Someone once told me, “If Clorox Bleach, the county fair, and M&M’s could all use your mission statement, then it’s probably not tight enough.”  True enough.  That’s the beauty of the Community Foundation of Grant County.  Our target area is easily defined in our very name…Grant County.  And our mission is true to form:  Connecting people who care with causes that matter.  So, in our little section of the world it’s paramount that we do our best to help the most generous people in our community find the most worthy causes in our community.  I guess we’re like philanthropic matchmakers…not eHarmoney, but pHarmony!

So, when we began noticing ‘donation dumpsters’ littering the parking lots all across our community, we thought we should check them out.  Sure, the bins seemed to provide a concrete convenience and their request to feed them with donations pulls at your emotional heartstrings…seems like a match made in heaven, right?  Wrong.  This is what common-day marketers refer to as sticky.

The old Trix Cereal campaign from the 1960s (YES, that long ago!) was sticky; Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.  The message sticks with you even after all these years.  Sticky messages are straight forward, yet tug at your emotions in some way.  And it works because 54 years after the Trix campaign debuted, I’m writing about it and you’re remembering it.  Sticky!

Donation dumpsters are sticky.  There couldn’t be anything more straight-forward than a donation dumpster conveniently planted in a parking lot near you.  And, there couldn’t be anything that makes a bigger emotional appeal than to make a donation to someone less fortunate than you.  However, as a donor, you deserve to know how these dumpsters really work—which is actually more tricky than sticky:  (a) the vast majority of these donation dumpsters don’t benefit any charitable causes in Indiana, not to mention Grant County and (b) even worse, most bins are for-profit companies using your ‘donation’ to sell on the internet or in thrift stores as a way to build the financial empire of their business.   See what I mean?  Tricky.

keep-it-local-logo-2Therefore, we bring this message to you because we’re not Clorox Bleach, the county fair, or M&M’s…we’re the Community Foundation of Grant County.  And, as such, it’s our mission to connect you with causes that matter right here in our community.  We’d like to do that by educating you on the reality of the donation dumpsters in an article we submitted last week to the local media.  Read the editorial page of Sunday’s Chronicle-Tribune or click this link if you’d like to learn more in our article called Dumpster Diving.

Additionally, while we can’t prevent these dumpsters from existing, we can give you quality options directing you where to donate your valuable goods locally…find that list here.  And, finally, as a way to remind you to give where you live, we’ve created a Keep It Local logo that will be proudly displayed at each Grant County location that accepts donations that will directly benefit the citizens of our community.  You will not find this Keep It Local logo on any donation dumpster in Grant County.

It’s getting to be that time of year where you clean out your closets and toy boxes in preparation for the holiday season.  We know that your hearts are big and that generosity is your strong suit.  Now, you’re also armed with the knowledge of where the reputable non-profits are located that accept your gently used donations.  There are Trix and there are tricks.  But, knowledge is power and we choose to use that knowledge to Keep It Local.

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