Foundation launches first online giving campaign

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WALLA WALLA — The Blue Mountain Community Foundation is launching its first year-end, online gift campaign for investing in local causes.

Beginning at 9 a.m. today, the campaign is slated to run through Friday on the foundation’s website, for donors to make tax-deductible gifts that may be matched.

This is also the first time anyone in the community can join in support for the region’s nonprofit community through “Impact! Funds,” said Lawson Knight, executive director. “We are trying to offer the giving equivalent to the mutual fund.”

Prior to the advent of mutual funds — a collective way to invest — people had to select individual stocks and make separate investments, he explained. The “Impact” concept allows donors to select an area of interest and Blue Mountain Community Foundation handles the rest, he said. “For example, one gift to the ‘Education! Fund’ would have been part of grants to 16 organizations this past fall.”

The organization makes grants of more of $1.6 million every year, Knight noted.

As part of building a healthy community, the funding puts money into local efforts for art, economy, education, environment, health, needs and neighbors.

In one payment, donors can support communities from Pomeroy to Athena. Donations are pooled and combined with others through the foundation’s grantmaking program.

The campaign marries the desire of folks to give before the end of the tax year and the ease of doing so online, Knight said.

The cherry on top comes from a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will allow BMCF to match up to $20,000 to gifts given to the needs, education and health funds.

Donors may join the campaign at www.bluemountainfoundation.org/impact. For more information call 529-4371.

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