To our readers:
Your generosity is simply amazing. Despite the economic meltdown—and without last year's Oregon tax-rebate "kicker" swimming in your pockets—3,902 of you made 8,419 donations totaling $806,581.81 to WW's Give!Guide. Add in $4,000 in prizes from WW and $16,000 in Skidmore Prize money funded by Momentum Market Intelligence, and the total raised for 55 Portland-area nonprofits this year is $826,581.81—a 60 percent increase over last year and almost 40 times what G!G raised in 2004, its first year. As you might guess, Give!Guide is a huge undertaking with many heroes:
1. WW's readers. As always, you lead this list. Your spirit is infectious. As I delivered incentive bags around town the past few weekends, I've had experience after experience that tell me you are happy to give. And you did much more than provide cash—many of you volunteered at one or more of these worthy organizations. Others among you donated in other ways. Here's just one example, as told by Community Warehouse development director Sally Oakes: "A maintenance employee at a downtown hotel saw our ad in the Give!Guide and suggested the hotel give us the dozens of perfectly good lamps, tables and pillows they were about to literally dump! As you know, Community Warehouse needs stuff in addition to money. Just letting you know the Give!Guide is working in more ways than one."
All of you personify the maxim engraved on the Skidmore Fountain in Old Town: "Good citizens are the riches of a city." Speaking of which….
2. This year's Skidmore Prize winners: Polly Bangs (Urban Opportunities), Amy Harwood (Bark), Katy Kolker (Portland Fruit Tree Project) and Rodolfo Serna (p:ear). Your examples and infectious enthusiasm for the people you serve were on display at the Portland City Club's awards luncheon held in your honor on Nov. 21. (To learn more about these great Portlanders, go to Give!Guide or Skidmore Prize.)
3. The 55 participating nonprofits. All of you do incredible work. You used your remarkable organizing talents to encourage donations, and many of your staffers and volunteers provided invaluable help stuffing envelopes and delivering incentives.
4. Steve Rice and his gang at Umpqua Bank. Every year, it seems, G!G confronts an unexpected challenge. This year, that occurred at the end of December, when donations exceeded the amount our credit-card processor was willing to handle. On Dec. 30, with fewer than 36 hours until the deadline but more than $100,000 in donations to go, Steve and others at Umpqua jumped in to ensure we could continue to accept donations.
5. Give!Guide's secret ingredients—Momentum Market Intelligence and OakTree Digital. MMI helped start this effort five years ago and vets the Skidmore Prize nominees with extraordinary care. It surveys each year's donors and recipients to improve the entire Give!Guide/Skidmore Prize experience. Lisa Albrecht has been MMI's leader in this effort since its inception. OakTree's huge contribution is the Give!Guide website, which it builds and supports with incredible skill and excitement. OakTree deserves much of the credit for G!G's growing success. Thanks especially to John, David and Jeremy.
6. So many other fabulous companies contributed, this list is sure to exclude someone: ER Wine Shop; Peet's Coffee Tea; Ninkasi Brewing Company; Zipcar; Stash Tea; Keen Footwear; River City Bicycles; Music Millennium; Signature Graphics; Castor Pollux Pet Works; Grand Central Bowl; Paul Mitchell School; Sunshine Dairy Foods; Portland Beavers; Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; Thompson, Chambers, Wiest Sickler; City Club of Portland; Multnomah Bar Association; Staccato Gelato; Bee Cleaners; Voodoo Doughnut; Dave's Killer Bread; Kiehl's; New Seasons Market; Snook's Pet Products; Amrita Yoga; Stam Dog Treats; the Amphitheater at Clark County; VitaminWater; Tazlab; Trebol Restaurant; Looking Glass Bookstore; the Nines; Urban Farmer; Cappella Romana; the Oregon Cultural Trust; the Oregon Community Foundation; Alaska Airlines; Con-way; Comcast; and IKEA.
7. Last but not least are all the folks at WW who supported this effort. Topping the list are Christie Wright, Andrea Manning, Laura Jasiczek and Cate Meeker.
Thanks again to all of you for what you've done to support Portland's nonprofit community. Here's hoping you join us again next year.
Richard H. Meeker
P.S. If you know somebody who deserves a Skidmore Prize or a nonprofit that should participate in the Give!Guide, let us know. The nominating process will begin in July with an announcement in WW. Answers to any questions you may have about the Give!Guide or the Skidmore Prizes can be found at the Give!Guide's Web site.
For a list of the 55 nonprofits and the amount each received in donations,