Top 5 Reasons to Give to La Crosse Community Foundation

July 16, 2019

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

Do you ever feel conflicted about where you should donate your hard-earned money? I do! My mailbox is constantly stuffed with solicitations from nonprofits doing great, important work. As a result, I often end up with a pile of gift acknowledgments at year end all representing $20-$100 gifts to a variety of nonprofits. And sometimes I don’t give at all. It’s annoying to constantly be asked.

Sound familiar?

Why do we keep doing this? Well, I’m done having a small impact with many. I’d rather have a long-term impact on the whole community! That’s why my limited dollars available for gifting are now (mostly) going to La Crosse Community Foundation.

I started working at La Crosse Community Foundation almost a year ago, and I’m totally re-hauling my giving preferences for 5 main reasons:

1.      My gift will give FOREVER

Like, literally, forever. Whether I start my own fund or make a gift to the Community Giving Fund, that gift will be endowed and invested. Our annual spending rate is conservative and allows for gifts to grow over time, thereby increasing the annual distribution without having to give more! It’s crazy! My gift will live forever AND grow! Insane.

2.      My gift will support CRITICAL community needs

The community foundation has broad expertise regarding community issues and needs. A committee of local do-gooders review all the competitive grant requests and make fantastic recommendations to support critical local programming to our board of directors.

We stay informed so you don’t have to! You can give and rest assured that your money will help fund really great projects and programs. Or, if you start a fund (I don’t have the money for that, but you might), you can decide who to make grants to. If you need advice, we can help!

3.      My gift stays LOCAL

My gift will always be used to support local nonprofits and projects that make La Crosse County (read: not just the city of La Crosse) a safe, vibrant, and inclusive community. La Crosse has been my home for 32 of my 38 years, and I care deeply about strengthening the place where I live, work, and raise a family.


As a former grant writer and current grant reviewer, I know that impact is everything! Grant requests don’t get funded if the impact is small. Why settle for anything less than big impact when making charitable gifts?! That’s why gifts to some funds at the community foundation are pooled with gifts from other do-gooders to multiply the impact of individual gifts.

5.      Jamie gets SUPER pumped and jumps up and down when I make gifts

Yeah, I’m not really motivated by the “leaving a legacy” stuff (yet); I care way more about seeing the hilarious way Jamie gets excited about stuff. Hey Jamie, I have a check for you!

Also, I love how donors are treated by us. In my role as program director, I get to spend time with our donors doing things like piling them in large, suspicious vans and taking them on tours of local nonprofits! Jamie gets to do that plus treat donors to meals or cocktail hour (her personal fav) to really get know them and show appreciation! Our favorite people are those who care about this community as much as we do, and we love to spend time together plotting about great things.