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1st Day of Giving raises $300,000 for Westmoreland nonprofits

| Monday, June 11, 2012, 12:12 a.m.

More than 70 nonprofit organizations will benefit from nearly $300,000 raised through The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County's first Day of Giving on Wednesday.

More than 950 individual contributions totaling $197,000 were received over a 15-hour period through the Community Foundation's WestmorelandGives online giving and research portal.

The foundation will provide matching funds of $100,000 to the nonprofits in equal shares.

Individual gifts ranged from the $25 to $5,000. All but one of the 72 nonprofits with profiles on the WestmorelandGives website received donations during the Day of Giving.

"I am delighted with this phenomenal outcome," Kirk Utzinger, the Community Foundation's executive director, said in a news release. "We congratulate our Westmoreland community on a truly magnificent success, way beyond our hopes and expectations. A significant amount of money was raised by individuals, and this will go directly to support critical work of our nonprofit organizations."

WestmorelandGives, accessible at www.westmorelandgives.org, provides donors with a directory of nonprofit organizations to allow them to research those charities. In addition to the Day of Giving, donations can be made via credit card through the website all year long.

The site replicates The Pittsburgh Foundation's PittsburghGives platform, which was launched in 2009. The Community Foundation's merger with The Pittsburgh Foundation will be complete by the end of the year.

"Our main objectives were to encourage engagement and support for our region's nonprofit organizations and to promote individual charitable giving in our community," Utzinger said. "This represented CFWC's entry into the new and exciting field of online charitable giving, and the results prove how this has been enthusiastically embraced by our community as an easy and convenient way to give."

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