Running a nonprofit organization requires coordinating a wide variety of resources — a task that the Central Kansas Community Foundation is trying to make a little easier through the publishing of its Newton Charities Wishbook.
"We kicked it off in 2015 with our Giving Tuesday launch," noted CKCF Executive Director Angie Tatro.
CKCF serves the Harvey County region, but wanted to focus on organizations located in Newton to start.
"We were trying to do something more specific for here in Newton," Tatro said. "We circulated the invitation to all known Newton-serving charities."
A survey link was sent out to local nonprofits, asking them to respond with information such as their organization's mission, needs and contact information.
"We continue to add new agencies," Tatro said. "It's a live, constantly evolving document."
It is CKCF's goal to update the wishbook quarterly, providing the public with details about the most current needs, from monetary donations to copy paper.
Tatro said that some organizations are not shy about letting the public know what they need, even if the item is not something that can be found at the corner store. Newton Presbyterian Manor lists bladder scanner as one of the "big items" on their wishlist, while art supplies, nail polish and small indoor plants are also requested.
"Some are definitely more detailed on their specific needs and others are more general in their requests," Tatro said.
Producing the Newton Charities Wishbook lets people know that there are other tangible ways to help organizations beyond donating monetarily.
"If you're already buying something for yourself and your home, buy a couple more while you're at it," Tatro said. "Most charities, especially in our community, are small organizations. We're not the big city organizations with high operating budgets. Every little bit makes a big difference."
When people look through the Newton Charities Wishbook, they can learn about nonprofits they may not have heard of.
"We have organizations that serve older adults, shelters, the arts — all these cool things," Tatro said.
One thing nearly every nonprofit is looking for are people to give of their time and expertise.
"All of us are constantly recruiting for our board members and general volunteer opportunities," Tatro said.
Volunteering an hour or two may not seem like a lot, but it is appreciated by the leadership of nonprofits, who are often too busy to accomplish all that needs to be done.
Tamie Larez of Newton Meals on Wheels said she appreciates CKCF supporting nonprofits with the wishbook.
"It's been really great for us," Larez said. "With a nonprofit, there are things that are really difficult to put into your budget."
Newton Meals on Wheels' page lists items needed including portable foldings tables, coolers and envelopes.
"Just those things that people think of as everyday items are a challenge for us, so it's a blessing to have that," Larez said.
Because of printing cost, CKCF does not publish paper copies of the wishbook.
"Without having a funding stream for that, we've just done it electronically," Tatro said.
The Newton Charities Wishbook is available online at https://centralkansascf.org/events/gt or can be found through a link on the Central Kansas Communities Foundation's Facebook page.