'Great Give Day' nets thousands for Dubuque-area nonprofits - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'Great Give Day' nets thousands for Dubuque-area nonprofits

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Tuesday marked the first-ever Great Give Day, a 24-hour, online fundraising effort to help dozens of local nonprofits.

Its organizer, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, billed Great Give Day as the biggest online philanthropic event in northeast Iowa history.

A total of 53 nonprofit organizations are participating, ranging from the Dubuque Regional Humane Society and the Grand Opera House to Hillcrest Family Services and the Multicultural Family Center.

Kari McCann is director of philanthropic and non-profit partnerships for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

"Great Give Day is an event that we're hosting in partnership with Community Foundations all across the United States in honor of the Community Foundation's 100th anniversary," McCann said. "The first Community Foundation was in Cleveland, Ohio, so we're partnering to host a 24-hour online giving day, and we've engaged 53 nonprofit partners who are participating."

One of those partners is the Presentation Lantern Center, which helps tutor Dubuque-area immigrants in English language skills.

Tuesday afternoon, 18-year-old Colombia native Juana Luna was sharpening her English skills with Rachel Wenndt, a Presentation Lantern Center tutor and student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

"It's so useful because it help me everyday in the conversation with the people and everything," Luna said. "We are reading Harry Potter, and I read that book in Spanish, so it's useful for me because I know the book."

Luna moved from Colombia to the U.S. four months ago to study. She's currently taking classes at Northeast Iowa Community College in addition to her language help at the Presentation Lantern Center.

"I can see so much improvement in Juana over the time that we've worked together," Wenndt said. "Her English is way better, she's more comfortable just sitting here, talking with me."

The Presentation Lantern Center has an annual budget of between $80,000 and $100,000, about two-thirds of which comes from donations, its executive director Sr. Corine Murray said.

"Educational materials, the hospitality that we have, you know, plugging in the telephone -- it's some of our operating expenses and the educational materials that we provide for our students," Murray said. "Many of the people who come here don't have jobs and lack a lot of language skills ... They simply don't have the resources."

Great Give Day donors can pick to which of the 53 nonprofits they'd like to donate.

"Everyone can be a philanthropist," McCann said. "Our minimum donation is $10. If you think about maybe bringing your lunch one day instead of going out, you can be a philanthropist by just investing those dollars through Great Give Day."

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is one of 160 Community Foundations nationwide holding a giving day Tuesday. Dubuque's is the only Community Foundation in Iowa participating this year.

"Research has shown that 50 percent of donors through giving days are new donors to nonprofit organizations, so that was really appealing to our nonprofit partners in helping them grow their donor base," McCann said. "It's also a great way to engage a younger generation and population of donors and recruit new supporters for organizations."

People can make a difference one donation at a time by giving HERE before 11:59 p.m. Tuesday: https://www.greatgiveday.org

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