Strength in Numbers

If there are any doubts in the adage of strength in numbers, Levé is out to shift that mindset. Levé and its nonprofit partners met on Tuesday to discuss the significance of the joint fundraising effort for Levé’s 10th anniversary, which will benefit nine nonprofit organizations that Levé has previously partnered with. The multi-partner campaign is a first for Levé, which is determined to make a long-term impact on the Portland’s nonprofit community.

Collaboration is key, and Levé isn’t the only one who believes it.

“We don’t buy the zero-sum game. It’s just not true,” said Mark Langseth, president of “I Have a Dream” Oregon (IHAD). Langseth believes banding the nonprofit community together, rather than standing alone, is the key to success. He pointed to a recent partnership between IHAD and Friends of the Children that resulted in a $200,000 grant for the two organizations. Working separately, he said the two groups might not have secured the funds. But by leveraging and aligning resources, Langseth said the impact was profound.


“It means we have to work together,” Langseth stressed.

In that spirit, nonprofit representatives from Meals on Wheels People, Children’s Cancer Association, Growing Gardens, Schoolhouse Supplies, Friends of the Children, YWCA of Greater Portland, Mercy Corps and p:ear were in attendance, in addition to IHAD. Part of the dialogue between the nonprofit members and Levé also focused on bridging the generational funding gap facing nonprofits in Portland.

“We need to establish habits of giving early in life, and that's the second component of our 2013 goal,” said Megan Dobson, Levé’s president. “As a schoolteacher I see that the earlier a capable child is taught to read, the more likely he or she is to become a strong, lifelong reader. I think this is transferable to philanthropy; the earlier in life a capable person begins giving — of time, money or talent — the more likely he or she is to become a strong, lifelong giver, connected to community through the habit supporting nonprofits in meaningful ways.”

Dobson said several local foundations are equally concerned about the generational funding gap and interested in inspiring new donors, and as a result have committed matching funds up of $10,000 for Levé’s 2013 campaign.


“We're focused on incentivizing the 20-, 30- and 40-year olds in Portland to give what they can, and we feel certain that knowing their gift will be doubled by a match will help them write their first check,” Dobson added.

Even organizations that currently have a healthy roster of younger donors and volunteers — such as Growing Gardens — have welcomed the partnership with Levé and its nonprofit partners.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” said Hollie Allen, development director at Growing Gardens. Allen said Growing Gardens currently does not collaborate with any other Levé nonprofit partners, but hopes the 2013 campaign introduces Growing Gardens to a broader audience base.

Dobson has the same hope.

“By showcasing our past nine nonprofit partners, we hope to raise excitement about the rich community programming in Portland, cultivate community involvement and inspire the next generation of givers,” Dobson said.

It’s a movement that has strength in numbers.

Find out more about Levé and its nonprofit partners.