “The fact that everyone was in good spirits and keeping the value of the work at the forefront, that was awesome.”
He said that the $5,000 grant gives the program some flexibility to be creative in how they serve parents and families. Currently the program provides critical education– teaching families about safe sleep practices, family planning, infant care, pregnancy support and more. The grant will allow for additional services that help fathers and families build relationships and create memories. Family outings, dinners and celebratory events that support parents in bonding with their children could all be part of the mix.
“A majority of our folks are going through a struggle. They have stress, and don’t have the means to do that type of stuff,” Pinney-Johnson said. “Ensuring that parents are finding time for joy with their families is awesome.”
The next Pop-Up Giving event will have an education focus and is set for Sept. 12. Early registration is open and encouraged. Anyone who registers by June 14 will receive a surprise at the event. Community members can nominate organizations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I hope that folks come back and bring a few friends so that the pot grows bigger,” Wasser said. “I’m excited to keep the momentum going.”
Pinney-Johnson had this to add: “A big ‘thank you’ on behalf of Healthy Babies Healthy Start and 4Dad. Thank you to United Way for putting on such an awesome event, to Abraxas for supporting with the match, and to the community for showing up and supporting with their funds and votes. Thank you!”
We at United Way would like to add a big thank you to our sponsors: Abraxas, Buy Local Kalamazoo, Cherry Tree Financial and GreenStreet Marketing.
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Learn more about the organizations that presented at Pop-Up Giving, and find out how to connect.
- 4Dad: Contact Jacob Pinney-Johnson, Community Educator, at email@example.com or (269)373-5047.
- Family & Children Services: Contact Courtenay VanderMolen, Director of Resource Development, at Courtenay.firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 344-0202 ext. 417.
- YWCA Kalamazoo: Contact the YWCA at email@example.com or (269) 345-5595.