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Local charities in Kern County see decline in donations

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 20:57:05-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Kern County is in the middle of fundraising season and one of the biggest fundraising events finished this weekend, Relay for Life.

To continue fundraising season, tomorrow kicks off Give Big Kern which is a 24-hour-crowdfunding event.

Each organization says their goal is to provide necessary support and funds for those in need. Some added that they have seen a decrease in donations, because there are so many other organizations in the area.

“This year, fundraising was down from last year,” said Michelle Avila, executive director for Kern County Cancer Fund. “Last year we had our biggest year, we raised over $430,000 for the event and this year we are at about $380,000.”

Avila says she believes donations to their annual Campout Against Cancer was down, because people are donating to other fundraising events.

“Families are also a little tighter as far as their donations, because of household expenses they had to incur,” Avila said. “I think, too, the change in how taxes are done also make a difference in how much donations can be written off had an impact.”

Campout Against Cancer wasn’t the only organization that saw a decrease in donations. Relay for Life also brought in $37,000 less than in 2018.

However, not all charitable organizations say they are seeing this trend. Give Big Kern says they are steadily seeing an increase due to their new strategy.

“What we started doing last year instead of having monetary goals is that we started having themes. So last year was giving can be creative and fun,” said Louis Medina, director of community impact for Kern Community Foundation.

Medina says non-profits got creative with their social media and he says that drew a lot of people to donate.

Independence through Grace raised the most money last year with Give Big Kern, bringing in about $21,000.

Medina says 2018 was Give Big Kern’s best year, where they raised $231,000 for about 119 non- profits.

“We are hoping to top that this year and I can’t say where they are right now that’s a surprise, but we have had a strong start,” Medina said.

Give Big Kern kicks off tomorrow and if you would like to donate, to either Give Big Kern or Campout Against Cancer, click their respective links.