WHY DONATE THROUGH SANTA CRUZ COUNTY GIVES?
- Your dollars stay local. Dollars spent locally strengthen our County’s economy exponentially.
- The organizations receive matching funds, so your donations are increased. The total pool of matching funds is on the home page of the website. See more details below.
- No salaries, rent or overhead is paid to Santa Cruz Gives’ operations with donations.
- Learn about many local nonprofits in one place. Local nonprofits have few dollars to promote themselves, and once you find out about one, researching each one individually is time-consuming.
- An experienced committee vets the applicants. Our members have a depth of knowledge about nonprofits in the County. We will continue to accept more organizations as the campaign grows.
- You’re part of a community. See your donation tick up in real-time and track the progress of your favorite nonprofits — it’s inspiring!
- It’s easy. The shopping cart makes it easy to give and the minimum donation is only $5.
- Donate to one or more organizations, and give different amounts to each organization, as you wish.
WHEN DOES THE CAMPAIGN START AND END?
Santa Cruz Gives will debut the 2023 slate of nonprofits and begin accepting donations on November 15 with the publication of a cover story in Good Times, and will end at midnight Dec. 31, 2023.
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 which organization(s) you are donating to. 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?
Cash donations can be made at the Volunteer Center office in Santa Cruz during limited hours (see below).
You may also donate cash to a participating nonprofit directly. Each nonprofit can accept cash donations for its organization on behalf of Santa Cruz Gives.
If making a cash donation, be sure to include a memo detailing:
-Name of the organization(s) you are donating to
-Donor phone number and email address.
Bring your cash or check donations to:
The Volunteer Center
1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Cash drop-off hours
Do not leave cash in the dropbox!
Cash donations may be dropped off on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 1-3 p.m. as follows:
Nov. 18 –23 (Closed Nov. 23-24 – checks may be dropped in the dropbox).
Nov. 27-Dec. 21 (Closed Dec. 22 – Jan. 2 – checks may be dropped in the dropbox).
Jan. 2-8, 2024 – Checks mailed or delivered will be processed. Donations are not accepted after Jan. 5th.
CHECKS ARE POSTED LATE DURING THE HOLIDAYS.
The Volunteer Center offices will be closed Dec. 22 – Jan. 2. Checks and cash donations received during this time will be included in the campaign, but they will not be posted to the website until Jan. 3 or later. The home page will display the final numbers mid-January after all checks have been processed.
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 in mid-January.
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 Leslie Lee (email@example.com) 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. Nonprofit organizations will not receive the name of an anonymous donor, nor are donations made public.
HOW WILL THE MATCHING FUNDS BE APPLIED?
Total matching funds are posted on the home page. All donors can now contribute, so they may increase during the campaign (see details below for how to contribute). The overall match is proportionate. Total matching funds are divided and granted based on the 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 (challenge grants + individual donations), it will receive 3 percent of the matching funds.
WHAT IS A CHALLENGE GRANT?
A Challenge Grant is an up-front grant to the nonprofit made by a major donor. These grants demonstrate support for a nonprofit, generally from philanthropists experienced at vetting organizations for effectiveness, thereby encouraging other donors to give by setting a goal for donors to match. A “thermometer” tracks progress toward the goal on the nonprofit’s profile page on this site, and challenge grantors are recognized by name if desired. Multiple challenge grants may be combined into one total.
MAY AN INDIVIDUAL OR A COMPANY MAKE A CHALLENGE GRANT?
Yes. They must be a minimum of $500 and made by November 6, prior to the official launch of the campaign. If you are interested in making a challenge grant to one or more participating nonprofits, contact firstname.lastname@example.org in October of any given year for details.
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 by entering an amount in the Matching Funds field on the shopping cart. 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% of the total donated funds (individual + challenge grant donations), they will receive 3% 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 Project of the Year
$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 2023 holiday campaign an organization has to apply by the deadline, Thusday, September 7, at: SantaCruzGives.org/rfp
The rejection of an application does not imply that an organization did not meet the criteria for acceptance. As the program grows and more funds are raised, the number of total nonprofits will be increased. We limit it to provide potential for each group to raise sufficient funds for the staff time spent on the campaign.
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 that you look at the leaderboard on SantaCruzGives.org to identify the previous year’s successful nonprofits (total number of donors as well as total funds) 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.