A new partnership between the Omaha Community Foundation and Share Omaha will bring a shift in philanthropic giving to the metro area.
The move brings an end to Pottawattamie Gives and Omaha Gives, the annual day of charitable giving in the metro area. Shareomaha.org will now serve as the predominant giving website in the metro, according to the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation.
PCCF Executive Director Donna Dostal said the foundation will continue to partner with Share Omaha moving forward.
“We’re going to work with Share Omaha to figure out how we can fully partner with them so that the culture of philanthropy in southwest Iowa continues to grow, and build on that momentum,” Dostal told the Nonpareil, noting Share Omaha, which has a Council Bluffs office, has a footprint not only in Pottawattamie County but also Mills and Harrison Counties.
Omaha Gives started eight years ago, with the Pottawattamie foundation joining the day of giving in 2015. Over five years, donors contributed $2.9 million for more than 100 nonprofits serving the county — that includes a record-breaking haul of $811,021 in 2020.
Since its inception, Omaha Gives and Pottawattamie Gives has brought in $58 million for more than 1,000 nonprofits in the metro area, according to the Omaha Community Foundation and Pottawattamie County Community Foundation.
“While Omaha Gives and Pottawattamie Gives have been an integral part of our work throughout the last decade, we see the incredible opportunity to combine our efforts for greater nonprofit impact,” Donna Kush, Omaha Community Foundation’s CEO and president, said in a release. “We are eager to support Share Omaha as they build upon a dynamic and robust online resource that will support donors and nonprofits in exciting ways into the future.”
The move will lead to substantially more interaction between area nonprofits and residents, said Kali Baker, the Omaha Community Foundation‘s vice president of community investment, and Marjorie Maas, executive director of Share Omaha.
It allows both groups to focus on what they do best.
“Omaha Gives is not reaching people year-round,” Baker told the Omaha World-Herald. “And we don’t have the bandwidth to create engagement that Share Omaha does.”
Share Omaha connects everyday philanthropists to local causes with a website that showcases thousands of ways to “do good” throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa, the foundations said in the release.
“From last year’s floods to this year’s pandemic, Share Omaha has engaged new volunteers — over 2,000 in 2020 — and allowed donors to provide useful supplies during these critical times,” the release said. “Share Omaha operates with the belief that every member of the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro has a gift to offer the community, each donor and volunteer is valued, and all are invited to give when, where and how they want to give.”
Maas said eligible nonprofits can join Share Omaha and “experience free promotional benefits right away.”
“The Share Omaha community makes it easy to share a nonprofit mission year-round. Not only do Omaha/Council Bluffs region nonprofits reach new donors daily, they attract and retain first-time volunteers and in-kind contributions,” Maas said in the release.
Upcoming Share Omaha events include its annual Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1, which the foundations described as “the next community-wide giving celebration which transitions into seasonal giving.”
And Share Omaha will host Do Good Week from April 18 through April 24 to celebrate all forms of generosity, including donations and volunteerism.
Dostal said the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is excited to move forward.
“We’re fully committed to the success of our nonprofit partners,” she said. “PCCF is very much invested in the success of our southwest Iowa nonprofits and will continue to be their advocates in the community.”
— Betsie Freeman of the Omaha World-Herald contributed to this report.