Two Cape Cod organizations looking to improve their communities are fundraising now through August 12 through the Gannett Foundation’s A Community Thrives crowdfunding and grants program.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod and Lower Cape TV have one month to raise money through the online platform Mightycause to reach a minimum of $3,000 or $6,000, depending on the group’s operating budget, to qualify as a grantee.
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Users can donate to the Cape organizations of their choice through the website by filtering by cause type, location and category. Donors have the opportunity to assist APCC in monitoring ponds for cyanobacteria and determining toxicity levels, and can help make Lower Cape TV’s building and programming more accessible.
Organizations will keep the money raised, but top projects will also qualify for additional grants to support their ideas for change. Top fundraisers will receive grants totaling $200,000, and all eligible organizations will qualify for consideration for national projects and local operations grants.
APCC seeks funding for cyanobacteria surveillance program
APCC has run a cyanobacteria surveillance program for the past several years, which includes volunteers taking regular water samples from 150 ponds in the Cape, said Andrew Gottlieb, APCC executive director. The water samples are then tested for cyanobacteria and the results shared with the public.
Cyanobacteria are toxic to humans and wildlife at certain concentrations. It can cause everything from skin irritation to neurological problems in humans. Grant money would help pay for the cost of analyzing water samples and other costs associated with the program, Gottlieb said.
More recently, water samples that show a high risk of toxicity are sent for further analysis, he said. The practice enables the non-profit organization to provide the public with more accurate information about the health and safety of Cape ponds.
Lower Cape TV is looking for funds to make buildings and programs accessible
Lower Cape TV is in the process of converting its new building on Namskaket Road in Orleans into a studio. Donations and grant money will be used to make the building accessible to people of all abilities and to create closed and open captions for programs, said Executive Director Teresa Martin.
Open and closed captions are important, she said, because the demographics of Lower Cape and what is known about hearing loss patterns, statistically more than a quarter of the population has a hearing loss that prevents them from assimilating information aurally.
In addition to the nonprofits in Cape Cod, five other Massachusetts organizations qualified for the crowdsourcing phase of the program, in addition to the more than 700 qualified nonprofits nationwide. Together they want to raise $2 million.
The Gannett Foundation donated more than $17 million to charitable organizations
“A Community Thrives was a great way for Gannett to use its platforms to raise awareness and funds for participating nonprofits,” said Sue Madden, director of the Gannett Foundation. “Over the past five years, the program has donated more than $17 million toward community building projects and local operating expenses for charities across the country.”
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In 2020, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod received a $15,000 grant for their cyanobacteria surveillance program. The association provided the program with an additional $7,000 over and above the grant amount that year. Two other Cape Cod nonprofits received $5,000 each that year.
This is the first year that Lower Cape TV has applied for the Community Thrives grant program.
National grants strengthened non-profit organizations across the country
Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach, one of last year’s $50,000 grant recipients, was one of 16 organizations to receive a national project grant. According to A Community Thrives’ website, the group was able to support a 10% expansion of its program.
The A Community Thrives program helps nonprofit organizations bring community betterment ideas to life.
In addition to funding, A Community Thrives increases the visibility of participating organizations through national and local media coverage, and exposes the organizations’ mission to new potential donors.
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“This is a national equal opportunity program for small and emerging organizations and established organizations alike. Building communities through connections and helping communities thrive are key program drivers,” said Madden.
To learn more about the organizations participating in 2022 A Community Thrives and to donate, visit acommunitythrives.mightycause.com.
Contact Anne Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @AnneBrennanCCT.