‘Raise the Region’ offers chance to donate to communities’ needs

In its seventh year, “Raise the Region,” a 30-hour online fundraising event hosted by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, wrapped up at midnight. Jennifer D. Wilson, the group’s President and CEO Thursday afternoon, said that the response to the event has been good.

“It’s such a celebration of philanthropy in our region,” she said.

“This event is certainly about celebrating our non-profits in the region, but also celebrating philanthropy,” she added.

During the event, the public was encouraged to visit the online website to select participating non-profits to support. This year, 280 non-profits had registered to participate in the six-county region of Lycoming, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties.

Over the past six “Raise the Region” events, over $7 million was raised.

“I like to think of it as a way we can support the everyday philanthropist. It’s not about how much money you give. It’s just about giving to what’s important to you,” Wilson said.

Wilson noted the minimum gift was $25.

“Anyone can take that opportunity to support what’s important to them, whether it’s the arts, human service, or the environment, or education. We have so many diverse non-profits to choose from,” she said.

The number of donors has also grown from the first year’s of 2,900 to last year’s total of 4,800.

“It’s just a great way for all of us to come together, across the region and support the things that support all of us and our neighbors all year long,” she added.

“For me, the celebration is more about the number of people that are engaging and taking part in supporting the non-profits in our community,” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, the success of the event shows that this area is a giving community. In addition to the online gifts from donors, there are opportunities to increase donations through sponsors that provide stretch dollars and prize money throughout the event.

“As a foundation we say we strive to create powerful communities through passionate giving. I can think of no better platform to make the connection between philanthropists and non-profits,” she said.