Will you be a philanthropist on May 5th?

Wednesday Apr. 1st, 2015

When you hear the word “philanthropist” – what is the first thing that comes to mind? Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Oprah? We commonly associate the act of philanthropy with these billionaires. However, community members like you and I are philanthropists every day by giving back to our community in many different ways.

In the Gallatin Valley, we talk a lot about the importance of giving back to our community that provides us so many benefits. We try to volunteer. We try to get our kids to volunteer and, sometimes, we even donate some funds to causes that matter to us around the holidays. But what if this giving process was easier? What if there was one day for the entire community to come together as philanthropists, give to causes that matter to them, and collectively create a greater impact with their dollars?

In just a few weeks, on May 5th, the Bozeman Area Community Foundation will participate in what will likely be the largest giving event in history. Along with donors from every neighborhood in Gallatin County, we will join communities across the country in a national day of local giving to raise millions of dollars for our communities—all in 24-hours.

On May 5, The Bozeman Area Community Foundation will participate in Give Local America - a 24-hour crowdfunding event and live celebration of community giving that provides a platform for individuals to invest in and celebrate the work of local nonprofit organizations nationwide. The local event to benefit Gallatin County on this national day of giving will be called Give Big Gallatin Valley. In 2014, through a partnership with 7,700 local nonprofits, Give Local America raised more than $53 million for local communities.

Give Big Gallatin Valley will be a powerful 24-hour online and live celebration of giving that connects community members in the Gallatin Valley with local nonprofits to reinforce the value of local philanthropic giving and community engagement. Local nonprofits’ involvement in the event will give members of our community the chance to find and support an organization whose mission aligns with their passion, or to make an amplified impact on an organization they already support with the help of our Stretch Pool.

As an incentive to give to important causes on this one day, many local businesses and organizations have contributed funds to this Stretch Pool of matching dollars. This means that every dollar donated on May 5th will get a boost from this pool of matching funds. Giving on May 5th will not only show support for our community and the tireless work of nonprofits, but it will also be an opportunity to make your donation dollars stretch!

With a minimum gift of $10 during Give Big Gallatin Valley on May 5th, anyone can be a philanthropist for causes they care about in our community and amplify their gift. The goal is simple – inspire neighbors to come together, show their pride in their communities, and contribute to support the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations.

People often think that philanthropy is for the Bill Gates and Warren Buffetts of the world; the truth is everyone can be a philanthropist. No gift is too small or too large and, particularly with Give Big Gallatin Valley, they will all combine for a big impact. We envision a single day where every individual is inspired to contribute to the well-being of our local community, and we need your help to make this vision a reality.

For more information about joining the Bozeman Area Community Foundation in Give Big Gallatin Valley, contact Bridget Wilkinson at 406-587-6262, bridget@bozemanfoundation.org or go to www.GiveBigGV.org to learn more.

About the Bozeman Area Community Foundation
Established in 1998, the Bozeman Area Community Foundation is
connecting people who care to causes that matter to build a better community. The Bozeman Area Community Foundation serves the areas of Bozeman,
Big Sky, Belgrade, Manhattan, Churchill, Three Forks, and the rural areas in
between. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $173,000 in grants to 75+ local nonprofit organizations. Learn more at

Bridget Wilkinson is the Executive Director of the Bozeman Area Community Foundation and lives in Bozeman, Montana with her husband and four-legged furry daughter, Kai. She loves to play outside and climb mountains.