by Joe Sylvester
Northeastern Pennsylvania has never before given like this.
More than 30 nonprofit organizations serving Lackawanna County and the surrounding region collectively raised $234,402 in 24 hours for the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s fifth annual NEPA Match Day. It was the largest day of giving in the region’s history, according to SACF spokeswoman Brittany Pagnotti.
“It all supports their missions,” Pagnotti said.
The donations came from more than 2,550 donors.
She said SACF matches the donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 for each of the 30 organizations. All exceeded $1,000 in donations. The foundation also presented a $5,000 bonus to the top nonprofit for Match Day, the Artists for Art (AFA) Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton.
“They earned that for their high level of engagement,” Pagnotti said.
“We didn’t raise the most,” said Lindsay Barrasse, AFA gallery coordinator, adding that the gallery raised just over $1,400 but earned points for its varied ways of fundraising, such as its use of social media and the number of events it held. Those events included music and meditation nights, live drawing classes, yoga classes and paint and sip nights.
She said the gallery held two events a week leading up to Match Day.
“We held so many events in the community,” Barrasse said. “I was really active on social media.”
She said AFA earned 100 points for every social media post and accumulated 20,000 points.
AFA is a member-based organization started 31 years ago by artists for artists, including those in the performing arts.
“It was started by artists who needed space to create and to share their work and to mingle,” Barrasse said.
“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is honored to serve as a community partner through NEPA Match Day to help raise awareness of all the amazing work that our community nonprofit organizations are carrying out locally in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Laura Ducceschi, SACF president and chief executive officer.
Pagnotti said the foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all people in the region through the development of organized philanthropy. With assets of more than $40 million and more than 180 charitable funds, the Scranton Area Community Foundation distributed more than $1.3 million in grants and scholarships in 2018.
NEPA Match Day was created by the foundation in 2015 as a way to help the vital nonprofit organizations serving the community raise much needed capital. The event encourages philanthropy in the community and demonstrates how even small gifts make a real difference to local nonprofit organizations, according to the foundation. Since its inception, NEPA Match Day has raised more than $650,000 for a variety of nonprofits within the community.
The 30 participating nonprofit organizations who all registered on a first-come, first served basis to become part of the 2019 NEPA Match Day cohort include the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Friends of the Poor, Scranton Fringe Festival, Greater Carbondale YMCA, Lacawac Sanctuary Environmental Education Center, Jewish Family Service of NEPA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Wright Center for Community Health, Valley Community Library, Greater Scranton YMCA, Victims Resource Center, Everhart Museum, Dress for Success Lackawanna, Countryside Conservancy, AFA Gallery, Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, Outreach - Center for Community Resources, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Marley’s Mission, Meals on Wheels Community Services of NEPA, The Greenhouse Project, Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Women’s Resource Center, The Philharmonic Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s Center, Discovery MI Preschool and Northeast Pennsylvania Youth For Christ Inc.
Additional information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at safdn.org.