Applications available for grants in 2015

Applications are available NOW for our 2015 granting period. See on this website: “Apply for a grant”  in the nav bar. The deadline is Friday, March 20, 2015.



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Attention Donors! Thank You Reception and FREE Try the YMCA Days

As a donor, you are invited to a United Way Donor Reception and 2 days to try the YMCA, FREE ALL DAY Friday, February  6 and Saturday, February 7, 2015.  Also, join us in the Y’s community room for a special Thank you Donor Reception with refreshments and prizes, plus the fabulous opportunity to meet our board and staff members, sign up kids ages 0-5 for Imagination Library offering free books, and join our brand new 100% Local Volunteer Challenge. The reception is happening:

  • Friday, February 6, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 7, 9-11 a.m.

Try-the-Y Days are all day Friday and Saturday, and you may come and go as many times as you want, along with either a guest or your family members (all free).

  • Y-Try Hours: Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Child Watch with up to 2 hours of free child care: Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 4-7 p.m.
  • Try 40+ cardio machines, plus weight machines/free weights and group fitness classes
  • The pool: Lap swim is 5:30-8:30 a.m. Fri and 7-9 a.m. Sat, see the website ( for Open Swim  The slide is open Sat. noon-5 p.m.
  • Enjoy free WIFI in the community room

So, if you are looking for some fun activities to do with a friend or your family, feel free to check it out!  There is no obligation!  If you want more specifics on what the Y has to offer, current swim lesson or class schedules, etc., please see their website:

Thank you for your donation to the United Way and to our community. Hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Child, Executive Director

Northfield Area United Way

Posted in Community

New Stats in Giving May Surprise You

Fundraising nerds, the stats are in. Americans still give about 3 percent of their income to charities and have for decades, according to a new report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  But that figure doesn’t tell the really interesting story – one that I believe tells of a sense of community where most of us live – at the lower and middle parts of the income spectrum.

While it seems unfortunate that Americans earning more than $200,000 reduced their giving by 4.6 percent between 2006 and 2012 –  the figures just released – it is also heartening that lower income and middle income Americans increased their percentage of giving. Those making under $100,000 upped their contributions by $4.5 percent. The down side to this, of course, is the money they spend on charity may come out of essential needs. Yet I have to believe there is a pay back in the connection and the pride that they can contribute to their neighbors’ well-being.

What about the Why?

I wish I knew why these stats are as they are. What I do know is that the Northfield Area tracks pretty closely with the national data. Between 2006 and 2012 giving did go down a bit here per capita. We give close to the average – 3.13 percent.  We used to give 3.21 percent in 2006.

Less is more

Here’s a staggering figure – those who make under $25,000 give more than twice the average percentage – 7.79 percent – to charities. These figures are based on tax returns. I’m guessing the amount could be higher since many people don’t itemize at the lower to middle end of the income spectrum. Could a tax accountant weigh in please?

Northfield trends

The 55057 (Northfield) area code’s biggest giving total comes from those earning $100,000 to $200,000 – giving Northfield more than $5 million of the more than $16 million given in 2012. They give 3.05 percent of their income, as do those making $200,000 and up.

What I have observed at the Northfield Area United Way in 2014, though our campaign is not over, is exactly what is reported nationally – lower to middle income residents are stretching to give. Those at higher incomes are giving less to the United Way. Anecdotally, I hear major capital campaigns could be affecting annual giving for foundational services. Others remain committed to the United Way mission.

Why do you think it’s happening?

I would love to hear your comments on the reason behind these giving trends.



Posted in Community

The 100% Local Music Festival for United Way

Like doing good? Like local music? Have we got a party for you.

100 Percent Local Music Festival - poster

The 100% Local is a weekend of great music by local bands to raise money for Northfield Area United Way. It takes place Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 at the Contented Cow, with support from Just Foods Co-op and Southern MN Scene.  Music starts at 5:00pm, and goes into the night with a rollicking line up of superb musicians. Continue reading

Posted in Community

Bowling for Books Raises over $1,000

Bowling for Books

Hurray for bowling! Our YPRO friends raised over $1,000 to benefit Imagination Library. Thank you to all the happy bowlers who joined us! Special props to the crowd from Just Food Coop: You kept those lane bumpers rockin’ . . . .

All the money raised helps bring free books to kids in the Northfield area ages 0 – 5 . . . a new book in the mail every month. Cool!


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Posted in Community