As I write this, I am in full preparation mode for Kentucky Gives Day. By the time you read this, the day will be here. Every year the Kentucky Nonprofit Network rallies the state behind their nonprofits for 24 hours of philanthropy. It has become a mainstay in the Glean Kentucky fundraising scene.
Another annual event is our Donor Survey. It is a great way for our donors to anonymously provide feedback to our organization. Are we emailing too much? Do you want to hear more stories about food waste or food insecurity? What compels you to donate to Glean Kentucky? The responses are reviewed and I create a donor analysis to know who I am speaking to and why they are listening. For example, approximately 57% of our donors have volunteered with us, 71% have donated to us off and on for the past 4+ years, and while 66% live in Lexington, nearly 10% live outside of Kentucky. Then there is the big question…
Why did you choose to donate to Glean Kentucky?
“I believe in the mission of eliminating food waste by ensuring that people who need/want food can access it instead of throwing it away.”
“The work it does is necessary on so many levels, and this is the way I can support it right now.”
“It makes a direct positive change without a millionaire CEO”
“I strongly believe in the common sense of their mission”
2020 was one for the books, though, with individuals in the community needing fresh food reaching a pinnacle last spring and summer. Our donors understood the demand and brought the love and support we needed to deliver produce to our partners as well as hit some big milestones. In 2020, our donors gave $33,600 more than in 2019. We also saw our average gift increase by $25. The donations meant that, in a year of uncertainty, Glean Kentucky staff was able to evaluate its programming and expand to meet more need. In July of 2020 we released our Field Guide. In August, we reached 2 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables gleaned since 2010. Lastly, but incredulously, we expanded to a new region and hired a part time field coordinator. Elaine has been going strong in South Central Kentucky and the community surrounding Bowling Green has given us the ol’ Southern welcome.
So, what does this have to do with Kentucky Gives Day?
You helped us hit a record amount raised for any Kentucky Gives Day we participated in. You donated $9,500 to our mission. Although the amount does not seem large compared to much bigger nonprofits, your donation meant peace of mind during a scary time. The Glean Kentucky community is empathetic, nurturing, and one of the most generous groups around. It also saddens me to say that the impact of COVID-19 is still here and may be here for quite a while. Although many of us may feel fatigued from the past year, our work is more important than ever. Our community partners need the fresh fruits and vegetables we provide them. In 2019, 39% of our partnered feeding programs relied solely on Glean Kentucky for fresh produce. That number climbed to a staggering 55% in 2020.
As you continue on with your day, I ask that you think of Glean Kentucky and what we mean for you and the community. Tell a family member or friend about us. Share our messaging on social media. And, lastly, consider a donation to Glean Kentucky. Your donation provides so much opportunity to our partnered feeding programs and families who rely on us for healthy, nutritious food.