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Letter: Keep your donations local

 First I want to thank all of you that donate to any nonprofit organization. The giving of a contribution and/or your valuable time is precious to all those who are on the receiving end.

 I understand the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber has adopted a logo of “Buy Local First.” I believe this is a great idea and support their mission. I too have a mission that all businesses and consumers should “Donate Local First.”

 Too many times we donate money to a charitable organization in the attempt to keep it local and it somehow finds its way to the state parent organization. Some or no money stays locally to benefit those who may need the assistance. I understand fully that the parent organization needs to be funded as well as local chapters. Often a local chapter or organization suffers because of a larger fundraiser promoted by a state or national affiliation.

 I have been involved in the nonprofit world for 13 years and seen how local nonprofits suffer because of the public not being informed on how and where their donations are being used.

 I don’t want to discourage anyone from supporting state or national nonprofit organizations, because there is a need to help the organization as a whole. I am asking that you educate yourself with the organizations (state and local) that you make a contribution to and understand how and where your donation will be used.

 Contact someone local in the organization and find out ways your money is used if given locally or statewide. What better way to see your contribution at work, knowing you have helped your friend, neighbor or co-worker in a time of need.

 My message is that “If we do not support local organizations they will not survive.”