ETCF to host Giving Day seminar on January 11

Press release

East Texas Communities Foundation will host a free seminar for Henderson County nonprofits on how to be a part of East Texas Giving Day 2018. The seminar is scheduled from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Athens Partnership Center located at 201 West Corsicana Street, Athens.

Nonprofits are encouraged to register for the seminar online here.

East Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour day of giving that provides critical funding for our area nonprofits. The purpose of an area-wide Giving Day is to bring the region together on one day and as one community, raising money and awareness for East Texas nonprofits. This initiative, organized by East Texas Communities Foundation (ETCF), provides citizens an easy platform to support the mission of local nonprofits that serve our many communities.

East Texas Giving Day will be held Tuesday, April 24, online at Donations will be accepted from 6 a.m. until midnight.

“Nonprofit representatives that attend the seminar will find out how to register their organization for the event, discover marketing resources available to them and deadlines for participation,” said Holly McFarlin, Public Relations Director for East Texas Communities Foundation. “This seminar is a great opportunity for organizations to come out and ask questions, and decide if this type of fundraising is right for their organization.”

To participate in East Texas Giving Day, a nonprofit must be located in, or primarily serve, one of the 32 counties in East Texas Communities Foundation’s (ETCF) service area. The 32 counties served by ETCF include: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Leon, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.

“East Texas Giving Day has generated almost a million dollars in unrestricted funds for area nonprofits since its inception in 2016. With experience and knowledge of online fundraising, we anticipate 2018 to yield great results for participating nonprofits,” said Kyle Penney, President of East Texas Communities Foundation. “The generosity of East Texans is astounding. We know with their support we will raise even more funds to fuel the important work of nonprofits serving our local communities.”

Nonprofits can register online to participate in East Texas Giving Day now through March 7, 2018. Nonprofits that register prior to Feb. 1, can take advantage of early bird perks and a $100 registration fee. After Feb. 1, registration will increase to $125. All registration fees will be used to promote the event regionally; ETCF will not receive compensation for hosting East Texas Giving Day. Once a nonprofit has submitted their registration, ETCF staff will review the nonprofit’s status and verify that they are in fact a 501(c)(3) public charity in good standing with the IRS. When the nonprofit is cleared to participate, they are encouraged to begin sharing the news with their current donors through social media outlets and other traditional means.

“Last year resulted in 29 percent of donors indicating they were first-time donors to the charities they supported,” Penney said. “This is one of the key results that inspired ETCF to host a Giving Day in the first place and falls in line with national Giving Day numbers.”

Nonprofits will again have the ability to secure their own matching funds for the 18-hour event. “It is very rewarding for a regular contributor of a nonprofit to see his or her gift have an impact,” said Penney. “What greater impact than for their gift to be an incentive for area residents to collectively match that through an online challenge.”

Prescheduled giving will open to the public on Monday, April 9. “The opportunity to preschedule gifts will allow nonprofits to start sharing in the ‘buzz’ related to giving day,” said Penney. “When the early gifts start showing up, and nonprofits promote those gifts, it builds enthusiasm and inspires more donors to support their work. The excitement is contagious.” The nonprofit that raises the most money during prescheduled giving will receive a $1,000 bonus prize.

Participating nonprofits and donors can track donations pledged throughout the day of April 24th in real-time by watching the leaderboard on the home page of the website. The minimum donation that can be made is $20 with donations being accepted online during the event at All transactions processed on Giving Day will incur approximately 5 percent in fees based on the costs of the Giving Day platform and actual credit card fees. Nonprofits will receive funds six-to-eight weeks after the conclusion of the event.

“Our goal in hosting East Texas Giving Day is to reach new donors and give them simple access to support local causes,” said Penney. “We also want to use this opportunity to build a new generation of philanthropists for our communities.”

Ongoing updates about the event will be posted on ETCF’s Facebook page at and the foundation’s website

About ETCF
¬¬¬ East Texas Communities Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving 32 counties in East Texas. The Foundation distributed $7.3 million in grants in 2017 and currently manages over $110¬¬¬ million in over 290 unique charitable funds which support non-profit organizations and student scholarships. The Foundatio¬¬n, which was formed in 1989, has awarded $72 million in grants and scholarships since its inception. Philanthropy builds community and changes lives. East Texas Communities Foundation supports philanthropy by offering simple ways for donors to achieve their charitable goals.

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