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'The Giving Group' looking to expand grassroots donation effort for local nonprofits

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Posted at 3:42 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 20:40:49-04

A group that has found a creative way to give back to Arizona nonprofits is looking to expand its pool of people to make an even bigger impact.

The Giving Group Arizona consists of roughly 100 people, who all donate $100 each quarter and then vote on which local nonprofit to gift $10,000.

"It's been the best thing that I've been involved with and it truly has," said the group's founder, Brian Yampolsky. "You get to see what nonprofits are active in your community."

Yampolsky told ABC15 he started The Giving Group Arizona, modeled after a similar group run by his friend in Seattle.

"The thing that I've learned by being involved with this process is there are a ton of nonprofits and they all have one thing in common," he said. "They all need money."

Yampolsky said the group, currently consisting of roughly 100 people, votes four times a year on which nonprofit to help with the $10,000 donation. Members of the group might be selected to nominate and make a case, for selecting the nonprofit of their choice.

"I call it an amplified impact," Yampolsky said. "If I were giving $100, that's fine, that's nice, but if I can be a part of giving $10,000, that has a real significant impact on people in our community."

Yampolsky wants to expand the pool of people to 150 or 200, to potentially gift two separate $10,000 donations each quarter.

The Giving Group most recently voted last week on which nonprofit to help this quarter. They selected Go With The Flow, a nonprofit that helps connect students with feminine products.

"A lot of folks aren't aware that students will actually miss school because they don't have access to period products," said Demetra Presley, executive director of Go With the Flow.

Presley said the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the level of donations made to the nonprofit.

"We rely 100% on donations," Presley said. "Like many nonprofits, last year our donation intake took a massive hit."

Presley said being selected for the $10,000 donation from The Giving Group will allow the organization to expand its program into additional school districts.

"Couldn't be more excited, thrilled and just grateful for the opportunity," Presley said.

Yampolsky said the nonprofits selected by The Giving Group vary in their missions and can range from those that are more well-known to those that are more niche organizations, but they must be a 501(c)(3).

"Why did I want to do something that would help our community?" Yampolsky said when asked by ABC15 why he started the group. "Why not?"