2019 Omaha Gives! logo (copy)

Omaha Gives is on May 22, but donations can be scheduled at any time at omahagives.org.

Addressing community needs in the Omaha area doesn’t depend solely on the philanthropy of wealthy individuals. Each year, people from a wide range of income levels contribute to the Omaha Gives charitable campaign. Those dollars add up significantly.

Last year, 18,000 people donated. About 75% of donations were $100 or less. The total raised was impressive: $7.4 million.

That’s valuable support for important needs including youth services, educational programs, counseling efforts, neighborhood improvement and wildlife habitat conservation, to name only a few.

Donations can be made at any time of the year to Omaha Gives at omahagives.org, but the official date for the annual fund drive this year is Wednesday. The 24-hour event aims to encourage as many people as possible to contribute. Incentives include participation prizes to organizations receiving the highest number of individual donations during a given time period.

A $10 donation to a local charity makes that organization eligible for a lottery for a $1,000 prize for that hour. An individual can make separate $10 donations to multiple charities, and each organization will be eligible for consideration for a $1,000 prize. In all, a total of 112 $1,000 prizes will be awarded.

Nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations are participating this year, including The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity. Donations to these organizations are 100% tax deductible.

It’s fitting and commendable that this year’s Omaha Gives campaign allows donors to designate their contributions specifically to flood relief, given the large public need. At the omahagives.org website, donors can use a search function that groups the charities by county (Douglas, Sarpy, Pottawattamie) and by categories: Animal, Arts and Culture, Civic Engagement, Community Improvement, Education, Environment, Flood Relief, Health, Human Services, Neighborhoods, Religious, Safety, Social Advocacy, Transportation, Workforce and Youth Development.

Those are a lot of community needs. Donors can rest assured that their contributions — even as small as $10 — can provide welcome support for these worthy causes.

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