OTHER VOICES, Bill Neff
Building a better community requires a never-ending commitment and tireless hard work from residents, company executives and small-business owners to retirees and young families. Everyone plays a critical role.
Nevada County’s dedication and energy to build the best possible community is evident in so many ways, from our award-winning schools and locally owned businesses to efforts to protect historic districts. The community has much to appreciate, celebrate and enjoy.
But our community, like so many others, also expects far-reaching and forward-looking nonprofits that are able to fill in the gaps when needed to improve the quality of life. Whether it’s assisting families with the most basic of needs or ensuring performance and visual arts opportunities, local nonprofits are committed to the region.
The county has many first-rate nonprofits from AnimalSave to Women of Worth that are changing lives, making a huge difference and even occasionally challenging the status quo. More than 50 of these groups are members of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, an organization that helps and represents nonprofits in the region.
But these nonprofits can’t do it alone. They need your help. Or perhaps a more accurate message is that the community — your family members, friends and neighbors — need your support.
Certainly, Nevada County residents are committed and extremely generous to local nonprofits. In fact, residents donated about $2,200 per family — or 4 percent of their median income, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. And those dollars have helped many charities and many residents.
Well, what if we donated more? So many more residents could be helped through expanded or new programs.
Just another $10 per week per household could go a long way to help more needy residents. That’s the cost of a few espressos or lattes.
And every dollar makes a difference, from allowing a low-income student to attend a free concert to helping a woman who has been the victim of domestic violence get the help that she desperately needs.
So what are some ways that local nonprofits put your money to work?
A $10 donation allows for a child to attend a family farm visit for Sierra Harvest, and $15 provides a Department of Justice certification for a crisis line volunteer at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition.
A $100 donation gives a healthy after-school snack for the young girls at The Friendship Club or provides a school bus to take an entire third-grade class to attend a free musical class through InConcert Sierra.
As you can see, every dollar makes a difference.
So, when considering your end-of-year donations or making financial plans for 2014, local nonprofits — and the community’s residents — would appreciate your support. It’s a gift that makes a big difference and helps throughout the year. Happy holidays and the best in 2014.
Bill Neff is chairman of The Center for Nonprofit Leadership of Nevada County.