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Give Ozarks Midnight to Midnight May 5th

Beginning at midnight tonight, Tuesday May 5th, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks kicks off the inaugural Give Ozarks Day of Giving, a 24 hour online only fundraiser to support around 150 non-profit agencies who do good deeds in 46 communities across southern Missouri where CFO affiliate foundations are located.  Give Ozarks is similar to a telethon, but donors will not use telephones to make contributions.  Instead, all donations will be made on-line at   Here to help us understand and take part in Tuesdays Give Ozarks 24 hour on-line Day of Giving, is CFO Media Director Matt Lemmon.

“This really started 3 or 4 years ago.  Our board and staff had this vision to create the Cause Momentum crowdfunding platform, where you can put up a 45 day project to raise money for specific need.  It’s built to rally people, create a sense of urgency, you set a goal and you do that.  Give Ozarks Day is a completely different in the model of that.  It’s a one day blitz of giving where you raise as much money as you can in 24 hours, and it starts tonight at midnight.”

Mike Smith:  “You know Matt, when I think of the traditional telethon, I see the big phone bank in a central HQ where a well know host holding a microphone announcing running totals posted on a big screen behind him or her.  How will the Give Ozarks 24 hour Day of Giving work?”

Matt Lemmon:  It’s going to be a little more virtual than that.  We will have a home base, sitting in the CFO office with a bunch of computers up and watching the numbers tic upwards.  We have a couple of prizes available in the first hour, so at midnight you should see the totals on start rising, and then on individual agency pages they’ll be watching their own dollars rise.  You’ll see the clock start ticking down from 24 hours at that point.”

Mike Smith:  “Take us further through this Day of Giving, how do you see it progressing from midnight tonight to midnight tomorrow?”

Matt Lemmon:  “We’ve talked to other foundations and groups that have done these days, and the surges come when you might expect them.  Morning drive time, when people get to work and get on-line, and sort of again during the noon hour.  What I expect though, and what we’re trying to do is create excitement all around the clock.  We’ve got a couple of larger prizes for 3am, so agencies that may have donors that like to burn the midnight oil can entice those people to give with the idea they’ll be in a better position to perhaps claim one of those prizes during the 3 o’clock hour.” 

Mike Smith:  “It’s my understanding that 24 of the 150 participating non-profits have been chosen for endowment matching.  They’ll receive matching grants from the CFO of up to $5,000 each, but you’ve also gathered nearly a hundred grand more from various donors for use as incentives to encourage other non-profits to go for the dough.”

Matt Lemmon:  We’ve got $92,500.00 more in prizes that everyone can compete for.  Those are everything from Most Individual Donors in an Hour, to Most Money Raised for the day.  The go all around the clock, with at least $1,000 in prizes up for grabs every single hour, most hours more.  There’s some very neat prizes and you can see all of those at”

Mike Smith:  “Yes,, where one can search and find an area of interest to donate to, mission centric, or even a geographic location.”

Matt Lemmon:   “Yes, search for just a key word or if you’re interested in a specific home town, your home town, you can search using that method.  And that’s where the great potential of this on-line giving blitz comes in.  If someone shares via social media that it’s one day when you can give and support this agency in your home town, they are going to connect to people who they know from their home town who they know aren’t living there anymore, and those people in turn will share it. And really, if you do have non-profits that you care about and are engaged with, a lot of times you can click on their link on Facebook page or Twitter and go straight to their page and give.”

Mike Smith:  “From 4-7 tomorrow, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks will host a Give Ozarks Rally at Jordan Valley Park.  This will feature entertainment, giveaways, a Cinco De Mayo celebration of sorts, and most importantly, donation stations.  Tell us about that.”

Matt Lemmon:  “We’ve got almost 50 agencies that will have a physical presence at Jordan Valley Park.  They’ll have a table and a tablet or a laptop there and be taking donations.  Something as big as this with so many people participating, a physical presence and engaging the community is important.  Most people do some sort of event around it and we’ve decided to do it in Year 1 as well.  It’s a Jordan Valley Park Tuesday from 4-7pm and it’s a hundred percent free.  It’s going to be a really cool event.”

Mike Smith:  Matt Lemmon is Media Director for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which beginning at midnight tonight, hosts the 1st ever 24 hour Give Ozarks on-line Day of Giving.  To find and contribute to your favorite CFO non-profit agency, visit  

Mike Smith's career at KSMU began in 1980 as a student announcer when the former Navy Submariner attended (then) SMSU with help from the GI Bill. In 1982 Smith became a full time member of the KSMU family as "Chief Announcer", responsible for the acquisition, training and scheduling of the student announcing staff. It was also in 1982 when Smith first produced "Seldom Heard Music" a broadcast of Bluegrass which is still heard on KSMU and every Saturday night at 7CT.
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