CFEM: "Opportunities Abound for Giving"

The Community Foundation of East Mississippi Friday released a guide book to giving.
Officials say "Informed Choices - A Donor's Guide to Giving in East Mississippi" is designed to share information about worthy causes
and build a financial base for them.

The volume is less than 50-pages, but contains information about numerous charities and schools in a 5-county area of east Mississippi. The goal is to help potential donors find causes they care about and want to support financially.

"Whether it's going to a performance by the symphony, whether it's helping build affordable housing by groups like Habitat for Humanity, whether it's the school district that's helping educate our youngsters, each one of them plays an important role in this community," said Roman Herrington, executive director of The Community Foundation of East Mississippi.

Herrington said the guide book helps initiate a conversation about well-known causes, and those that some people may not know about at all.

"And what we're advocating is that people find what their charitable passion is and that they connect into that organization that's doing good work," Herrington said.

The book is divided into four categories: arts, community development, social services and education.

"It's a great place. We all know that our education system can use funds to do lots of things with it for our students. But yet, to help educate them so that maybe they'll come back here to Meridian and work and live," said Kim Waters, director of development for Lamar Schools in Meridian.

The Riley Foundation provided funding to publish "Informed Choices - A Donor's Guide to Giving in East Mississippi". It may be downloaded at, or you may call 601-696-3035 to request a copy by mail.

In releasing the guide, the foundation also announced the launch of the
"Fifty Dollar Philanthropist" initiative, funded by an anonymous donor.

To participate, people may send a check payable to the “Community Foundation of East Mississippi” noting the name of the organization in the memo line. The Foundation will match gifts up to $50 with one hundred percent of the gift going to the identified nonprofit organization.

Herrington said there is a limited amount of matching funds, so time is of the essence.

Restrictions on the matching gift program include the following:

1. Cannot be made to fulfill an existing pledge

2. Gifts must be made to tax exempt, nonprofit organizations or to a defined body of government.

3. Gift cannot be used to provide a personal benefit to the donor

4. Gifts cannot be made to a church unless the donor can substantiate that it would be used for a defined social ministry program.

5. The charitable entity must provide a benefit to residents of East Mississippi.

Individuals from all five counties (Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Newton counties) of the Community Foundation of East Mississippi’s service territory are encouraged to participate.

For more information regarding the matching gift program, you may call 601-696-3035.

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