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FAQ

WHY DONATE THROUGH SANTA CRUZ COUNTY GIVES?

You can easily donate to one or any number of the organizations on SantaCruzGives.org, and give different amounts to each organization, as you wish.

WHEN DOES THE CAMPAIGN START AND END?

Santa Cruz Gives will have a soft launch on November 13, 2020 to test the site, and a formal kick-off on November 18 with the publication of a cover story in Good Times, and will end at midnight Dec. 31, 2020.

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM DONATION?

The minimum donation is $5 per organization.

CAN I MAIL A CHECK?

Yes. Mail checks payable to Santa Cruz Gives to:

The Volunteer Center, Attention: Santa Cruz Gives, 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

Specify the organization(s) you are donating to and for multiple organizations please combine the total in one check and include a list of the individual amounts for each organization. Include your address, phone, and email address.

ARE CASH DONATIONS ACCEPTED?

Yes. Cash donations can be made in Santa Cruz at The Volunteer Center office.

You may also contact a participating nonprofit directly. Each nonprofit can accept cash donations for their organization on behalf of Santa Cruz Gives.

Please roll coins or convert to dollars. Be sure to include the name of the organization(s) that the donation applies to and include the donor name(s).

The Volunteer Center — 1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz

Cash drop-off hours are limited this year due to staff sheltered in place:
Nov. 18 – Dec. 23 — Tues, Wed, Thurs. — 1-3 pm
Jan. 5 – 6 —  Tues, Wed, Thurs. — 1-3 pm

Offices will be closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 4.
Checks received during that time will be posted after Jan. 5.

WHO HANDLES THE MONEY FROM DONATIONS?

All donations are deposited directly into a bank account overseen and managed by The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County. Donations will be dispersed to the individual nonprofit organizations approximately Thursday, January 14.

CAN I MAKE A DONATION ON SOMEONE ELSE’S BEHALF?

Yes. The person named can be recognized via an email that is automatically generated. At checkout, there will be an option to indicate whether you’d like your gift to be in honor or in memory of someone, or neither.

ARE DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Yes. Donors will receive an email receipt immediately after making an online donation that will include a tax ID number. Donors sending checks or making gifts of stock will receive a receipt by mail by early January.

MAY I DONATE STOCK?

Yes. Santa Cruz Gives can accept gifts of stock, bonds or other current financial instruments. If you are interested in making such a gift, please contact Trea Robinson (trea@scvolunteercenter.org) to make arrangements. The proceeds from the sales of such gifts will be disbursed to the Santa Cruz Gives organization(s) of your choice and are tax deductible as allowed by law.

CAN MY DONATION BE MADE ANONYMOUSLY?

Yes. You will be able to specify that you would like to remain anonymous when you submit your donation.

HOW WILL THE MATCHING FUNDS BE APPLIED?

The overall match will be divided and granted based on the same percentage of the total donations that each organization receives during the campaign. That is, if a nonprofit receives 3 percent of the total donated funds, they will receive 3 percent of the matching funds.

MAY AN INDIVIDUAL OR A COMPANY MAKE A CHALLENGE GRANT?

Yes. A Challenge Grant is an up-front grant to the nonprofit of the grantor’s choice. These demonstrate support for a nonprofit and encourage donors by setting a goal for donors to match the Challenge Grant. A “thermometer” tracks progress toward the goal on the nonprofit’s page on this website. We are offering these for one additional year at no cost as long as a check is written and payments are not made through the website (that is, no administration fee for 2020; 100% goes to the nonprofit).

Minimum $250.
(It is usually $500 but in this challenging year, it is lower.)

IN THE SHOPPING CART, THERE IS A FIELD TO ADD TO THE OVERALL MATCHING FUNDS. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Any donor may add to the matching funds. The running total is on the Home Page. The total of the matching funds will be divided and granted based on the same percentage of the total overall donations that each organization receives during the campaign. That is, if a nonprofit receives 3 percent of the total donated funds, they will receive 3 percent of the matching funds.

WHAT ARE THE THREE AWARDS?

The nonprofits are eligible for three special awards to encourage participation:

$1,000             Most Donors
$1,000             Most Innovative Project
$1,000             Most Creative Campaign

HOW ARE THE ORGANIZATIONS SELECTED?

A Request for Proposals ad is published in Good Times for several weeks in late summer and the Volunteer Center sends an email to the more than 150 nonprofits on their email list. The Santa Cruz Gives committee selects from the eligible organizations that submit applications by the deadline (nonprofits must be a 501(c)3 and their project must benefit Santa Cruz County). To be eligible for the 2019 holiday campaign an organization had to apply by the deadline, Monday, September 7, at: SantaCruzGives.org/rfp

The total number of nonprofits included will be increased in future years, as the program grows and more funds are raised. We limit it to provide potential for each group to raise sufficient funds for the staff time spent on the campaign. The rejection of an application does not imply that an organization did not meet the criteria for acceptance.

Selected nonprofits are notified the last week of September each year.

The selection committee attempts to choose projects that:

  • cover as many of the categories of community needs as possible (education, youth, seniors, food/nutrition, education, the environment, the arts, animals, etc.)
  • represent diverse projects within the categories (we avoid selecting similar projects)
  • benefit the county’s various geographical communities
  • present a clear and specific project
  • present a compelling appeal to donors
  • demonstrate potential for success via an organization’s own communication channels (email, social media, network of supporters, etc.)

I WORK WITH A NONPROFIT THAT MIGHT LIKE TO APPLY. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE?

It’s recommended you look at the leaderboard on SantaCruzGives.org to identify the previous year’s successful nonprofits and view their individual nonprofit pages to get a sense of what the public responded to. Success results from a combination of an inspiring mission statement, a compelling Big Idea, and a nonprofit’s ability to stimulate interest via social media, their email network, and other outreach.

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

Please email info@SantaCruzGives.org for further information.

We Did It!

The 2020 campaign is finished. To see the campaign, close this window.

And please come back in November, 2021!