Robert Swanson knew something about Harvey County he thought was exciting, and he was excited to share during the annual Leave A Legacy Luncheon Oct. 23 at the Meridian Center. He knew some facts and figures about charitable giving in the county. 

 

“Today is a celebration of you, your non-profits, your philanthropy,” Swanson said. 

 

The president and CEO of Swanson House Inc., a fundraising and consulting firm, told the crowd in attendance that Harvey County is one of the top places in the region for charitable giving. 

 

And he had numbers to back it up. According to his research, Harvey County households gave 5.1 percent of their income to charities last year. That’s more than Sedgwick (4.2 percent), Butler (3.1 percent), Reno (4.11 percent) or McPherson (4.85 percent) counties. 

 

That represented $21.97 million in gifts, Swanson said. Those gifts came from individuals. Nationally, 80 percent of charitable giving comes from individuals. 

 

“The bulk of money given away today is given by individuals, not corporations or foundations,” Swanson said. 

 

He went on to tell some of the success stories in Kansas of individuals who created “bequests,” giving to causes when they passed away. He told the crowd that telling those success stories is key to the success of organizations who are seeking donations. 

 

“People need to know they can do this too,” Swanson said. 

 

 

The noon meal at the Meridian Center was the annual meeting for Leave a Legacy, a public awareness campaign created to “inspire people to make charitable bequests.” 

 

About 200 people were attendance for the dinner.