In the early days of the Community Foundation, Jim Baum and I spent a lot of time and energy encouraging collaboration and breaking down silos. We believed collaboration and partnership are the path to a greater quality of life in Grundy County … and we still do.
For the past 18 months, a new collaboration has formed that is unique among nonprofits anywhere – a marketing co-op. What started off as a conversation around Giving Tuesday developed into the belief that nonprofit awareness, education and fundraising happens all year long, not just one Tuesday a year.
We also believe there is a high level of charitable spirit of giving and volunteering in Grundy and that it’s not taboo to collaborate around nonprofit marketing and donor education.
As a result, GiveGrundy was formed. We have grown into a marketing co-op of 13 nonprofits who serve Grundy County. We each have a different purpose and set of programs serving clients and addressing issues in our county.
As a marketing co-op, we have pooled our money to buy in bulk, making our nonprofit budgets stretch farther. Throughout 2018, we had monthly stories and ads in the Morris Herald-News plus a video that Shaw Media did a great job producing for us. In 2019, we have ads running on WCSJ for the entire year. Only through a co-op can we as nonprofits afford such thorough advertising. Most nonprofits in Grundy County don’t even budget for marketing.
Perhaps “marketing” is a bad word in the nonprofit field. I guess we also can call it “education and awareness.” Regardless, it’s needed. Believe it or not, even with technology and social media, it’s difficult to get the word out about services for (especially) residents in need. We also use education and awareness to reach donors, fellow agencies and elected officials about our services, why they’re needed and the impact our services are having. The more our peers know about us the more we can collaborate to better serve the community.
The 13 members of GiveGrundy are Community Nutrition Network, Easterseals Jump Start, Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission, Grundy County Housing Authority, Grundy County PADS, Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity, Illinois Valley Industries, Morris Downtown Development Partnership, Morris Hospital Foundation & Auxiliary, Three Rivers Public Library District, We Care of Grundy County, Will-Grundy Medical Clinic and the Community Foundation of Grundy County.
One goal of GiveGrundy is to help the community better understand our services so people can access them when needed. Another goal is to engage more deeply with donors to encourage them to explore their charitable passions, find charities doing that work, and support the charity(ies) through donations of cash, talent and volunteerism.
We are proud to highlight our work and marketing pieces on http://givegrundy.com. There, you can view our videos, listen to our ads and follow links to our individual agency websites.
It isn’t a question of where you give … just give.
Give you. Give Grundy.