Pottawattamie Gives

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation works with the Omaha Community Foundation to host the Pottawattamie and Omaha Gives fundraisers on the same day.

Residents of Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County will soon have the chance to get involved with local charities at a one-night-only event.

The annual Pottawattamie Gives! event will take place from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on May 22 and will showcase more charities and causes involved than ever before. There will be a celebration from 5 to 7 p.m. on the 22nd in Bayliss Park.

This is the fourth year Pottawattamie Gives! will partner with Omaha Gives! to sponsor the event. Council Bluffs and The 712 Initiative have worked with the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation to plan the event.

The event is free and open to the public. A family friendly event, all ages are welcome.

Donna Dostal, president and CEO of the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, said this year is focused on further showcasing nonprofits and aiding them financially.

“The whole idea of the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is really to identify the most pressing needs and projects in the community and then connecting the folks that want to do the most good with those needs,” Dostal said.

In preparation, the group is working with the Omaha Community Foundation to hold three strategy sessions on how to help the charities plan for the upcoming event. The first was held April 12. The second session will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. April 23, and the third session will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. April 26.

All sessions will be held at the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation office at 536 E. Broadway.

Planning sessions will include one-on-one sessions after the group sessions. Topics that will be covered include: How to prepare for the event, how to best showcase your nonprofit’s cause and what to do after the event.

Dostal said PCCF is inviting nonprofits that are participating in Pottawattamie Gives! to come down, set up a table, and have some sort of activity to help area residents get to know the nonprofits better.

“They can set up a table for free,” she said.

Each table is encouraged to have an activity for community residents to see. It is also recommended that each table has a computer to process donations the same day.

Financially, the event is unique in how the endowment through PCCF will be done. From May 1-22, the foundation will provide a 20 percent match for nonprofits starting a new endowment or increasing their endowment with the foundation.

At least 30 nonprofits have signed up so far to attend the event at Bayliss Park.

Along with the opportunity to visit with and learn about the local nonprofits, other activities will be available to the public, including food, live music and a speech.

Cupcakes will be provided for the public and food trucks will be available for concessions. There will also be a pop-up happy hour for adults.

The band Spare Change Omaha will perform during the event. The band will perform a variety of classic hits and modern rock during the festivities.

“We wanted something that appealed to everybody. Something that everyone loves,” said Marshal Carvey community advancement officer for the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation. “We thought of classic rock hits and found Spare Change Omaha.”

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh will also speak at the event.

“This is an opportunity to come and support organizations that are doing the most impactful work in our entire area. Not only in Council Bluffs but in Pottawattamie County as a whole,” Dostal said. “This is a great opportunity to show what strength we have as southwest Iowa.”

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