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Nonprofits get funding boost from Raise the Region

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First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania’s sixth Raise the Region campaign runs from tonight through Thursday, once again offering Valley nonprofits an online outlet to raise vital funding for programs. 

FCFP Community Engagement Director Erin Ruhl said donations to any of the 314 participating nonprofits can be made through raisetheregion.org over 30 hours, beginning at 6 p.m. today and ending at midnight Thursday. She added that FCFP’s campaign partner, Blaise Alexander Family Dealership, contributed “$150,000 that will be used to stretch every donation to pre-registered nonprofits.” 

The Mount Carmel Area Public Library registered again for Raise the Region this year, having participated in the past. “Raise the Region helps us reach out to the world,” said Vivian McCracken, the librarian for the MCA Public Library.

McCracken said the library traditionally raises money through letters and traditional advertisements, but cyber-fundraising has created more opportunities to reach people. 

“As more people leave the Coal Region, Facebook becomes the only way that they stay connected to the area,” she said. 

Ruhl said social media plays a big role for raising donations during the campaign. FCFP even offers social media workshops for participating nonprofits in advance of the event.

Carol Parenzan, the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, created the slogan “Raise Your Paddle for Clean Water” to shore up awareness about her participation in the campaign. “I have been doing a series of Facebook posts about issues in the Susquehanna River along with that slogan,” she said. 

Cherished Cats Rescue Alliance President Sarah Kline said her organization is using their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages to advertise their participation in Raise the Region. 

“This is one big event that draws everyone’s attention in a way that smaller organizations usually can’t on their own,” she said. 

This is Cherished Cats’ second year participating in the event. Kline said the $1,400 to $1,500 they raised during the 2017 campaign helped Cherished Cats get off the ground. 

“We’ve managed to do a lot in a short time from giving support to local rescues to opening the Scratching Post cat cafe,” she said. Kline added that donations can help the organization accomplish a lot, from spaying/neutering to providing cat supplies. 

Lewisburg Downtown Partnership Executive Director Tere Rill said Raise the Region is about creating and preserving a better community. “All you have to do is drive down Market Street and you’ll see how lucky we are but that doesn’t come cheap,” she said. “There are a lot of people working hard and a lot money going towards maintaining that level of vibrancy.” 

Ruhl said one goal of Raise the Region is to show the interconnected nature of the Valley. She said a donation from a person in Northumberland County to the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way also helps their neighbors in Union and Snyder counties, which are in the GSV United Way’s service area. 

“This goes beyond county lines,” she said.

Email comments to eginader@dailyitem.com. Follow Ginader on Twitter @EmmaGinader. 

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