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By Jeanne Howard

Santa Cruz Gives operates — well, not quite on a wing and a prayer, but close. Volunteers who are already scheduled up to their eyeballs (who isn't?) make it happen.

The leadership at the Volunteer Center and Community Foundation Santa Cruz County are perhaps the most knowledgeable folks in town when it comes to understanding the landscape of nonprofits based in our community and the work they do. These leaders read all of the applications, guide the campaign, and assist nonprofits with tactics to maximize their fundraising by using social media, engaging their leadership and more.

Good Times editor Steve Palopoli coaches the nonprofits on how to create a compelling narrative that tells their story with the aim of helping donors understand the importance of their work. GT's managing editor Adam Joseph runs a social media campaign for SC Gives, something he started for us last year. In addition, Good Times reporters cover the participating nonprofits every week; The Pajaronian and Press Banner run articles on most weeks.

One key to the success of this campaign is providing matching funds for the nonprofits — much-needed cash that is shared among the organizations. Knowing that their favorite nonprofits will get an increased share of those funds if donors give, incentivizes donations.

Matching funds are generously provided this year by the Applewood Foundation; Joe Collins; Driscoll’s, Inc.; Monterey Peninsula Foundation, host of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Pure Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee; Santa Cruz County Bank; and Wynn Capital Management. These are major gifts that accounted for about 15% of funds raised in past years. We'd like to build on this, so if you or your company are in a position to contribute, please contact Jeanne Howard at jeanne@santacruzgives.org.

Generous local media outlets that have donated ad space, coverage, and PSAs include Growing Up in Santa Cruz, KSCO, Santa Cruz Local, and the Stephens Media Group.

No rent, salaries or overhead is paid to run Santa Cruz Gives, thanks to Good Times and the Volunteer Center, who contribute the bulk of the administration. Thank you for visiting this site, and supporting some Big Ideas for 2023.