Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Idaho Gives aims to support local nonprofits

| April 16, 2024 1:00 AM

Idaho Gives — the state’s 12th annual celebration to support over 600 participating nonprofits across the state — will take place this year from April 29 to May 2.

“In a society that is burnt out, disconnected and isolated, can generosity be part of the key to unlocking a healthier way forward?” asked Idaho Nonprofit Center CEO Kevin Bailey.

According to Bailey, Americans had a skill for connecting the social fabric for the common good through the formation of social groups: labor unions, membership organizations, neighborhood associations and charitable nonprofits. The story of the nonprofit sector is a story based in connection to causes greater than oneself, he said.

Idaho Gives is one such opportunity which can provide a doorway into more connection with the community.

Bailey used his mom, Kathy, as one example of someone who has gained deeper connections through Idaho Gives. 

“As a new retiree and recent Idaho transplant from the Midwest, Kathy was looking for a way to use her retirement to give back to a cause she cares about,” he said. “She had just finished a 40-year career as a public school teacher in a special education classroom and was looking for a nonprofit cause in Idaho that supported the special education community. During Idaho Gives, she stumbled upon Gamechangers Idaho, a nonprofit that brings together youth with and without disabilities onto the same playing field to build empathy, understanding and inclusion.”

What started as a $10 donation a year ago turned into Kathy being led to following their newsletter and social media. She then felt herself being called to give her talents to the cause, he added, and signed up to volunteer with Gamechangers.

“Time, talent and treasure — these are the secret ingredients of Idaho’s nonprofit sector,” Bailey said. “Despite the negativity, social malaise and complex issues facing our society and state, nonprofits can and should be an opportunity we all say ‘yes’ to in the coming weeks.”

Idaho runs on nonprofits and the charitable nonprofit sector is Idaho’s best-kept secret, he said. From preserving the state’s open spaces, to feeding the elderly, to providing healthcare, to bringing world-class arts and cultural experiences, to housing and caring for neighbors and veterans, Bailey said nonprofits fill every gap in Idaho’s communities.

In the past 12 years, Idaho Gives has helped raise over $25 million for nonprofits in Idaho.

“Giving to causes we care about may also be the secret to finding connection, community, and something that gives us joy that is larger than ourselves,” Bailey said. “I encourage you to find your cause on April 29-May 2 and give at idahogives.org. Idaho Gives may well be one path to getting us all back on track.”