On the Record with Ben Bingle

For 24 hours, one day a year, Ben Bingle says he can “directly see the impact donors can have and the impact nonprofit organizations can generate” in DeKalb County through the annual day of giving to nonprofits, Give DeKalb County.

Bingle is the director of the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership. Nonprofit organizations can be supported with financial donations through Give DeKalb County. This year, the day of giving will be held Thursday, May 6.

There are multiple ways to donate to Give DeKalb County this year:

  • Online: Donate online at www.GiveDeKalbCounty.org from midnight to midnight May 6 by credit card or bank transfer with a donation minimum of $5.
  • By ACH: Make a donation directly from your bank account using Plaid with a donation minimum of $100. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, a U.S. financial network used for electronic and money transfers.
  • By Mobile Wallet: Donations can be made using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Microsoft Pay on an enabled device.
  • By Mail: Complete the mail-in donation form indicating the organization(s) and donation amount(s), then write a single check for the total amount payable to “DCCF.” Mail check and form to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178. Envelopes must be postmarked by May 6.
  • Because of COVID-19, walk-in donations are canceled for the safety of volunteers, staff and participants.

Donations made online and by mail to Give DeKalb County on May 6 are eligible to leverage funds from the bonus pool.

The bonus pool is awarded and distributed to all participating nonprofits based on the percentage of the overall Give DeKalb County total they raise.

For information about Give DeKalb County or to make a donation to the bonus pool, contact Ben Bingle at ben@dekalbccf.org or 815-748-5383.

Bingle spoke to MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton about Give DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership.

Milton: What is the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership?

Bingle: The DCNP is a program of the DeKalb County Community Foundation. We exist to help strengthen nonprofits throughout DeKalb County. We offer training, programming and professional development for nonprofit board members, staff and volunteers. The DCNP is membership-based. We have 160 members in 2021.

Milton: Tell me more about Give DeKalb County.

Bingle: There are 131 participating organizations and funds in Give DeKalb County. It is held the first Thursday in May. This year, it will be held midnight to midnight May 6. The event, which has been held since 2014, is an annual fundraising event to raise money for local nonprofits and raise awareness about what they do in the community. … There is some eligibility criteria for a nonprofit organization to participate: they must be located in, service or conduct organizational activities in DeKalb County. There are additional criteria listed on our website.

Milton: What is the bonus pool?

Bingle: The bonus pool is awarded to all participating nonprofits based on the percentage of the overall Give DeKalb County total they raise, providing valuable unrestricted funding. For example, if a nonprofit raises 2% of Give DeKalb County’s grand total, they will receive 2% of the bonus pool. If they raise 5% of the grand total, they get 5% of the bonus pool. The bonus pool is a way to ensure that every dollar given goes a little further. It also adds a little excitement to the giving day and creates some friendly competition between the organizations to raise the most money.

Milton: How can people donate to the bonus pool?

Bingle: So far, 43 community partners have contributed to the bonus pool. Anyone can donate to the bonus pool. When making an online donation on May 6, donors can opt to donate $5 to the bonus pool. … We’d like to thank the community partners that have already donated to the bonus pool and the outpouring of support and generosity that has been made to create the bonus pool.

Milton: Why is it important to donate?

Bingle: This past year has been very difficult for nonprofit organizations. More than 80% had to cancel a fundraising event. The pandemic has had a direct impact on their finances, including costs rising and purchasing PPE. Every dollar given through Give DeKalb County matters, and the nonprofits will put the funds to good use. The unrestricted funds have been incredibly impactful for the nonprofits through the years.

Milton: What types of nonprofit organizations are participating?

Bingle: Give DeKalb County allows a donor to get behind a cause they care about: helping with domestic abuse cases, supporting mental health, arts and culture. There’s a cause and a nonprofit organization for almost every topic. On our website, there are profiles of each participating nonprofit. You can learn more about their work in the community and decide which organization or organizations to support.

Milton: What do you like most about your role as DCNP director?

Bingle: I’m fortunate to have such an interesting role at DCCF. As the DCNP director, I work directly with organizations. From Sandwich to Genoa and everywhere in between throughout DeKalb County, I see the impact nonprofit organizations make in the community. Through Give DeKalb County, you can directly see the impact donors can have and the impact nonprofit organizations can generate. It’s a way to shine a light on nonprofits in the county and celebrate the philanthropy and the work they do in the community.

Milton: How would you describe the uniqueness of Give DeKalb County?

Bingle: We are fortunate to have such a vibrant nonprofit network in DeKalb County that provide critical services, making our county a better place to live. It’s so inspiring to see the level of support on display during Give DeKalb County.

Katrina J.E. Milton

Award-winning reporter and photographer for Shaw Media publications, including The Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek newspapers in DeKalb County, Illinois, since 2012.