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Organizers pleased with Day of Giving support to Westmoreland groups

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Westmoreland County nonprofits did not gain as much during the annual Day of Giving this year, but organizers said they were still happy with the support.

Nearly $500,000 was raised in the 24-hour event on Oct. 3, about $100,000 less than last year, according to the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

“To have agencies be able to concentrate on one day and get that kind of response is a big deal,” said Jim Bendel, the executive director of the foundation.

Overall, more than 18,000 donors raised nearly $7.72 million in the joint effort of The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Community Foundation, organizers said.

Westmoreland groups raised $484,000 this year, bringing in a total of $579,000 when matching funds were tallied, Community Foundation officials said.

“In partnership with The Pittsburgh Foundation, we were able to hold another successful Day of Giving, this time for over 100 participating nonprofits in Westmoreland County,” Bendel said.

In 2012, an overall $8.5 million was raised, more than a 31 percent increase from 2011.

In 2012, Westmoreland County groups received $682,000 — $597,212 in individual donations with $85,000 in matching funds.

Bendel believed a change in procedures for use of matching funds affected the total raised.

Matching funds come from contributors such as Westmoreland Now & Forever Fund, Richard King Mellon Foundation, King's Foundation, Glasser Foundation, Ferrier Family Fund, the Sean Cassidy & Gina Sciarino Fund and corporate supporters such as Service Wealth Management, S&T Trust, Hefren-Tillotson and Hamil Manufacturing Inc., according to the Community Foundation website.

This year, only the first $1,000 contribution per individual per organization was eligible to receive matching dollars from the match pools, organizers said. In previous years, $10,000 was the cap.

The individual contribution amount was changed in hopes of ensuring a robust match percentage for participating nonprofits, foundation officials said.

The change particularly benefitted smaller agencies, Bendel said.

Credit-card charitable gifts were received from 18,194 individual donations in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties. Several donors supported nonprofits in both counties.

A total of 110 Westmoreland County nonprofits received donations out of 112 organizations that participated this year.

The Westmoreland County Food Bank led the way in the largest number of donations received, 253. Seton Hill University in Greensburg was second with 206. Greensburg Hempfield Area Library received 111 donations and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust received 86. Donors totaled 82 for the Blackburn Center Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Since the launch of PittsburghGives in 2009, the online site has raised more than $28 million for the region's nonprofit organizations.

Organizers are reviewing the effects of the individual contribution maximum as they prepare to hold the Day of Giving next year, Bendel said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or