Coming Together for Good

Give For Good Louisville 2019 will further the reach of nonprofits and engage the community

By Mariah Kline
Photos by
Kathryn Harrington

In a world full of heartbreaking news and political division, it’s easy to feel discouraged and hopeless. Thankfully, Louisville is a community filled with people who dedicate their lives to serving others and leaving the world better than they found it. On Sept. 12, the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) will host the sixth annual Give For Good Louisville, which will give more than 500 nonprofits the chance to outshine the bad news and do the most good.

Give For Good is a 24-hour period in which CFL encourages locals to make donations of all sizes to some of the area’s most important causes. By working with the online platform GiveGab, organizations have an accessible way to raise funds and share their stories.

Valerie Moore with the Bates Community Development Corp. and Sarah Flannery with Jacob’s Well at the nonprofit training camp.

In recent years, CFL has led a mid-day rally at Fourth Street Live! for nonprofits and supporters. This year, the foundation is instead focusing its efforts on creating a media blitz that will allow more organizations to tell their stories. By working with several media partners at once, more nonprofits will have the chance to introduce themselves to more people.

President and CEO of Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. Kevin Fields.

“We want to integrate storytelling across all of these different channels,” says Molly Melia, CFL senior associate in marketing and communications. “It’s a limited group of people who can make it to an event and a limited number of stories we can tell when we’re in a crowded environment. This will amplify the storytelling aspect this year and share more of the significant work these organizations are doing.”

Throughout the day, radio and television outlets will do live broadcasts with nonprofits. CFL is also partnering with Louisville-based Switcher Studio, an integrative live-streaming platform, to broadcast interviews and stories on social media.

Surekha Kulkarni with the Beaded Treasures Project, Steve Michael Carr with Mattingly Edge, Nicole Cardwell with St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities and Laryssa Hebert with GiveGab.

To learn the best way to share their stories, representatives from organizations gathered for a training day hosted by CFL in July at the Louisville Central Community Center. Each session was tailored to include organizations of similar sizes and experience levels with Give For Good. Rather than a full day of passively listening to designated speakers, the leaders were given a chance to network and learn from each other.

“We recognize that sometimes you learn best from the people you respect in the community – the people who have like work schedules and workloads,” says Melia. “If they see that their peers could execute a peer-to-peer fundraiser, they feel empowered to go back and do the same. We’ve already seen phenomenal results, and it’s been one of the most beneficial pieces to the training day that we’ve had.”

Ramona Lindsey and Molly Melia.

In addition to interacting with one another and setting goals for their cause, the nonprofits were given a challenge. Ramona Lindsey, a program officer with CFL, asked each group to write a brief “I believe” statement about their cause on sticky notes. Through these statements and the input of other participating organizations, CFL is creating a manifesto to unite the entire nonprofit community.   

In coming up with the idea, Lindsey says she was inspired by the West Louisville Women’s Collaborative (WLWC), a nonprofit dedicated to creating and sustaining peaceful artistic spaces in Louisville’s West End.

“As a way to focus their efforts, they created a manifesto for their work,” Lindsey explains. “I thought it was a good way to get re-focused on what you’re about – come up with a strong, dynamic, succinct statement about what you stand for.”

The manifesto will be revealed on Sept. 12 through a one-of-a-kind interactive art piece. Leading up to Give For Good, Lindsey will paint the piece across six canvas panels, which will be positioned in different places around Louisville. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the sites to take part in spraying the panels with water to reveal the manifesto.

“When we work together as a team, we can bring something new, exciting and innovative.”
— Molly Melia

“When I was a teacher, I used to use the phrase ‘spray and pray,’” Lindsey recalls. “Because we had so much to cover in so little time, it was almost like we sprayed the kids with all the information and would pray that something would stick. Sometimes with nonprofits, because our issues are so complex, we sometimes just spray at all the different underlying issues and hope that something will make an impact. But what happens if we intentionally focus, strategize and target our efforts? The paint and the spray bottle represent us intentionally focusing, and people spraying the paint around the words of the manifesto show our action.”

This profound initiative will not only bring an interactive element to the day but it will represent the work of hundreds of nonprofits.

“This is such a creative community that works every day to problem solve and create a better community for us to live, work and play in,” says Melia. “It’s going to be a fun, different experience in which we allow our creatives to come together.”

Crafting the statement has required the input of hundreds in our local nonprofit community. Within the Community Foundation, it has taken the efforts of dozens of staff members to pull off the monumental task of orchestrating the day of giving. As the staff prepares for the 24-hour marathon, they value the assets each brings to drive the force for good forward.

“The giving day isn’t possible without every single one of our staff members,” says Melia. “We’re a team full of talented people who have been brought to the foundation because they have expertise in certain areas – stewardship, nonprofit relations and connecting community and building partnerships. Being able to leverage Ramona’s experience and work with artists is just another example of how when we work together as a team, we can bring something new, exciting and innovative.” V

To learn more about Give For Good Louisville, visit giveforgoodlouisville.org or email info@giveforgoodlouisville.org.


Spotlight On:

Jacob’s Well

The Cause: Jacobs Well was created to be a resource and support for single women and their children who are looking for a fresh start. We are a place of healing and connection in a safe environment. Through supportive transitional housing, mentoring teams, enrichment courses, family advocacy, counseling and youth development, Jacob’s Well walks alongside disadvantaged single-mother families, helping them to break harmful cycles and regain hope and a future.

The Company: Sarah Flannery is the Program Director of Jacobs Well. She oversees the daily operations and outreach opportunities. Theresa Simmons is our case manager and works closely with the families on a daily basis.

We are led by our board of directors, including founders Kevin and Barbara Williar – who live on site with the families – along with Eloise Carlisle, Debbie Whitlow, Paula Harper and Mike Osterkamp.

The Give For Good Campaign: The goals for this year’s Give for Good Louisville campaign are to increase awareness of Jacob’s Well and the work we do in our community. Our monetary goal is to raise $25,000.

The Contact: Call 812.288.8870 or email info@jacobswellproject.com. Visit jacobswellproject.com or facebook.com/jacobswellproject.


Spotlight On:

Lighthouse Academy at Newburg

The Cause: The mission of Lighthouse Academy at Newburg is to provide youth in our community a safe place to learn and grow through educational, spiritual and economic programs. The vision of the Lighthouse Academy at Newburg is to provide experiences that will foster a love for lifelong learning.

The programs at Lighthouse are available and of benefit to the entire community. The center is open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, special needs or religious preferences. In order to meet the needs of the community, Lighthouse offers all programs and services free of charge.

The Company: The board chair is Wendell Townsend, the director of student services is Cynthia Overall and director of partner relations is Nancy Parker.

The Give For Good Campaign: Our goals continue to increase as we receive dollar-for-dollar matching donors. We have a goal of $38,500 and the total match pool is $28,500.

The Contact: Call 502.964.5909 or email Nancy Parker at almn4p@bellsouth.net. Visit thelighthousecenter.org/home.aspx or search Facebook for “Lighthouse Academy at Newburg.”


Spotlight On:

Surgery on Sunday – Louisville

The Cause: Surgery on Sunday – Louisville strives to expand access to quality healthcare for all by providing free endoscopic and outpatient surgical procedures to individuals who are within 250 percent of the federal poverty limit and are uninsured or have healthcare and medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of their annual household income. Additionally, Surgery on Sunday – Louisville works diligently to empower individuals to become advocates of their health by helping patients learn how to navigate the healthcare system, and through programs which educate people on the importance of timely health screenings (such as cancer-preventing colonoscopies).

The Company: The organization is led by Founder Dr. Erica Sutton, MD, Executive Director Patty Francis and a distinguished board of directors.

The Give For Good Campaign: Our goals for this year include getting one matched donation, 10 to 15 new monthly donors and raising $15,000.

The Contact: Contact Patty Francis by calling, texting or emailing anytime at 502.939.2713 or patty@soslouisville.org.