Jazz series brings in most CoMo Gives donations

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Donations poured in to nonprofits over the last four days of the CoMo Gives campaign, bringing total donations to $712,569.37 before the campaign ended at midnight Sunday.

CoMo Gives connected donors to 114 nonprofit groups through its website from Dec. 1 to New Year’s Eve. Over the last four days, the campaign raised over 30 percent of its donations as donors gave out more than $222,500.

The program, which is run by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, has grown in each of its first five years. When it started in 2013, CoMo Gives raised about $62,500 for 30 organizations.

The foundation’s executive director, John Baker, said the community foundation attributes the rapid growth of the campaign to donors becoming more comfortable with CoMo Gives and online giving, and to the fundraising skill of the participating organizations.

The community foundation set a total fundraising goal of $600,000 before the campaign. Baker said he came up with a personal goal of $660,000 when he saw the campaign’s early success, but the $712,500 raised exceeded everyone’s expectations.

He said he greatly appreciates the generosity of all the people who gave and the organizations that participated to give the campaign such a successful year. Baker also expressed gratitude to the campaign’s sponsors, including The Commerce Trust Company and MayeCreate Design, saying the campaign couldn’t have been so successful without their support.

The ”We Always Swing” Jazz Series ended up with the largest sum and highest number of donations. Organizers of the jazz series hoped to raise $50,000 with donors from all 50 states, and they came close as 321 donations from 34 different states gave the series a total of $46,295.

The CoMo Gives campaign accounts for half of the individual donations to the jazz series each year and goes toward general operating costs, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Donors also gave a lot to:

Central Missouri Humane Society — 298 donations, $34,134. Global First Responder — 56 donations, $29,149. The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri — 186 donations, $28,441. PedNet Coalition — 177 donations, $28,030. Second Chance — 198 donations, $22,720.

A full list of participating nonprofits and how much each raised can be found at the CoMo Gives website.

The community foundation will give an additional $14,000 in “challenge grants,” which go to the top fundraising organizations in several categories, including: highest amount raised, highest number of individual donations and highest percentage increase in donations from 2016 to 2017.

Baker said the foundation should be able to identify the organizations receiving grants in February.

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