Giving Back with GIVEdsm
At the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines a critical component of our mission is to promote charitable giving by connecting donors with causes they care about. Those meaningful connections can take place in a variety of different ways and we are committed to providing opportunities to create connections that count. Greater Des Moines (DSM) is such a generous community and our neighbors have a tremendous heart for giving. But as this past year has exemplified, it can be difficult to stay up to date on the financial needs of and incredible services offered by our community’s nonprofits. That is why we created GIVEdsm. GIVEdsm is an online resource that provides the opportunity to learn about the needs and opportunities of our community and offer support to those that match the charitable interests of an individual, family or business.
How GIVEdsm Acts as Charitable Matchmaker
GIVEdsm started as an idea among the Community Foundation team that transformed into more than we imagined thanks to the collaborative spirit and ingenuity of the DSM community. As we work closely with nonprofits across the region, we are inspired by the work they are doing each day to fulfill their missions. We also have the unique opportunity to speak with community members who are looking for ways to give back and come to us to learn about needs based on their areas of interest. Given these unique roles, we recognized that we had the opportunity to act as a charitable matchmaker of sorts and explore technology solutions to make these connections simple and meaningful.
Connecting to Meaningful Projects in DSM
Local nonprofits can connect with a member of the Community Foundation team and create a profile for their organization on GIVEdsm. From there they can add a variety of projects for which they are seeking funding support. This can include timely needs like supporting the purchase of a moving truck to assist in setting-up apartments for refugee families. Projects could also include capital campaigns to support building expansions for organizations or ongoing support to assist them in continue the day-to-day work that moves our community forward. Each project has its own profile on GIVEdsm and provides an opportunity to learn more and give.
For those visiting GIVEdsm, we strive to make giving simple. Donors can search the site by their areas of interest to discover needs that may match their charitable interests; the donor may learn more about an organization they are familiar with or be introduced to a nonprofit making a difference for an issue they care deeply about. They can make a credit card contribution to support this project directly from GIVEdsm and the nonprofit will receive their support. Additionally, they can create a profile in GIVEdsm so that they can refer to their giving history through the site as they are reviewing where they have provided support.
Embracing Community During the Pandemic
While we understood the importance of offering GIVEdsm to our community, we were humbled by the way it was embraced in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic reached our community, we added a COVID-19 pandemic field of interest to GIVEdsm to provide an opportunity for nonprofits to share needs as they faced a surge in service needs or a loss in traditional operating revenue. As our nonprofit sector pivoted, our community stepped up. It was inspiring to hear our neighbors ask, how can I help? During a time of overwhelming challenge, GIVEdsm provided a single website to dive into the needs of the community and give in the ways that meant the most.
The past year has certainly challenged us all, but even in the midst of significant struggle; we have seen so many reasons for hope and for joy. Hearing stories of families who gathered together to visit GIVEdsm, have discussions about what they care about and then support selected causes was heartwarming. These gifts certainly made a difference for local causes today, but instilling this heart for giving will last with those individuals for the tomorrows we face. As we seek to move into a better way of being, GIVEdsm continues to provide the opportunity to learn, connect and give as we make DSM greater.
Named the #1 Best Place to Live in the Midwest and #2 Safest Place to Live, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.
Count on the Greater Des Moines Partnership for economic recovery information and business and industry recommendations as the region moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about current impacts and future trends from the DSM Forward playbooks here.
Angie Dethlefs-Trettin serves as the Community Foundation's chief community impact officer where she leads, manages and evaluates the Community Foundation's grantmaking initiatives and nonprofit capacity building program. She also works on community leadership and social capital building initiatives of the Community Foundation.