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United Way of the Black Hills announces changes in fundraising, gifting

RAPID CITY, S.D. – We’ve all heard of them or used them.  On line fundraising platforms expand the reach of being able to raise money. That’s good news.  But there is an adverse affect to  brick and mortar agencies like United Way of the Black Hills.

After losing donors in the past partly due to the technological evolution that has affected charities, organizers with United Way of the Black Hills is changing its business model – less fundraising and a more focused assist through offering grant opportunities.

According to United Way of the Black Hills Executive Director Jamie Toennies, fewer donors is a national trend for non-profits.  She said that giving is easier today because of technology. But that also means that what she calls a ‘middle-man role’ such as that of United Way isn’t needed as much.

Though the non-profit will still host fundraisers, they will have more grant opportunities for businesses to apply for. The grants will be specific to help fulfill the identified community needs. After conducting a needs assessment last year with Black Hills Knowledge Network, the non-profit found that mental health and early childhood education are some of the concerns in the area.

Business leaders and funding agencies that work with the local United Way of the Black Hills were informed of the new business model this week that is expected to be phased in over the next three years.

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