D.C. portal launched

By Todd Cohen

Building on the experience of philanthropy portal networkforgood.org, a coalition of 20 foundations, nonprofits and media companies in the Washington, D.C., area has launched touchdc.org, a portal that aims to generate donations and volunteers for local nonprofits.

The portal is designed to address a local funding crunch resulting from government cutbacks, shrinking foundation endowments and flat corporate giving, says Elizabeth Miller, director of New Ventures in Philanthropy for the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

The goal, she says, is to generate support for nonprofits by connecting them with donors and volunteers.

The Web site, which is hosted by Network for Good and features online donation and volunteer-matching tools created for networkforgood.org, includes a database of 25,700 local nonprofits drawn from the larger national nonprofit database at guidestar.org.

Local media companies are promoting the site, linking to it from their online publications and providing news content about local issues.

“We just hope it will help nonprofits in the Washington region, and be replicated in other parts of the country,” Miller says.

A major goal of the coalition, she says, is to help nonprofits improve their ability to “tell their story more effectively.”

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